Military Retirement is among the most challenging changes military members can face. But Muriel shares how God showed her how to rise up when the weight of this transition threatens to knock you down.
Now What… Military Retirement
by Muriel Gregory
One thing that the military teaches well is that nothing lasts forever. Change functions as the constant. The only roots we are allowed to grow are the ones inside moving boxes.
That is until THAT day….
The day when you or your spouse is clearing post or base for the very last time. When you hang up your uniform forever. The day your ID card changes color.
Forever seems like a fictional idea that makes the backdrop of fairy tales.
I was two years old when I moved for the first time. The longest I lived in any place my whole life was ten years. I am baffled by people who lived their entire life in the same town and never traveled (yes, they do exist). The concept of settling down and growing roots somewhere seemed appealing until my husband retired. No longer a far-fetched idea, this represented our new reality. A page turned, and the blank one would not be written by the demands of DOD but by our own choices, dreams, and desires.
Trepidation and excitement gave way to dread and anxiety. What do we do now? Where do we settle? Can I embrace the concept of a forever home? Is this it? Has the adventure come to an end?
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.’”
The story of Abraham resonates with me. Uprooted from everything he knows, he sojourns toward the unknown solely armed with a promise from God. I will show you.
As I watched my husband take off his uniform for the last time, I could hear God whisper, “I will show you.”
- I will show you what to do next.
- I will show you your new normal.
- I will show you that the adventure continues.
I am here with you, and I will show you my faithfulness and guidance in this new chapter of military retirement.
The truth is that ETS and retirement are not final acts, simply a chapter being closed. We are all sojourners and foreigners on this earth. The only roots I need to concern myself with are the ones planted in God and his promises.
The realization came that I had grown accustomed to the routine of moving and changing. The idea of forever remained foreign, and I was therefore dreading it.
We are now one year into retirement, and God has been faithful in showing me my next step. The military has been and will always be part of our lives. I will forever treasure the memories and the friends made along the way. As I reflect on that time, I am thankful for God’s provision during the many moves, the deployments, the good times, and the ugly times.
As I fondly remember, I greatly anticipate what’s next. Oh yes, because I know God will show me.
Pause Pause has become second nature to me. I can be quick to move and make a decision, but God invites me to pause. Pause today and know that he is God. Rest on that truth and let your heart be stilled. Psalm 46:10
Remember My journey so far has been incredible. There are many things I do not recall, but there are also significant memories along the way. Remember the times God has been faithful, the time he has shown you the way to go. Allow those memories to be stepping stones as you walk into the unknown. Psalm 119:105
Worship When we make worship a lifestyle, we build ourselves up, and we keep God at the center of our lives. Worship is giving God the praise he deserves. So, worship him today because he is excellent and worthy of all our praises. Psalm 145:1-3
Lord, I can sometimes be consumed with worry and anxiety as I face the finality of things in my life. I am grateful that you are always with me, guiding me, leading me in the way to go. As I enter this new chapter, I pray the works you have for me will guide my decisions. Amen.
For more resources on military retirement, check out these articles:
5 Practical Ways to Prepare for Military Retirement