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The Daily Mercies: Fort Jackson Bound

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It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning:  great is thy faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-24

It’s official!  Cammie called me Thursday evening to share the news.  She graduates Wednesday.

It’s been a roller coaster ride the past two months with enthusiastic highs—”I really think I want to work at YCP (the Youth Challenge Program she graduated from),” and “I’m seriously thinking about staying in the National Guard (meaning, signing up again after her six years are up).”

And dramatic lows—”I don’t know if I’m gonna’ graduate.”  Her words are barely understood as she mumbles between sobs.  “I can’t even do one push-up.”

Well, they DID say that many of them were taught the wrong way to do push-ups.

More lowes—”A bunch of us got in trouble for going to two church services.  I might get an Article 15.”

Okay…that one stumped me.  Seems crazy to me that going to two church services would be cause for punishment.  Isn’t Sunday a free day?  On the other hand, there just might be more to this story.

And then there was the wild upside down loop in the roller coaster ride—”I’m pretty sure y’all have to bring me to AIT, Mom.  In fact, I’m like 100% sure.”

“Uh, no, Cammie.  I’m certain they transport y’all.”

This was followed up on my part with a phone call to the base after I read on the website that although the Military is responsible for transporting the soldiers, family can transport them, but there are restrictions.  It was followed up on Cammie’s part with a letter to me stating, “I don’t mean 2 be a baby but that was probably the worst phone call I could imagine for someone at BCT.  You didn’t even sound happy/excited 2 talk 2 me & I thought at least someone in our gigantic family would be happy 2 bring me 2 Virginia.  I’d give as much gas $ as I need to.”  Oh, the text message generation.  Apparently grammar no longer matters.

That letter was followed up with lots of prayer from the Mom and lots of fighting the urge to give in to guilt.  An apology letter from Cam also followed.

Fun times.

In the midst of all this drama unfolding, I spent time browsing the Fort Jackson website.  I’m not sure whether or not I’d recommend that to a Mom with a son or daughter entering basic training.  Oh, there are lots and lots of pics and details about the three phases they go through.  It’s filled with words like, gas chamber and live grenades.  It’s informative; I’ll say that.

Then there was this phone call, “I HATE this!  I wanna’ come home!”  Followed by huge sobs.

THAT was the reason I called the base again.  Oh, cut me some slack people.  It’s over and done with.  After all, they DID mail a letter to me with several numbers to call if I’m concerned about “the welfare of my son/daughter”.  So!  I called.  And I learned what happens to a soldier if they DON’T pass the PT test.  The thought of Cammie having to start all over with this process kept me on my knees.

And she improved…  One letter she sent me had the prior weeks stats as well as the current weeks stats.  They read:

Push-ups:  last time-1; this time-17; what I need to pass-19

Sit-ups:  last time-46; this time-63; what I need to pass-54 (PASSED)

2 Mile:  last time-24:20; this time; 18:57; what I need to pass-18:54

HUGE difference!  God is AWESOME!

But then another low… “The whole platoon got in trouble so we couldn’t call home.”

Turns out many of them were fraternizing (YESSS, I found out because I CALLED AGAIN and they let her call me.  I KNOW, I KNOW… HINDSIGHT!).  The whole platoon got punished.  Cammie wasn’t among the ones called out.  And I won’t go into details, because…well, she’s coming home one day and will read this blog.  But let’s just say “someone” might have confessed that they, too, were guilty.

There was talk of restarting the entire platoon.  Followed by more prayer back at home.  I got a letter stating that they were not going to be restarted, but they lost the privilege of calling home.  Next, she would spend one week in the woods at Valley Forge.   So I waited some more.  And prayed.  And then, I got the phone call from Cammie this past Thursday.  She will graduate!

HUGE sigh of relief.

During this process, I continually reminded Cammie on the phone as well as in my letters to stand firmly on the Word and refuse to give in to emotions and circumstances.  The whole time I was here at home struggling with this very thing.

One of the biggest blows for me was finding out that Joe wouldn’t be able to get off work to go with us.  I was devastated.  Obviously, I want him with us.  But my main concern was for my daughter.  She had a difficult time understanding that other members of her family were unable to get off of work.  I didn’t want her to be crushed.  I soon realized that she would have many disappointments in life.  This would be an opportunity for her to trust God and not lean on her emotions or understanding.

And she did.  I was amazed how well she took the news.  Much better than I.

I’ve been humbled.  As I’ve walked this out, I was reminded of the peace that comes with surrender and acceptance of whatever the Lord’s will may be.  I know Cammie arrived at this point many times throughout this process.  One of her last letters detailed the circumstances of her Platoon and the trouble they were in.  She was quick to apologize, recognizing that she was “selfish and foolish”.  If they had to be restarted, she would just have to accept it.  That was her attitude.  And honestly, that phone call that she was granted after I called the base the third (AND FINAL…) time was a clear indication that she was not being ruled by emotion.  I know my daughter.  I remember the sound of her voice, how calm she was.  She prepared me for the possibility of her not graduating.

After that call, I knew I had to let go.  I wanted to call back later that week to “make sure she was graduating”.  She even encouraged me to.  But I refrained, per the advice of her Big Mama as well as a friend in the Air Guard.  And you know what?  It wasn’t difficult once I surrendered to the Lord.

Early Monday morning, Poppy, Nana, Courtney, Sophie and I will head to Fort Jackson.  Please pray for our safety.  And if you have tips for traveling eleven hours with a toddler—by all means, LEAVE A COMMENT. I won’t have time to search WFMW posts.

God is faithful!  I’m a proud Military Mom.  And I’m so grateful that through the little contact I’ve had with Cammie, she has shown tremendous growth and trust in the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Click on the link below to share your testimony of God’s grace in your life. Please note:  Previous links are still listed.  You must click the link to view the list of posts.  Be sure to leave a comment!

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2 Comments»

  Ginger wrote @

Shouting with you sis! God is sooo awesome, and so is Cams if I don’t say so myself!! Not to fond of the whole GAS CHAMBER… ect! But hey, He’s got her covered under the stronghold of faith!

  Annie wrote @

Wow! Congrats to Cami. His strong hand is upon her! This is great news!

Prov. 3:5-6 is my life verse, just love it.

In other news, I participated in your meme tonight… hope I did it right.

Blessings!


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