In my last post I spoke in the past tense about my active duty status and plans for the Marine Corps. Things have since changed…
It was right around Week 7 at camp (The Wilds Christian Camp in Brevard, NC) that I really started thinking about my future in Marines again (not second guessing my decision, just thinking of all the things/people I was leaving behind). In essence I felt like I was running away from it all. . . Some of my best friends are in Greenville and at the Wilds and I was going to be leaving them all behind (keeping in touch of course). So my mind began to wonder what it would be like if I had chosen to go straight to reserves so I could spend a little more time with my people (or something like that, haha) and finish up school quicker. It is really amazing to see God work and answer unprayed prayers. Exactly a week later my recruiter in Greenville, SC called me and basically this is what he said:
“Johnston, have we got a deal for you. I know since you came into my office you told me one of your long-term goals was to finish school at Bob Jones University. You also told me you wanted your ship date moved up and I know you love that camp you’re always at up there in North Carolina so here’s the deal: we have one reserve position that just opened up because a guy can no longer fill that spot. You are first on our list to call and so we want you to have first dibs. . .”
Whoa, whoa hold the phone. Say what? So I ask my recruiter a couple more questions and he said, “if you switch to reserves we can move your ship date to be sooner like you wanted.” I then asked how soon to which he responded, “Monday.” Ha! Yeah right. I have a contract to fulfill at camp so that wasn’t going to happen. I left that Saturday to go to the recruiter’s office in Greenville so I could ask further questions. That whole deal lasted two hours but I got a lot of answers but was not totally convinced if it was what I should do (stay active duty or go reserve). Some of you might remember me asking for prayer during that time. I was given a date to let them know my final decision and so that was a big decision to make. Either way I went would impact my future majorly. As much as I tried not to, I think (from what one of my supervisors said at camp) the new decision was affecting my work in the kitchen. I thank God for putting me in the kitchen though because of the discipleship there and the great time in the morning where I could work by myself and pray. This was where I seeked the Lord the most in my decision making because there wasn’t really another time during the day. In my Bible reading I came across Psalm 86:11 which says, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name.” I really clung on to this verse and meditated on it while praying for wisdom that only comes from God. In James 1:5 God promises us wisdom to those who ask, which gave me confidence in my prayers. But how can I trust God? So simple… He saved me. But James says even more in 3:17, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Now that’s the kind of wisdom that I want.
I went to one of the most gorgeous waterfalls at the Wilds (3rd Falls) and had a great chat with a man I really look up to, Mac Lynch. We reflected on the summer and summers passed and it really made me realize the sovereignty of God in making me a cook this summer (That’s a long story but if you are actually interested ask me about it and maybe I’ll tell you sometime ;)).
The greatest advice Mac gave me at the Falls was this, “When you make a decision, choose the option that will help you grow the most in your relationship with God.” Mac has such great advice and that really stuck out to me. If I were to go Active Duty Marines I am not sure how much more I would grow than being able to spend another summer at camp and finishing up at Bob Jones to learn even more about my God before heading into the real world. Then it hit me. Maybe reserves is where I need to be but I wasn’t ready to say I was 100% going reserves. I was walking with a prayer camper of mine (I have a counselor prayer partner at camp and I am responsible to pray for the campers in his cabin) back to his cabin and our conversation eventually led to where I was fully convinced God wanted me to go reserves. So the following day I told my recruiter the news so that way I could take the steps necessary.
So the weekend after camp ended (August 21-22) I went back to MEPS again in order to sign my new papers and swear in again. Long story short. . . I went to the hotel Sunday afternoon and sat around the hotel. Woke up at 4am Monday morning and went to MEPS to get my height and weight checked at about 5:30am. I didn’t swear in until 4:30pm. So I sat around the whole day watching movies in the lobby attempting not to fall alseep. Lets just say that MEPS isn’t the most exciting place ever. So as of 4:30pm August 22 I am now a USMC Reservist. Now my ship date October 24.
So in review: I am now a USMC Reservist and I am going to be shipping to MCRD Parris Island, SC on October 24, 2011. Until then I will be living somewhere in Greenville and working. There are a few required dates for me to do Marine stuff so living in Greenville is just the best place to be as far as convenience goes. That is the deal and most likely I’m forgetting a detail you all want to know. So please leave me some feedback, ask some questions, let me know what you want to know. To God be the glory.