Knowing for months my hubby would leave for deployment in January left my heart grappling to accept this reality. I didn’t want to be deployment strong. I wanted him home-everyday and always. But that was not the life I knew we would have when I became his wife 13 years ago. Instead, our lives would temporarily become months of waiting for emails and care packages, anticipating the next phone call, hoping for a video chat, and praying for a safe return.
Those months knowing that the deployment was on the horizon seemed to magnify everything. My attention was on the small elements that made up our everyday lives. The way he held my hand. Laughter echoing from the living room while my hubby and the boys played. Hearing his boots clump against the floor as he walked through the front door after a day of work. The pat on my butt when he walked near me in the kitchen. His voice praying over me each morning. I wanted to hold it all so closely. As if each moment etched in my memory would help ease the ache of missing him.
Even in the midst wanting to be present, apprehension and stress slowly were becoming unwelcomed visitors in my heart.
What would this deployment look like for us? Ahead of us were numerous firsts. The first time enduring through a deployment without any family physically near. The first time enduring a deployment that I would work full time back in education that required me to travel. The first time having all our sons in school and playing sports. Those were at least the known variables. Doubt began to creep into my already busy mind.
The stress, the worry, and the insecurity in my heart was now flowing out of my mouth. I was speaking more about my fears and less about my faith. Rest evaded me. What would I do?
During the last two deployments, I endured them without community and feeling alone. I could NOT and would NOT live this way during this deployment.
Alone in our bedroom, I barely whispered “Help me” to God through my tears and sobs.
In my quiet plea was a reminder of Joshua 1:9. “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Be strong and courageous! Over and over again, I focused on those words.
Wiping my tears, my mind was made up. God would get the glory out of this season. For the next seven months, I would do more than survive this deployment. Oh, yes. I would thrive.