One month is behind us ... roughly 17 more to go.
How do I survive these days, you ask? If I said by the grace of God would you think I was being trite? I hope not. It truly is by God's grace alone that I get out of bed each morning, wash my hair, brush my teeth and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's not always easy. In fact this time around, it's not been easy at all. Forget taking it one day at a time. When I say one foot in front of the other, that's exactly what I mean. Richard's been home off and on, but bottom line, only 2 years out of the last 8. I think it is safe to say that my motivation level this time around has not been as HOOAH as many would expect it to be. And that's okay. I totally support Richard and the mission and admire the sacrifice and hard work of all in our Armed Forces. So I'm really not all that concerned with what some might think of my "weakness" this go around. Anyway, the point of all of this ... or the prompting of this post is because I've seen so much come my way in regards to "how do I make it through this deployment." I always want to say, well, if you really want to know, it's just going to be hard. But I refrain as I know while it may be true, that isn't the most encouraging response:). What I've learned ... wait, what I know and what I'm trying to learn (i.e. transfer from head to heart) is that it is a blessing to be married. Two sinners in love, made one, is one of the most amazing gifts God can give us. If we didn't struggle with the separation, we probably wouldn't enjoy the union. And likewise, if we didn't care about the union, the reunion stressors wouldn't be so bad because there wouldn't be that desire to reconnect and we'd just keep on doing on our thing once the deployment was over. POINT, deployment is hard. You've got to yes, keep yourself busy, but don't miss out on life just because your husband is gone. That to me is probably the greatest challenge. I feel like if I didn't have the girls I could just sort of "find something to do" until Richard returns. But with five under my wing, I can't really get away with that. Our life continues. And I am thankful. The girls keep me getting out of bed. They keep my busy in a meaningful way and they keep me on my knees. I worry about them being raised not only by just one parent, but by that one parent being ME. But I'm learning to listen to God in new ways and I'm learning that forgiveness and grace are truly deeper than I once knew them to be.
I have five girls and they are all really, really different in almost every single way. So much has changed over the years as we've moved from house to house, state to state and as the size of our family has increased. But one thing has always remained a constant ... little girls dancing to music after dinner.
Tonight Olivia wanted me to put on Tangled. As her sweet little two year old self danced and sang, I just snapped away with my phone and took deep breaths so that the tears would not start flowing (I might be a hard Army Wife, but I'm still pretty sappy) and I just enjoyed the blessing of the assurance that God continually provides for more than our daily needs and just wants us to trust Him and rest in His word. For me, seeing a familiar sight with a new little one was a perfect reminder of this. For me it was how I got through another night without Richard by my side.
Deployments are hard, sometimes more than others, but hard none the less. Do what you need to get through them, but keep your eyes on Jesus and remember that you are here for a purpose. Don't miss out on that just because your spouse is gone.
Give thanks that you have someone to miss.
What a blessing that is.
There's a balance there ... a balance between depression and stoicism. Finding the balance is a daily challenge. I am thankful for a God who is there to lead me as I, a seasoned Army Wife, try to find it.
May His radiance be evident in my life.