Deployments are not for the weak-minded, or the weak in spirit. Whether going, or staying behind while a loved one, particularly a spouse, goes: it’s a unique world in dealing with the ups and downs that come along with the ride.
I have been thinking about why this particular deployment time with my husband is away, feels so much more draining than most have in the past. Then it hit me: a few days after he left, Japan was hit by major earthquakes, a tsunami, a nuclear melt-down, tsunami warnings, aftershocks, death, destruction….. a super-typhoon is on it’s way at us now… In the States, there has been so much devastation from storms, people acting out in violent manners, the price of gas and groceries is soaring while the jobless rate seems to either be stagnant or increasing….
Then there is all that is going on in the world, coupled with, I’ll be honest: a President and administration I frankly just don’t trust to really act in mine, or my country’s best interest. Stress is higher than usual.
No, deployments are not for the weak. Raising our 4 children as a temporary single parent is enough without all the other stuff weighing down. I can do this, I’m not worried about me. But, I just had to get into words the incredibly overwhelming burden this particular deployment has been. Thank God He is helping us, He is by our side. I could not do any of this without Him, or the incredibly affirming and stable love of my husband.
I had a very close friend in Middle and High school. He was like a brother to me. We lost contact with each other after our school years though. My mom called me a several years ago, and she read me an article about my friend Rod. He had just gotten married and was heading back to is Army base with his new bride, he fell asleep at the wheel and ran into a semi, killing both himself and his new wife. I still cry, I miss him so much. He and David would have gotten along so well. Rod died not knowing how important he was to me.
For a long time I blamed myself, I thought there must have been something I could have done that would have changed his path.
I don’t blame myself anymore. But I try hard to be sure I tell people how amazing they are, how important they are, anything positive, because I just don’t know if I will get many more opportunities to interact with them. I have been hurt by so many people, I still get hurt a lot. But God has just poured this deep, sincere love into my heart for everyone. It’s like He has given me this understanding that they are the way they are because of their sin condition. Because Jesus died even for those who abused Him on the cross, even for those who who gambled over His clothing, put a crown of thorns on His head, mocked His kindness and love…Because He told God the Father to forgive them because they just didn’t understand what they were doing. That’s the example my heart wants to follow. I am still such a long way from that, though. Even in my frustration with some people, there is still this love and concern for them that helps me to not stay angry, to not hate them.
In a world that is often so full of hate, criticism, anger and intolerance for good and some bad, it’s wonderful to experience the true power of the Love of God.
It really is just amazing to me how much of my life I have simply forgotten. I’m not holding on to those grudges against those who hurt me any longer, or even myself for some of the stupid things I’ve done. I’m not meditating on all the sour and painful details of those situations that could have destroyed me years ago. Sure, some of it has shaped how I react to some things now, but I am in reality a new creation through Christ Jesus. I have put away the old, and I am living in the new.
There are things I have shared with some over the years that kept the details fresh in my mind. I have found those details have faded. There is no longer pain, sadness, anxiety…all the negatives that accompany the nightmare memories. The memories are no longer nightmares.
It is because of this that no one could ever convince me that my God is not real or that He does not love me deeply. My life has been useless to many. Many, in God’s position, would have thrown me out, called me worthless and a waste of time. But not God. He lifted me up, He changed my life, and He gave my life purpose and meaning beyond anything this world could ever have to offer.
I am satisfied with my life, and I am healed. By His Grace, by His Kindness, by His Compassion and His Mercy. I can’t think of many people who have ever really taken the time to demonstrate these things to me, but God has never failed to. Never.