“I’m a mom to two awesome and resilient boys [and] wife to a hard-working and loving man. I am licensed in two states as a Professional Counselor and my favorite thing is watching a couple go from bickering to ‘ah-ha moments’ of connection and intimacy. I love lifting weights in the gym, runs that clear my mind, and seeing others succeed at their calling. My husband calls me an ultra-optimist as I always look for the good side of any situation. I just can’t live in a world without hope, so I love to point people to it.”
After hearing this wonderful introduction, who wouldn’t want to meet the wonderful woman behind its description? Wife, mother, counselor, writer, and 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®, Corie Weathers, has experienced and accomplished so much in her life so far, but she is far from being done with her any of her aforementioned roles. Those who do not personally know Weathers may receive an introduction to her life through her recent memoir, Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage. Her memoir not only focuses on her week-long deployment to gain a better understanding of her husband’s deployment experience, but also on strengthening marriages both inside and outside of military families.
“It is written from a military marriage perspective because Matt and I faced unique challenges of being apart and trying to keep our marriage connected despite the introduction of difficulty in our life,” Weathers said. “Ultimately, Sacred Spaces is about marriage. Every marriage, military or not, will face difficulty at some point and too many are giving up. The key to marriage, and the message of Sacred Spaces, is that no one is perfect and our spouse isn’t either. Every marriage must include forgiveness, humility, sacrifice, and grace to tackle the messiness of life – and we get to have a spouse walk through it all with us. I believe any reader will see themselves in my story and, at the same time, have a new appreciation for military marriages.”
Weathers said that writing her memoir was both a healing and heartbreaking journey. To go through the emails they sent back and forth during her husband’s first deployment was difficult, but rereading her husband’s words gave her a new perspective of him. “There was so much that I had not noticed before, probably because my kids were so young at the time and I was in survival mode myself,” Weathers said. “There were so many details I was picking up during the actual journey. Yet when I sat down to truly write and reflect on it, there were so many huge revelations. There was no way for me to walk away unchanged.”
Sacred Spaces was written within three weeks and, though there were many stories and so much information she was able to include in her memoir, it is clear that many other stories were unable to make it in the final draft due to time and editing. “Like the times I felt incredibly insecure traveling with prestigious press and the Secretary of Defense Staff. Not to mention the car crash we had with the motorcade. More than that, there were a few stories of our deployment that didn’t make it because they were too sacred to share,” Weathers said. “I worked hard to protect names of those we share sacred moments with because they were their sacred spaces, as well. Ultimately, the book needed to stay focused on what the reader would relate to and apply to their life. So, with that vision, I was able to let go and save some stories for those I would later talk to.”
“I tried to be incredibly vulnerable throughout the book, but I was shocked at how much I didn’t know about world events and even other branches. I tried to use my ignorance as grist for the mill, knowing that the average American can’t possibly understand it all either. I was so afraid of getting lost during our daily trips, I stuck by the SECDEF staff as best as I could. These VIP trips are fast-paced and I kept picturing them leaving me behind in some country if I lagged behind somewhere. The press I was with told stories of that happening to their colleagues. Because I stayed close to the staff, I often found myself too close to a meeting or event that I wasn’t supposed to be a part of and security would have to walk me back. Watching the behind-the-scenes planning and execution of a VIP trip like this was very impressive. I have a whole new respect for foreign policy and relationship building with other countries,” Weathers said.
Because of her travels to research military deployment, Weathers was named the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®. It was an unexpected honor for Weathers as she said she was sitting in her small counseling office one day and then on the Today Show the next. “The most life-changing part of it all was the power of a ‘thank you.’ Military Spouses work so hard to overcome constant changes, spontaneous separations, and keeping the household running. Most of them are trying to build a career or volunteering in their extra time and rarely get a thank you. It seemed unfair for me to get it, so I promised myself I would take as many ‘thank you’s’ as I could to those who needed to hear it,” Weathers said.
As aforementioned, Weathers is far from being finished with her career in helping others as a counselor and optimist. “During the trip, I was given the nickname #coriespondent and I love it. I have a few opportunities to do the same thing here in the states and I am looking forward to enjoying it. I love the idea of showing a real, authentic view of those who serve,” Weathers said. “The Sacred Spaces Campaign (sharedsacredspaces.com) invites readers to commit to intentionally pursue their marriage by making a simple commitment. They can get a free Sacred Spaces Intentional Marriage Commitment Card that will walk them through what they want to do as well as how long they want to try it. The book is me sharing my story of how it changed my perspective, and I hope others will get to go on a journey, now, of their own.”
If given the opportunity, Weathers said she would most certainly write another book. If she were to write another book about the military, she would want to interview more troops and take more videos to capture all of the unique military stories the troops and their families have to share. Weathers said she would even love to write a book that resonates with anyone, even outside of the military. “Our military marriages are just like anyone else’s, just with unique dynamics that needed to be talked about. The call to action of Sacred Spaces is that you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to pursue your spouse. It is never too late to try to understand them better and we have to swallow our pride and be the first one to try,” Weathers said.