Ladies – Meet Libby!
Libby is one of those people that actually lights up the room when she walk in. She is pure joy and one of the most genuine humans I’ve ever met.
Libby and I met in high school at the church her and Ryan went to, but didn’t actually hang out until I got engaged to Ryan in college. Ryan and Libby were close friends and over the next few years after that I sort of took her from Ryan and claimed her as my own. Now that we’re both living in Dallas I just really can’t get enough of her (like really I prayed for months that they’d move here).
Libby is obviously stunning, kind, and a true breath of fresh air, but what you might not expect is that she has of the most interesting, challenging, and incredible stories. I’m BEYOND thrilled that she’s agreed to share it with us today! Take it away, Libs!
Hiya, I’m Libby.
When Caitlin asked me to contribute to the month of Joy, I immediately said yes! I love JOY. I love to have joy, I love to see joy in people’s eyes and their hearts and I try to live life in as much Joy as I possibly can! I have always been a happy person, I have always seen the positive in every situation just because I was taught to be that way and always see the positive in a negative situation.
Let me give you some background on this beautiful thing called life that God has blessed me with. I met the most handsome boy I had ever seen when I was 17. Brandon was 18 and beginning his process of joining the military; never in a million years did I EVER think I would get involved with a military boy, but God obviously had other plans for me. I moved three hours away to college the same week Brandon left for boot camp. Y’ALL, long-distance without a phone, only letters, is the most testing thing I had ever had to go through in my short 18 years, until Brandon got his orders and the next three years were going to be the hardest struggle I may ever go through.
On January 14, 2013, I received a phone call from Brandon telling me he was coming home for 1 week and then would be shipped out to Japan for 3 and a half years patrolling the Asian waters. Let that sink in… 3 and a half years alone in Japan. Never had so many tears fallen from my face than that day. Thinking military life, you always see the service member being stationed across the country and the spouse moving with him or her and starting a family and living in such a good community. Yeah, right… Dreams crushed. We got engaged two days before he left for Japan and the long-distance relationship (6,467 miles to be exact) began.
I was very angry with the military for moving Brandon across the world. Didn’t the military know how much I loved Brandon? Didn’t they know how family-oriented he was? AND WHAT ABOUT HIS SAFETY?! HA the military did not care one bit, Brandon signed up for this. He was my best friend who moved away and I quickly fell into a depression. I only had two friends at college and I never needed Momma Libs (my sweet momma) more than when Brandon was gone. I don’t know about you, but my mom brings so much joy to my life, and the closest thing I had to Brandon was his mom, SO I moved back home.
In a time that I felt completely alone I knew I had sweet Jesus standing right next to me rooting me on and I had never submerged myself more in the Word, before then. I found so many verses that encouraged me every single day. I had to remember that THE ALMIGHTY was in control!
“Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
I also started reading books about how to pray for Brandon, how to be independent love yourself and I felt so much weight lifted, so much anxiety relieved and I found JOY!! Best feeling ever!! I was so happy. Every time I received an email during deployments, it reminded me he was safe, not that he was gone. Everything that had once seemed so negative to me became positive. Valentine’s day without my Valentine was once “another holiday without Brandon” but it then became “one less holiday without Brandon” and I learned to celebrate those who did have their loved ones on the holidays because they had joy and that brought joy to me!
As time continued, the three and a half years was shrinking, slowly but surely it was shrinking. I saw Brandon every 9 months which were some of the most memorable moments with Brandon. We prayed long and hard about when to get married and decided to get married the summer of 2014. We received major confirmation from God that we should get married while Brandon was in the service and that made it all that much harder once we were married. That meant every time Brandon would come home on leave we would be staying together and growing SO MUCH MORE!! Every goodbye got harder, it NEVER got easier! HOWEVER, God showed me in so many ways how He was preparing us for the real life, post-military.
Through those 3 years, I learned how to live on my own, I learned to love myself, and I learned to find JOY in GOD!! I learned that I couldn’t produce my own joy in the most struggling situation, I have to rely on God to get me through the hard times and find JOY IN HIM!
Brandon has separated from the Navy and we are living a civilian life full of LOVE and JOY! We have encountered some hard times even post-military but we’ve learned together how to find joy in sticky situations. He has a job in downtown Dallas, we have moved to Dallas and I graduate in May.
GOD IS SO GOOD!
Ladies, remember this…
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.”