Marriage Year 7: Sacrifice

Monday, June 18, 2018
From the moment I fell in love with Justin, our life together has required lots of sacrifice (thank you, Army). We "give things up" because we know the trade off is so much better. So much more fulfilling. Both of those sentiments have proven to be true throughout the course of our relationship. The first big sacrifice I ever made was moving to Georgia to be with the love of my life. I had always known that Justin's time in Washington was limited (he reenlisted for Fort Stewart while he was still deployed to Iraq) and I knew that in order to thrive together - we had to be together. So that was that. I left my family, my home, my job, everything I had ever known, for the love of my life. I have never looked back.
Justin made some pretty big sacrifices of his own early on in our marriage as well. His military time was never meant to be permanent, or for a lifetime - he had only enlisted because at 18 years old, he was too young to become a police officer in California. It was always his goal to join the military, leave New York, serve his country, and then head to Los Angeles to become a city cop. L.A. with a family that was sure to grow just didn't make sense to him. Even with my support to pursue his calling, Justin decided to close the doors on that potential endeavor. 
Those two choices were the start of something that would easily become instinctive for the both of us. When we found out that I was pregnant with Ava, Justin was deployed the very next month. Rather than staying in Georgia, he encouraged me to move back home. He wanted me to be with family, to be near safe spaces, and people I loved in his absence. I couldn't do it though. I couldn't leave the state where i'd last kissed him goodbye. I made the decision to stay in Georgia because I wanted Justin to know his family was waiting for him to come back home.
When we found out how sick my mom really was, Justin knew I desperately wanted to move back to Washington... but he was set with orders to Fort Hood in Texas. I supported him, despite our predicament.... but it was my husband who ultimately made the decision to choose family over career. Fort Hood would have offered tanking opportunities and tank experience for Justin. It would have afforded him promotion, likely at a quicker rate than he'd have at JBLM... but even still, he made sure he did everything in his power to get us back home to care for my mom. 
Our friendship, as well as our marriage are stronger because we have both learned how to support each other. Supporting someone else isn't always easy. Sometimes its actually really, really, hard but in the end - it has always been worthwhile for us. We have always gained so much more than what we have lost when we sacrifice. Because sacrifice is being done on both sides, neither of us has ever felt like our cup is empty. We have never felt like we are giving up ourselves, without being rewarded in some way on the other end. I think that's important to remember. 

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