Two seasoned military spouses are leaning into their faith – and writing skills – to support the military community.
“Many times, you’ll pick up a Christian book that has good intentions, and some of the teaching can be profound, but contextually, it’s designed for a woman in suburbia with a white picket fence, a dog, two-and-a-half children and a beautiful SUV with no financial troubles,” said Megan Brown, an author and military spouse. “Those books don’t always speak to what our life looks like and definitely not what our life feels like.”
But Brown’s book, “Know What You Signed Up For: How to Follow Jesus, Love People, and Live on Mission as a Military Spouse” is one of two new faith-based books intended to help others navigate the kitchen sink of military life.
The other resource, “Never Alone: Ruth, the Modern Military Spouse, and the God Who Goes With Us,” is penned by Coast Guard spouse Jessica Manfre. Both are mothers, Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year recipients and have each been married for more than 15 years.
“Never Alone” uses the biblical story of Ruth to explore the experiences of military spouses and how faith in God can provide comfort and support during trying times.
Building on the parallels of Ruth, “Know What You Signed Up For” addresses challenges military spouses might face, provides faith-based insights and encourages strengthening one’s relationship with God. Brown said her book is “a field guide for military spouses that are looking for the Christian perspective on the military experience.”
Brown – founder and executive director of MilSpo Co, Christian author, and a military missionary – met Manfre, a licensed social worker and co-founder of the nonprofit Inspire Up Foundation in 2019.
“We are unique in the way that we approach things,” Brown said. “We share raw stories from our own experiences, pulling in our knowledge and talking about how faith plays into that.”
Faith, theory and practice, bolster Manfre’s message to military spouses who might feel alone.
“As a licensed clinician, spirituality is at the forefront of any intake that we do,” Manfre said. “It’s a cornerstone medically, and we scientifically recognize the importance of faith, so what better way to speak to our military community than by crafting these tools?
“I’ve seen what loneliness can do and how it can impact the mind and body rather harshly. All of us have been there at one time or another. We’re seasoned spouses, and we feel like it’s our responsibility to make things just a little bit easier for the new generation [of military spouses]”.
To create these tools, Brown mentored Manfre along her authorship journey.
“I always thought about writing a book about my own experiences, but how do you harness all of that and put it together in a book?” Manfre said.
With Brown’s guidance, the process was relatively straightforward.
“I look at mentorship and guiding others as a lifestyle,” Brown said.
Leveraging almost a decade’s worth of writing, publishing industry experience and relationships, Brown elevated Manfre’s idea for “Never Alone” through a traditional publishing route.
Brown’s first book, “Summoned: Answering a Call to the Impossible,” also released through Moody Publishers in 2021. She said when she approached Moody Publishers with the concept of military community books, the project was well received.
Military spouses are constantly facing the hardships of the active-duty lifestyle, moving from place to place, uprooting and looking for steadiness in a landscape of change. Often, they search for answers to hard questions, Brown said, and Moody Publishers Military is dedicated to equipping military spouses who are committed to this work by creating resources that build their courage, refocus their faith and inspire them to push forward into whatever God calls them to next.
“Most people give up, but if you truly believe in your message, it is an army crawl to the finish line,” Brown said.