Military Mama and Bible Study Leader—Val

Military Mama and Bible Study Leader—Val

Val's Story...

3Talking Bees is honoring National Military Family Month and National Bible Week by highlighting military mama and Bible study leader- Val! Little did I know 2 years ago when joining this Bible study group the impact and inspiration that Val would have on me. I am so grateful for her guidance, her knowledge, and her friendship and excited to share a piece of her story with you!

12 years ago, Val’s son Jeremy was in the process of searching for colleges. They made lists, weighed options, and went on school visits. His laundry list of extracurriculars didn’t offer any sort of prediction into his future career as he was in the Navy ROTC, various clubs, and was a multi-sport athlete. He was capable of anything. And by anything, I mean he met with a Marine Recruiter, decided he wanted to pursue basic training, and was being trained by a recruiter while discussions of colleges were ongoing (Val thought the recruiter was a friend to be fair). The man knows how to multi-task!

Not once did it occur to Val that Jeremy would want to go into the military, especially not right after graduation. She was heartbroken when Jeremy shared his plans for the future. He’d always been fascinated with the Marines, but every kid is, right? The military is cool and badass! And sure, his dad was in the Navy but being in the military isn’t a genetic trait. There were a flurry of questions and concerns running through Val’s mind at this time, but she had to put her emotions aside; Jeremy’s mind was made up and his purpose was soon to be fulfilled. Her decision to provide unwavering support, encouragement, and tell him “I am so proud of you” set him up for success during his no-contact, 13-week bootcamp. Her weekly letters and daily prayers were a staple. She was a praying mama before Jeremy became a Marine and is even more so now!

Bootcamp was really tough regardless of Jeremy’s physical, mental, or emotional strength. He knew there was an end, and he knew he had to push to get there. Spoiler alert- he made it through and has now been in the Marines for 12 years. It’s the best decision he’s ever made. Val trusts that this is the path God called Jeremy to. Her faith has guided her and supported her throughout Jeremy’s experience with the military. She’s leaned into the message version of Philippians 4:13 more than a few times: Whatever I have, whatever I am, I can make it through anything with the one who makes me who I am. With faith being such a foundational piece of Val’s life and Jeremy’s military experience in particular, we asked her how someone should get involved with it and the Bible and God.

Whatever you are dealing with whether it’s anxiety, depression, being single or having trouble in your relationship, Val recommends downloading the YouVersion* app to begin your journey with the Bible. They have tailored plans that serve as a personalized Bible study. You can also use handy dandy Google to ask for scripture related to whatever you’re going through. And we all know, life never quits. It continues to throw things at you- good and bad. For each season, we can turn to the Bible and find something to hang onto.

Once you’ve become more acclimated, Val suggests starting to read the Gospel. Why? Because the Gospel is a map to your life. You’ll find comfort in reading His word as you’ll realize that you are not the only one going through these situations and feelings. People 2,000 years ago were having marital issues too! And while reading is wonderful, praying is powerful. Praying is what got Val through Jeremy’s 13-week bootcamp and it’s what will get her through the next 3 years of his deployment in Japan. Val encourages having conversations with God, not just the formal “Dear God” messages. Tell him about your day or ask him questions- he is always there for you.

Val’s 3 pieces of advice for getting started with your faith are to be consistent with spending time with God, journal about whatever verse or story resonated with you, and have a person to hold you accountable in your efforts. Rely on yourself first then find another person you can rely on to discuss the Bible and ask questions about scripture. Remember that you do not have to be a perfect person to have a relationship with God and that just you have to start somewhere.

Thank you so much, Val, for allowing us into your life and your faith!

 

*YouVersion for your phone and tablet or read the bible online.