by Alyssa Walcott

January 24, 2015 - my wedding day. The day most girls dream about since they are little, and imagine to be “the best day of their lives.”

Only for me, I did not have that fairytale experience that I grew up seeing in Disney movies. My wedding day was filled with so many emotions, and I never anticipated feeling so much sadness on my special day. To be clear, I had absolute joy and 100% certainty that I was to marry my husband, nothing sad about that. However, it was also the day I had to say goodbye to all of my family and closest friends. The next day we were off to our honeymoon in Costa Rica, and then immediately from there we were headed to my new home: Rota, Spain.

I grew up absolutely clueless about military lifestyle. I was born in Michigan and lived within twenty minutes of almost all of my relatives and friends. I even went to a college that was only twenty minutes away, and was able to bring my laundry home and eat good meals on the weekends with family. With the exception of moving to Texas for two years, I was always around my loved ones, and even then I had free flights and could visit Michigan as often as I desired. I never missed a holiday, wedding, or funeral. I was there for it all.

Getting married and moving over 4,000 miles away from “home” was hard, but it has given me an idea of what it’s like to be part of a military family. I’ve had my eyes opened up to this community where it’s normal for families to be away from their loved ones. I didn’t realize there were so many people that found the question “where are you from?” so irritating. A group of people where it’s normal to only see family members once every year, if even that.

Although it’s really hard being away from loved ones at times, it has been a blessing to serve in this ministry. These students need people who are going to be constant in their lives while they live in a foreign country, and I’m happy to be here for them. I’ve been here a year now, and have had to miss the birth of a nephew, one of my best friend’s weddings, birthdays, and holidays. But it is worth it having the opportunity to share the love of Christ with military teens every day.

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