“So where are you from?”
I would often be asked as we, yet again, visited a new church upon moving to a new area. “Well…my dad’s in the military so I guess you could say I’m from everywhere!” Said somewhat in jest, it was true that there were very few constants in my life. Having seen more of the country than many people twice my age, I was used to the variety of military life. After all, when the Navy says it’s time to go, it’s time to go!
Even with all the uncertainties and the struggles to settle in many new places, one of the things I knew I could rely on was my Dad and his faithfulness. He is, and always was, a servant in every sense of the word.
As a servant of his country, he gave his all. I remember at times thinking how unfair things were for him as others seemed to advance or get off easier than my dad. But he never complained! He was the epitome of a servant-leader during his time in the Navy, all the way till his retirement in April of this year. He was the Master Chief who got down in the dirt with his guys so they would understand that you’re never too high ranking to help others. He was the Master Chief that would go on 7am runs with those under him to encourage them toward healthy lifestyles. He was the Master Chief that took time on the weekend to counsel a young sailor who was on the verge of ruining their life.
As a servant of his family, I would often find my dad folding the laundry or vacuuming the floors. It was not uncommon to be barely finishing the food on my plate when it would be swept out from under me and stuck in the dishwasher. He would do anything to make mom’s life easier! He taught me that it took more character to serve others and to KEEP serving others than to have an expectation to be served. We often felt the sting of this character development as we were taught to serve others in the home (if you get my drift). I can say that NOW I’m thankful for the lessons taught in this specific area.
As a servant of the Lord, he is perhaps the best example. I don’t ever remember a time when we were not taught to be faithful in the Lord’s house and to give our ALL in service to Him. As a family we were always teased for being early to church. My dad always said, “If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late!”. It was usually more like thirty minutes early. But there was my dad, actively looking for ways that he could be a blessing to the church before the service started. Being involved in outreach ministries, nursing homes, and even bus routes when available was the norm for my Dad and, in turn, our family. It wasn’t a matter of convenience or because that’s what he felt like doing every week. He understood that as the Lord’s servant we are called to make sacrifices and to give our all, no matter the circumstances!
Today, as I serve my family on a daily basis I often hear the words of my dad coming back to me as he gave of himself to us on a daily basis. His tremendous example gave me such great understanding of what it means to serve others unconditionally.
Dad, many people have told you “Thank you for your service” to honor your military career. I would second that! But I will also say “thank you for your service” to our family and to our God.
About Alyssa Hall
Alyssa has been happily married to her husband, Benjamin, for three years. She enjoys staying home and caring for their daughter, Chloe, and their soon-to-be-born son! In her spare time, Alyssa serves in the children’s and teens’ ministries at the church.
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