We had been married a few months. My husband and I were enjoying some one-on-one time, which was a rare occurrence due to his occupation with the U.S. Army Infantry.
I was lying on the couch and he was rubbing my feet. Ahhh, total bliss. My sweet man looked at me and said softly, “Hey lover…”
My heart filled with anticipation, preparing for the romantic words that I knew would follow.
“You have great ruck marching feet.”
Um… Thank you? Sigh. This is our personal love story.
For all of you non-military couples out there, let me explain. A ruck march is a real-life training exercise where these soldiers fill a pack (aka their ruck) with all of their gear and march. It is equivalent to literally taking a packed-to-the-brim suitcase, weighing anywhere from 38 to 50+ pounds, strapping it on your back and walking for two to twelve (or more) miles. On purpose. Sometimes just for fun.
I couldn’t even be upset at my drill sergeant husband’s ruck marching feet comment. From his perspective, it really was a compliment. When it comes to our love story, I am thankful for my ruck marching feet.
Why, you ask?
Marriage is like a ruck march, whether or not you are in the military. It’s a challenge. There are ups, downs, sweat, tears, and moments that you want to quit. But on the flip side, there are seasons of amazing joy upon reaching a checkpoint or conquering that “hill” that you have been climbing together. It’s a workout—but when you reach your destination, it’s SO worth it.
In our ruck march military marriage, desertion is not an option. Sure, there have been a few occurrences when my husband has had to take my hand and pull me through a desert. Other times, I have had to remind my beloved to stop and check the map. (And we all know how much guys love asking for directions…)
We’ve been through deployments, separated by months of training, dealt with incredibly long hours, and moved to a new time zone. Our entire relationship has been one big ruck march. People ask, “How do you do it?” I really don’t have an answer for that other than God. He is the foundation of our relationship. God is OUR Commander-in-Chief in this ruck march marriage.
We have yet to spend a Valentine’s Day together. This year my beloved will be at Ranger school. But I’m ok with that. We love each other consistently, treasure each other’s company, go on dates and feel inexplicable joy all year long, not just on anniversaries and holidays. We are crazy about each other and madly in love with God. He will be the one to help us reach our final destination in this ruck march marriage. Till death do we part. And until that point, we will keep on marching. “Left… left… left, right, left…”
A personal pep-talker and Jesus lover at heart, Sharita Knobloch is a chocolate-indulging, pseudo-running, creatively-sarcastic army wife and writer. She is SERVE intern at Christ Community Church and enjoys every second of it. Sharita blogs daily and hosts a personal ministry called 7Days Time which encourages others to use their time on earth living for God. Whenever she gets the chance, she enjoys hanging out with her beloved drill sergeant husband and their hilarious puppy, Sweet Justus.
Connect with Sharita online on Facebook, Twitter or her blog.