My Adventure in the US Navy and the world

Everything happens for a reason? Why I believe God exists.

“Wow” moments in life….. Finding love is the only thing that matters, and how the US Navy brought me to see this.

USS Shoup, DDG-86, US Navy, sexual assault, military sexual trauma, I have to talk about God today.  Not to proselytize, or sell anyone a bill of goods, nor shove God down anyone’s throat, but to sincerely speak of a God I’ve realized exists; and that He is really here, and has been here all my life.

There are too many coincidences scattered in life that all line up looking backwards to be just “coincidences” when I lay them all out and connect them.  Random things; like how I ended up in the Navy, how I was picked for my ship; as well as the notorious day I checked onto my ship, on April fool’s day of all days.  Then there was how close I was to my husband in San Diego, at one point at the waterline of his ship in a kayak; he would later tell me he distinctly remembers hearing the alarm for a small craft in the water, which was me and my buddy paddling around like dumb-asses.

And then there’s the fact that we left San Diego within weeks of each other to end up at the same base outside Seattle, WA.  That’s a huge outstanding notation I see now; my husband was stationed on a smaller ship right next to mine when I reported the sexual assaults and let everything go a year later.  He knows firsthand what a tangled mess it was; and when we finally met years later he would set me free because he knew the objective truth, which wasn’t the bullshit the Command wanted everyone to believe when they blackened my name trying to pull a fast rug over everything to hide what they were doing.

In 2004 I was out of the Navy, and back in Missouri where my family was; and there was my husband, coming to Missouri to attend a school at the Army base just south of where I live.  Wow.  To realize we walked or drove by each other many times and had no idea is a crazy thing to think of.  We chased each other up and down the coast and across the country and had no clue!

But it’s apparent there is a higher power and He simply allowed many things to happen so I could learn what I needed to learn in order to be right here, right now; full of compassion and humility, and knowing that the human heart is capable of causing so many pain and ugliness, but also just as capable of withstanding a whole lot of it and coming out stronger, with a resolve to do the right thing and promote it.

In spite of all the darkness and ugliness in my life I see the road I took through it has brought me to now; to walk beside my husband, who has helped facilitate most of my healing.  I would never have met him had it not been for the US Navy, for Damage Control, and in a way I am grateful.  I wouldn’t wish my ordeals on anyone, but I wouldn’t wish them away if they changed how things have turned out, either.

I am thankful for having something to believe in that is real; and that God and my loved ones never gave up on me, even when I was at my most miserable points.

That’s the greatest gift I fully realize I have been given.

I pray for everyone who reads these words, who might be at that point of giving up, wondering what more is there to life?  How to go on when it seems hopeless?  When you’ve seen so much crap, and you’ve been through so much, and you reach the point where you are tired of it playing endlessly in your mind and you just want it to end, even if that means something permanent and very final.  I’ve been there too many times, standing on the edge of that cliff, wanting to jump.  And at the last minute the hand grabbed me, and kept me from falling over.

Please don’t give up.  I am living proof there is a God and that He is here with us, within us.  We don’t even have to consciously believe; all we have to do is have one small ember, give it to Him and simply ask Him to take that teeny ember and blow on it and set us back on fire with the love we need to go on.

Because that’s what kept me here, alive; love.  I realize that all that I’ve been through was to show me the truth; all that matters is love.  That’s the biggest “wow” moment in my entire life.  Realizing it’s not how much stuff you collect, or money you have; it’s how strong you truly love everyone, including the folks who have hurt you the most.

Forgiveness, healing, and love all go hand in hand.

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