To be brave? What does this mean? When deployed to Iraq I ate, slept, and breathed bravery. It was a shingle I hung my existence upon. I knew as a woman in a position of authority, if captured– I would likely not return home alive. I was prepared. I had a plan. I was ready to be brave and practiced it daily. Yet while I prepared for the enemy in a different uniform, I forgot about the enemy out of uniform. I was not ready for the depravity of mankind. Of my kind. In my uniform. For this, I had no preparations, no plan. I had no bravery.
I rallied for help. I rationalized with those who had lost their moral compass. Those who felt they were above the law–to no avail. Leadership was sought for help until it became clear they were part of the problem. Yet I was also part of leadership, and became ostracized for toeing the line. I was so alone, so demoralized, they almost won. I almost gave up my career.
As I reflect upon that challenging time, I realize the ground had not only endured wars of our time, but even from the days of Moses. It had a long history that did not include, or account for, me or my bravery. I was as significant as a grain of sand blowing in the searingly desiccating wind.
In hindsight I could have never predicted those events.
I had a plan for the enemy in another uniform, not mine.
I had a plan for terrorism of the flesh–but not of the heart, mind, and soul. Yet in hindsight I can see my weakness where the ground had seen more death and immorality than any of us could imagine. My weakness was forgetting who the real enemy is.
I am grateful that I stuck out that dark time in my life. I am grateful that I still believe mankind is inherently good by nature. As you literally struggle in a war-zone with war of the flesh, you forget we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness….
Today, being brave means something completely different to me. It means I still trust mankind, yet I know above all to always trust our True Father. Being brave means I have my eyes wide open and know the enemy of our souls can, and will be everywhere. In any uniform. Yet I will also take a chance and extend a hand to mankind, and be brave. For while the enemy lurks, a friend could also be right around the corner.
Kristy Walker has been drawn to the beauty of God’s palette in the mountains all her life and is excited to be settling near them in East TN. She recently celebrated 25 years of the rollercoaster of marriage holding the hand of her husband, her confidant, and best friend. She is honored to have served her country for 20 years and looks forward to the next chapter of life as it unfolds while she is led by her True Father.