“His sacrifice has given me the title of being a Gold Star wife. Even through it was never a title I wanted, I could not be prouder of Mike and what he has done.”Krista Simpson Anderson, Gold Star Spouse
This year, Gold Star Spouse’s Day is on Sunday, April 5th. The Gold Star has a history that can be traced all the way back to World War One. Service flags, decorated with blue stars, indicated that the family had members serving in the armed forces. If the service member paid the ultimate sacrifice, the blue star would be replaced with a gold star.
Now, Gold Star Spouses Day is a time to recognize the spouses who have lost a loved one.
This year, Gold Star Spouses day also falls on Palm Sunday. For Christians, Palm Sunday is a time that we celebrate Jesus’s entry intro Jerusalem and it marks the beginning of Holy Week- the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
During this season of COVID-19 closures and self-quarantines, connecting and giving back is slightly more challenging this year. Not to mention that those who are believers in the Gold Star community are unable to spend this year’s day of remembrance with their families of faith or in their home churches.
For those of us who know a Gold Star Spouse, this Sunday is an amazing opportunity to remind them of how welcomed they are and how much we want to hear the stories again. These meaningful moments, where we invite these gold star spouses to breathe life into their spouse’s memory for us, are sacred.
I met Krista Simpson Anderson nearly a year ago in Washington D.C. We were both attending the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Town Hall. I got to hear her story, and her heart to serve others. When she entered the room, it seemed as if everyone who knew her would light up with joy. Her voice was warm and welcoming. She greeted me, and after we got to know each other, she began fondly talking about Mike -her husband who was killed in action in 2013.
I have heard the story, multiple times. And each time, I can hardly breathe. Not because of the sadness that comes from realizing the depths of pain that Krista carries- or the grief that lies just beneath the surface, but because of the legacy of lovingkindness that Mike has left in Krista. With joy, pride, and compassion, Krista is committed for the world to remember his name, his sacrifice, and witness his legacy- a life as a dedicated husband, beloved father, and proud patriot.
And, I am too.
Recently, Krista gave me a memorial bracelet with Michael’s name embossed on the front. On the inside, a cross is engraved with the words of John:15:13. “No one has greater love than this: To lay down his life for his friends.” It never leaves my wrist. I never had the blessing of knowing Mike in person, but I see him in the lives of those he left behind. Krista is a living memorial and a well spring of grace.
This Sunday, we honor her, and all of those like her- who have learned to live after sacrifice and sorrow.
On this Gold Star Spouse’s Day, because we can’t volunteer, be together, or share an embrace, I am going to light a candle and spend a moment in reflection of all of our country’s heroes and the men and women that support them. I’ll say a prayer for Krista, asking God to give her comfort and to remind her that there will be one glorious reunion in Heaven.
Find a way to share and show support. If you know a Gold Star Spouse, make a phone call or send a note of encouragement. If not, reflect upon their sacrifice and harbor a grateful heart.
If you are yourself a Gold Star Spouse, you are seen, wanted, and so cared for. We are truly grateful.
Megan Brown is a seasoned military spouse and military missionary. She is the Military Liaison for the Speak Up Conference Global Missions Military Scholarship and the 2019-Armed Forces Insurance Robins AFB Military Spouse of the Year. She is passionate about military mission work and teaching and preaching about Jesus in and out of the local church. Her Bible study, “Esther: Come Out of Hiding,” published by Moody Publishers in Chicago, will release in April 2021. She lives in middle Georgia with her husband, Keith, and their energetic kiddos. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and freelance writer. To learn more or connect with Megan, visit www.meganbbrown.com.