VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (BP)–After years of coping while her husband — a Navy SEAL — was in harm’s way, one military wife has put her thoughts together in a new book called “Hope for the Home Front: God’s Timeless Encouragement for Today’s Military Wife.”
Marshele Carter Waddell continues to draw upon God’s strength and promises as her husband, Mark, is deployed in the Middle East for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and she offers her experiences and scriptural encouragement to others who bear similar burdens of fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, temptation, frequent moves, single parenting and separation from loved ones.
“Nearly 19 years of marriage to a military man have brought with it many trials and crises, all opportunities to learn to trust and fear only God,” Waddell writes in the book. “His Word tells me that ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’ (Job 1:21). My husband, my children, my health, my home and my future are gifts from God for this life only. I am learning to let go of Mark and all else that is dear to me here. The safest place for my treasures is in God’s hands, not mine.”
Mark and Marshele met as teenagers in Phoenix and married when she graduated from college. When her husband entered the military, Waddell labored to learn the language that she calls “Militarese.”
“The contents of Mark’s pockets … introduced me to a language not taught in any school,” she writes. “I have never seen Militarese 101 or Interpreting DOD 102 offered at any educational institution. It took me three months not to equate CO, XO and OPS-O with uh-oh and Cheerios. It took even longer to remember that the OIC and the AOIC were human beings, not to mention my husband’s bosses.”
Then Waddell, who now lives in Virginia Beach, Va., began the more arduous task of learning to deal with a husband away from home — possibly in the line of fire — while raising small children.
The family was stationed in Hawaii during the first Gulf War in 1991, and Mark Waddell was put on notice that he could be sent to the Middle East.
Waddell didn’t know how to handle the challenge, so she asked God to help her. That’s when she began keeping a journal of her experiences, which is what she drew upon to write Hope for the Home Front.
“The number of Mark’s days were ordained, determined before one of them came to be, regardless if he is a gunslinger or if he sits behind a desk and pushes papers,” Waddell writes in the book. “The number and quality of all my days are equally in His loving control. Mark’s job is demanding and dangerous. The amount of danger he faces, however, in no way alters God’s sovereignty. In contrast, it serves to keep my will on the altar.”
While her husband is in the Middle East and cannot tell his location or mission, Waddell must survive on the faith that has gotten her this far. She hopes her book will reach servicemen’s wives and family members worldwide who are fighting unique battles of their own at home. Hope for the Home Front is intended to arm those individuals with the power and protection of God’s promises against depression, bitterness, destructive choices and desperation. Though written from a wife’s perspective, it is meant to serve as a resource for insight and ministry ideas for everyone who loves or knows a military family.
Hope for the Home Front is self-published by Waddell and was released in March as part of Waddell’s endeavor called One Hope Ministry. Books may be ordered online at www.onehopeministry.com or by calling (757) 681-4673.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: THOUGHTS OF HOME and MARSHELE CARTER WADDELL.