Hope for the Home Front: A Book Review
by Sherry Lightner
In my recent blog titled “Complete Hope,” I wrote about a time, when I set out to find the answer to a question that had pierced my heart. “What does it take to be a military wife?” I had just been given four days notice before my husband was to report to Fort Gordon, GA, for his Warrant Officer Basic Course. As a wife of an Army National Guardsman, I had no close friends in the military and no training for separations of this nature. I did, however, have a God who was with me and guided my every step. Hope For The Home Front: Winning The Emotional And Spiritual Battles Of A Military Wife by Marshele Carter Waddell was the first of many books the Lord would provide for my encouragement.
“Military wives are entrenched at home in the battle for their marriages, their children, their faith, and their sanity, which are all caught in the cross fire,” she writes.
A seasoned military wife, Marshele Carter Waddell arms other military wives with God’s promises of power and protection. In her warm and personable style, she recounts many of her own family stories: a call to duty interrupting a romantic dinner, watching her husband disappear into a submarine not to return home for months, and being far away from family during her father’s illness and death.
For wives serving on the home front, burdens of fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, temptation, single parenting, and separation from loved ones may easily rob them of the joy of following God’s calling for their families. Hope for the Home Front provides scriptural promises, tested advice, and compassionate support. “We have a firm anchor,” Waddell reminds readers. “Our faith in an unchanging God whose promises never fail.”
The Lord knew what He was doing when He provided this book. Though our husbands serve on different branches of the military, my heart gravitated to Marshele’s every word. Marshele opened her book with a poignant prayer for military families, which set the tone for the entire book. I struggled to put it down, as story upon story pulled at my heartstrings.
Marshele and I shared the same fears: A fear of failure, the fear of bombing out on the mission called military life, failing to be a loyal wife, failing to be a patient and loving mother, failing to be consistent in a career that demands daily creativity and energy, failing to stay committed to God’s call on my life. I feared growing apart from my husband and wondered how this military lifestyle would effect my children.
Tears flowed freely as Marshele, so transparently, revealed her heart struggles of serving on the home front. Those struggles, laid out so profoundly in the books description such as fear, loneliness, anger and temptation, were a raw reality for me, as I just days before said my gut-wrenching good-byes to my husband.
Through out this book, in the midst of despair and heartache, Marshele shines the glimmer of hope by which she titles her book. This hope is what each of us, as military wives, long for. Marshele helped me to understand that being a military wife was a divine appointment, a calling from God. I wasn’t left alone to fend for myself and my family. God was and is, indeed, my firm anchor.
Marshele’s disciplined life, her faith in Christ, and the wisdom from relying on the scriptures inspire me to persevere through each separation and possible deployment in my future.
Hope For The Home Front: Winning The Emotional And Spiritual Battles Of A Military Wife by Marshele Carter Waddell is just one of the many insightful and encouraging books you will find at the Military Ministry Resource Center. www.militaryministry.org/
About The Author
Sherry Lightner is the spouse of an Army National Guard Warrant Officer. They have been married for 19 years and currently reside in Upstate NY. She and her husband have four children, ages 17, 15, 12 and 8. She enjoys camping, hiking and running with her husband, along side their two labs.