For those of you who don't believe in miracles, don't read this post.
Samantha has cystic fibrosis. It's an ugly disease that someday will (without a cure) claim her life. You wouldn't know it if you saw her. If it weren't for the pills, the treatments, and the coughing, we wouldn't know it either. She doesn't act like someone who has a disease, but if we give it any leeway at all, it will remind us. I promise you.
When it came time to negotiate for orders after being on the USS ANTIETAM for over 4 years, I was excited to see what God would do for us. I knew that the Navy would want me to go to Dahlgren, Virginia, where I would teach class 'C'-School. This would be great for my career. If I don't make chief this year, then I would definitely have a head start on my peers for next year.
But there was a problem. Dahlgren was over 75 miles from the treatment center. And while Samantha seems healthy to everyone who doesn't know what cystic fibrosis is, she's not. She has a disease. Convincing my detailer of that proved difficult. I prayed hard for a particular set of orders that wouldn't take us to Dahlgren, and tried to convince my detailer to send me to the other location, but he wouldn't budge.
I felt betrayed, both by the Navy and, I'm embarrassed to say, by God. I resented having this disease and then believing in a God who didn't come through for me...and I told him so. I became pretty bitter for several weeks. I'm not fun as a bitter person.
God wasn't the only person I was unhappy with. The Navy didn't win over a fan either. I have served 14 years and this is what I get? I ask to be close to a treatment center for my daughter, something the Navy says it will guarantee, and then I'm told that I have to live 90 minutes from the location? Come on, man!
Then I found out from my future boss in Dahlgren that I might not even be able to teach. I might have to be in the maintenance division! The only reason I finally agreed to the orders in the first place was so I could teach! What a mess! I became even more frustrated and angry...