What happens after hello? With PCS season upon us meeting new military friends is inevitable. Reserve spouse and guest writer, Amanda Mahannah, shares with us four ways God helps her navigate new friendships as a part of the weekend warrior lifestyle!
Hello, my name is….
by Amanda Mahannah
When you meet someone new, where do you start?
Hi, my name is Amanda. I am a wife and working mom to three under age 10, doing my very best to keep all the balls I’m juggling in the air. I am a creative who is so blessed to get to use my gifts to point others to Jesus.
Sound familiar? Name, family, your thing. Safe and easy. Depending on time, or how safe I feel, you may or may not get (or give) the rest of the story.
The Rest of The Story
I am a child of God, by way of my earthly parents who did their best to shepherd me.
I feel like this is commonly the next piece for Christian women. But there is a third piece for me and it is honestly the most vulnerable part of my story so I hold it closest.
We are a traditional ‘Weekend Warrior’ or ‘Citizen Solider’ family. We live in the Midwest, where there are a good number of Guard and even fewer Reserve families. There is no large military installation in our state.
Reserve families are a special pack.
Reserve life is a noble and necessary call. A few years ago, the awareness was much greater than today, but as deployment headlines have declined this piece of our family’s story can feel less important.
The truth is, this is an integral part of the story God is writing. Christian, military women are a holy group, with a unique call of service to our neighbors. It can be challenging for friends and even family who are not in the military to understand and even more difficult to know how to support us.
Emotions are a common thread of humanity. Whether you’re military or not, active duty or reserve, we all have them. I have personally felt many emotions, some good, many not so good, over my years navigating deployments and good byes in our ‘Weekend Warrior’ life. I am still learning how to share my story, and my needs, in a healthy way.
This is especially fresh in my mind as we prepare to farewell dear friends this month. In a time where many in our country are trying to be better listeners, I pray this will help you, wherever you are on your military journey.
Here are four things that help me navigate ‘Weekend Warrior’ life:
- Pray. Pray for your heart to be open to God’s story. However that may look, right where you are. Make your requests known to God and receive his peace as Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us to do.
- Seek community. You are not alone, even if it feels like it. Use technology to find connection if needed.
- Ask for help. Civilian friends and family will not always understand your unique needs, but they want to help.
- Share. Be proud of your service and don’t be afraid to share your unique story.
What happens after hello for you? How do you share your story?
Amanda Mahannah is a military wife and mom to three children from Iowa. In 15 years of reserve military life, including a few years of active duty time in Northern Virginia, God has used every moment to draw her closer and refine her, even when she resists. Amanda loves to use all mediums to express her faith and point others to Jesus.