Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lessons

Tonight I just wanted to share a little bit about my journey surrounding this deployment and a little of what I'm learning. Bear with me if I'm a little disjointed - I am tired and have a lot of school stuff on my mind.

As we approached "6 months til see you later" last fall, it just became really hard for me to accept and deal with what was happening. I wrestled a lot with God at that time...a lot of tears were shed, feeling the lonely ache that would only grow stronger, and wondering why this had to happen. My husband had been gone so much in 2012, and while I knew deployment was a possibility long before that, I guess somewhere inside of me I was trying to deny that it would actually come. But, come it did...and with it came a whirlwind of emotions that I really didn't know how to handle.

One night in September as I faced another separation from my husband - this time for a month - I just wept, and if you know me, you know that I don't cry often. But that night, I couldn't stop the tears. What if something happened to him? How would I continue on with life as normal with half of my heart on the other side of the world? How would I be mama AND daddy to our little girl? Would she miss him? How would I deal with the incredibly suffocating feeling of loneliness when it was for a year instead of just a month?

So many questions.

Then, I set foot in a Christian bookstore - a random stop on a night when Selah & I went on a little date. The guy at the front of the store greeted me on my way in; it took all my strength to mumble back a "thank you" and not burst out sobbing. I felt so very alone, like no one really knew what I was going through or appreciated the sacrifice we were making. I kinda browsed around the front of the store, really just trying to focus on anything other than the overwhelming flood of emotions that I was feeling.

It was then that I first read these words:
{Today is consecrated to our Lord. Don't be sad, because the joy of ADONAI is your strength.}                                                                  Nehemiah 8:10
In that moment, I knew I wasn't alone. I knew God was with me. I knew He was weeping with me for the loneliness that I was feeling. And I knew, more than anything, that He would be my strength when I was not strong enough.

A few months later, we attended a pre-deployment event put together by an organization called Yellow Ribbon. Many different groups presented information over the course of two days, basically just trying to show us different resources available to us as we went through deployment. To be honest, I've already forgotten a lot of that info. But, one statement has stuck with me from that weekend:
"Deployment doesn't have to be a bad thing for your marriage."
Wow. Such a simple statement, but it really made me think. I knew our marriage was wonderful. I didn't fear that changing. I just feared the unknown. I feared the separation. I feared the war. I feared what it would be like to come back together as a couple with us having spent a whole year doing totally different things, apart.

Yet, in that moment, my Father reminded me that He brought us to this. He has been faithful to us through no income at all, a good income, a little income. He's been faithful when we've lived in nice homes and in very run-down ones. He's been faithful when our car ran great and when it broke down. He's been faithful when we've had no money in the bank and when we've had plenty. He has been constant amidst every change we have experienced, and He is worthy of my trust in this season too.

And so, I went into this deployment saying, "Father, I can't do this. I'm not strong enough. I need you. I desperately need you." I still had questions. I still had fears. But, I had found my Rock. And HE is the only way that I have gotten this far.

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