Justin Kyle Smith, my first son, born on April 4, 1989, gift from God above, one of my four most treasured jewels...is a United States Marine.
He has completed his intense training at the United States Marine Corp Recruit Training Depot on Parris Island, South Carolina. After leaving us on January 13th of this year he traveled down with other raw recruits and walked into those gates guarding the location of a place spoken of in hushed tones. He stepped onto those golden footprints representing the many that have gone before him, and proceeded to make the commitment to fight and defend this country's freedoms.
I have heard people comment, "I've heard of that place....wouldn't want to go there!!" It is known that they undertake the hardest recruit training in the United States. The fear of the unknown and the tasks that one will be called upon to face and conquer even made my son admit he was scared to death. But he was compelled to follow through on what he said was his calling from the Lord. He didn't have a choice was the way I interpreted that, and this mom was accepting of his desire to do what God was moving him to do. This is my greatest heart's desire for all of my children.
When a recruit enters those gates, they are cut off from everything they know, everything they have had, and every way they are accustomed to doing things.
No communications with friends or family, no joking, no talking unless spoken to, no slouching, no attitudes, no property you brought in with you, (not your watch, not your own glasses), not ANYTHING that was yours...even your "image" of yourself. They are stripped down to nothing, and then begin the long journey to be built back up in the mindset and permanent lifestyle of a US MARINE...and by the time they complete the Crucible, that is what has happened. Transformation.
We are beyond joyful and immensely proud of our son. Even if he had not accomplished or completed this journey on Parris Island, we would still be proud of him for who he is and what his commitment and diligence and discipline have modeled to us throughout his youth.
He is a United States Marine. It is his calling by the Spirit and grace of God. As long as Justin does everything with all his might to live for and honor and please His Lord, his first and ultimate calling.... he will meet success in everything he confronts, in God's will and God's plan for him. It was put in place before he was even born. He is just listening and following through. For this we are grateful, and support him with all our hearts, all our love, and all our prayers.
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." (Prov. 16:3)
God bless him. We give him his due honor today for what he has accomplished. We thank our God for walking through every step of the way with him.
A post today, that when read...will be graciously allowing this mom to announce and maybe crow a little, and cry a little about what has been achieved. On Wednesday, we will leave to go down and celebrate with Justin and hundreds of other successful recruits and their families a much anticipated graduation ceremony. WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HIM!!! Thanks to all the faithful prayer warriors who have prayed through Justin's journey with us. God Bless YOU!
CONGRATULATIONS JUSTIN! OOO-RAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!