Whose Iron Can you Sharpen
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Just over 5 years ago I climbed into the back of a suburban and hit the town with a bunch of women I barely knew and just over 5 years ago my life changed forever.
In 2014 we moved from Vermont to Kansas. Bri (my husband) was accepted into Career Course (Major Training School) early and it was a huge deal for our family. With just a few weeks notice our lives were uprooted and moved in a direction we didn’t see coming.
I was excited for him and this growth as he worked hard and deserved it, but truthfully I was upset.
You see we were supposed to be moving to Fort Campbell outside of Nashville. I was going to go back to school to become a nurse because the hours would work well with our littles and I wanted to make a difference in peoples lives. I had the area we were going to move to, the schools we were going to check out, the college I would apply to—ALL LINED UP. Our movers were scheduled and we were pumped.
Then just like that he got a call. Weeks out from our move date he came home and asked me what I thought about moving to Kansas instead? I laughed thinking he was kidding then with the silence came the “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HECK?” moment. Bri then proceeded to hand me a black and white flyer with a picture of a fire escape on it and said, “See? Doesn’t that look cool?” Ummm I’m sorry see what? The fire escape…
“No, that’s the apartment we’ll be living in. It’s an old brick building. I know you like old houses...”
My heart sank. Everything I planned, everything I thought I wanted, gone. Just like that. My dreams of no longer being stuck as a SAHM were over.
I don’t know why I was so shocked. This is the Army way. Hurry up and wait to find out where you’re going then don’t get too attached because it could all change at the last minute…
That was our life together and had been for the last 5 years.
Truthfully that’s everyone’s lives in the military and it’s one reason we “get it” like no other.
After accepting our fate, making the move and settling in I met some incredible women. The kind of women that are a once in a lifetime friendship and you just know it. The kind that welcome you, harass you to join every event and don’t take no for an answer.
We connected & became friends as quickly as possible because let’s be real, you never knew when you were going to be PCSing to somewhere else so time was extremely important.
As I walked down the street that night between the two rows of gorgeously outdated brick buildings toward the suburban for our girls night out, I laughed. I didn’t know these women well (yet) but I was so excited to spend time with them. I had no idea where we were going or what we were doing I just knew I wanted to join and they wouldn’t let me out of it if I tried.
“Dinner then a women’s night out” they said… Sure I said… Next thing I knew we had wrapped up dinner and headed to the next part of our night out. We pulled into a church and I was shocked.
My internal dialogue took off. “A church? What is happening? Oh no. What did I commit to? I don’t know anything about church. I don’t know anything about the Bible. This is going to be embarrassing. Jac, you’re smarter than this! You don’t need friends this badly. This is going to be a LONGGGG night. You have nothing in common with them. Why wouldn’t you ask more questions…”
My stomach was in knots as we all got out of the suburban and walked into the church. I laughed nervously as we entered and to my surprise the entrance and welcome area was loaded with gorgeous displays of food, backdrops for pictures to be taken in front of, a freaking chocolate fondue fountain. Chocolate fondue!? “What is actually happening?! Where the heck am I?!”As I turned to my one friend I told her I had no idea what I had gotten myself into but I couldn’t be upset with all the amazing food. We both laughed.
After we finished mingling we entered through the doors into a room that looked like a concert hall.
We took our seats but didn’t sit down. We stood as everyone entered and within the first few minutes lights were shining, music was playing and my heart was exploding.
On the stage in front of us was LIVE MUSIC. LIVE FREAKING MUSIC. One of my all time favorite things ever that I didn’t get to go see anymore because duh…#momlife.
As the band played I felt my whole body moving. Jumping up and down, hands waiving in the air, chills covering my body from excitement. It was the first time in a very long time I’d felt free. Really, truly free.
I remember turning to my girlfriend, yelling over the music and saying, “This is awesome! And I added some additional words which aren't normally allowed in church. I immediately reacted with remorse. Yet, I’ll never forget her exact words as she held my arm.
“Jac, He loves you just as you are.”
As I write this my eyes well up in tears just as they did that night. Wow. As I am? Just me? It’s okay to just be me? After hours of laugher, singing and dancing I headed home on fire. I talked Bri’s ear off for hours (not out of the norm) about how incredible this place was and I begged Bri to visit that church with me on Sunday. I needed to hear that music again, I wanted to feel that freedom, it wasn’t optional, it was a basic need. Something deep down that I couldn’t explain called me there.
Bri easily agreed after hearing my excitement and Sunday we headed to church.
As we walked into church I didn’t feel lost or overwhelmed like I normally had visiting churches and trying to figure out the in’s and out’s and where I belonged.
My friends greeted us at the door and helped us get our kids situated. We then grabbed coffee’s and went through the same doors I’d gone through just a few days before.
I’ll never forget the lyrics of the song playing as we entered.
Come out of sadness
From wherever you've been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal
So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You're not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
There's hope for the hopeless
And all those who've strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There's rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't cure
COME AS YOU ARE. Me? All of me? Come as I am. You’ll take care of the rest. Okay. Fine. Let’s try it. It can’t be worse than it already is...
That day will forever be the day I let my wall down and my life changed forever. No more hiding. No more one foot in and one foot out. I’m all in.
I am eternally grateful for the women that took the time to sharpen iron. That listened to the scripture and took in someone who looked, acted and felt extremely different from them.
For listening to what God called them to do and for being disciples. Don’t ever underestimate his calling for you, his need for you to speak up and the urgent message he entrusted to us.
Jac Kalaher - CTC Influencer
Jac is daughter to the High King, wife to Bri, mom of 4 boys and the Mind Body Soldier Founder.
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