My name is Kasey Pockell, and I am a military wife, a working mother of 6-year-old twins and a daughter of our Lord and Savior. Although most days are incredibly full, I am thankful for the job I have to help provide for my family, a family to love and a husband to support through the journey that has been so graciously laid out for me. I didn’t grow up in the church and can only remember two times as a child ever going to church. Neither was under good circumstances. By the time I became an adult, it seemed I was far too behind to ever “catch up” to be a Christian. But God had such big plans for me. He created this amazing man that would steal my heart and help me to find my way home. I met my husband a few months before he was leaving for boot camp, so we both knew our friendship was a temporary one. God had a different plan. Brandon did leave nine months later, but what I was not prepared for was his taking my heart along with him.
I don’t know that anyone can prepare for a long distance relationship. All I can say is that for Brandon and me, some of our best communication over the years has been via email and letters. It is hard to describe the excitement of opening up the mailbox to a handwritten letter from the one you love and long for. I credit much of our ability to face challenging situations and come together to the many months we had to find a way to connect with very limited resources. When Brandon received his first set of orders for San Diego I knew that in order to be together I would need to relocate. And thus began our journey. The next four years would push us far beyond our limits and test us as individuals and as a couple. We went through two deployments, which, if I am truly honest, nearly broke me. I did not know the Lord, and I remember living in fear and suffering with such anxiety it was hard to breathe some days. My husband would email me seemingly so calm and would say, “Have faith, Babe. It’s all going to be okay.” I wanted to jump through the computer and strangle him … Have faith? What did that even mean? And why aren’t you as worried about everything as I am? Oh those were some days of struggle! By the end of the second deployment I was ready for Brandon to be home and to finally start a family of our own. His four-year contract was complete and, just like that, without a plan or a clue as to what was to come, he was officially a reservist. In less than a month we were pregnant. So with our lack of planning career-wise and then the amazing news that we were having not one baby, but twins, the Lord knew we needed to be brought back home to our roots, ultimately to find Him.
One chilly April morning we walked into a hospital in Spokane as a couple, and three days later left as a family of four. That was my moment. Seeing my beautiful and healthy little babies was the defining moment when I knew there was something, Someone much bigger than this world, or me and I wanted to know Him. Finally, the fear of not knowing anything about religion or what it even meant to be a Christian left me. I wanted and needed to know more, if not for me then for these little lives that were truly so precious. I could not imagine not thanking the Lord for this miracle. I was finally ready to put pride aside, and I began to ask my husband questions. He was raised in a Christian home and was very patient with all my curiosities. He was very gracious and excited to go down this path with me. He went on a mission trip that would prove to be another pivotal moment. It pushed our faith to a whole new level. I returned to that same mission a year later and saw the building he and his team had begun and how far things had progressed in a year’s time. Shortly after he returned from his trip, we were both baptized. He was baptized first, and then he baptized me, no one I would have rather been on this journey with. His ability to encourage me and show me grace in my moments of insecurity helped me to continue seeking the Lord each day.
When we were blessed to receive active duty orders back to San Diego in 2013, I knew this was the second chance for which we had been praying for four years. We were here about five or six weeks when Brandon deployed with his current ship. Oh what a different experience this nine-month deployment would be from the first two we had previously walked through! We soon discovered a church that felt like home, and instead of worrying 99% of the time, I prayed. I am thankful for the time of reflection and growth that this deployment brought. I learned to lean on the Lord in ways I had never experienced before, and for that I am grateful. As we prepare for another nine months apart, I reflect on where we have been and how far the Lord has brought us. I know that the time apart will not be without struggle, but “these trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” 1 Peter 1:7 NLT.
When people say, “I don’t know how you do it. I could never be a military wife,” I find myself struggling to explain that it is truly the most rewarding and honorable thing to stand by someone who stands to protect our freedom every day. I live a blessed life, and I know the sacrifice that was given in order for me to live it. I praise God every day for the courage to grow in Him and the strength to raise my children to know Him and love him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello, I am Kasey (with a ‘K’) Pockell, originally from Spokane Washington. I currently enjoy the art of juggling working full-time, raising 6-year-old twins and all the activities that go along with them. My husband and I recently bought a home in San Marcos, which has ignited the designer in me. Thank you Jesus for such passion. We are getting prepared for our fourth deployment, which is fast approaching early next year. We look forward to connecting more with our church family and community.