Category Archives: Military

Because I’m Still Here

The blog has been silent for some time now. I really haven’t felt much like writing. I’ve been so busy with just living this crazy life, that I haven’t had the time to make time to writing. And a non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. So needless to say, I’m writing now just to remind myself that I still know how to do this thing called writing.

This past year has been chaotic with surgeries and treatment. But now that my life has regained some sense of normalcy, it’s time for chaos again. As I type this, there are boxes filling up my house. All of our earthly possession will be getting moved into a truck tomorrow and be taken from Texas to Georgia. The Army says move and we follow as ordered.  

I’m excited for the move and a fresh start, but I think a part of my heart will always belong in Texas. We owned our first home here. We put down roots here. We’ve made friends here who have become family. Leaving isn’t going to be easy. It’s one part of the Army life that I dread. 

For someone as introverted as I am, it’s hard to make new friends. It’s hard to get out of my comfort zone, in a new city, and experience new and different things. However, introversion aside, I am excited for this move. I’m excited to go back to Georgia and see friends who I haven’t seen in six years. I’m excited to be near the beach! I’m excited to start this new adventure with the people I love the most. 

Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to be a family that doesn’t move every few years. What it would be like to settle down in one place and raise a family. Growing up, we moved every two years for as long as I can remember. I guess that’s probably why I hate it so much, because I’ve done it so many times. 

Life is chaotic. There are so many unknowns and what ifs. Nothing is certain. But it’s beautiful if you just embrace it.

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Expect the Unexpected

It’s so frustrating when life takes an unexpected turn that you weren’t prepared for. This past week has been a rough one for me – for our whole family. Emotions are swirling around me in a chaotic whirlwind and I’ve simply been trying to keep my head above water.

Over this past weekend, we had to make the very hard decision to put down our precious puppy dog. He’s such a sweet boy and we love him dearly. He’s great with the kids and he’s so loving and affectionate and we are so heart broken to have to say good bye.

After spending most of Sunday in tears over having to make this decision, Monday turned out to not be much better.

Monday, my husband called me to inform me that he was going to be deploying soon…VERY soon. My heart sank and I felt as if I had been punched in the gut. It was like someone had reached into my chest and literally stolen the breath right out of my lungs. I sat in my car and sobbed as I was just overwhelmed by fear. I called a friend, and I’m pretty sure she probably had a hard time understanding me through my hysterical sobs. I tend to live and die by my emotions, so I’m very thankful for friends who are willing to interrupt my chaotic feelings with truth and reason (even though I would never admit that to them).

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Now that I’ve calmed down over the initial shock of re-entering into a season of deployment, I’m beginning to understand the importance of the mission my husband is being called to do…even though I don’t like it one bit.

So then, yesterday, I went to see my surgeon for a follow up from my sesamoidectomy, almost 8 weeks ago. He is pleased with my progress and how well my foot in healing. However, I also had an ingrown toenail (in the surgery foot) that had to be cut out. I also had some concerns about some pain I was having on the top of my foot and he told me that, because I am have been walking on the side of my foot instead of evenly distributing weight through my foot, I am quickly on my way to a stress fracture if I don’t correct my gait – so I’ll be starting physical therapy next week. And if that’s not enough, he also told me that because of the drastic instability of both my ankles, he wants me to consider a brostrom procedure on both ankles to help stabilize them. I’m a bit anxious about the thought of another surgery, but I’m considering it because if I go through with it, I will be able to run again without such a high risk of injury.

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So life this week has been chaotic and I’ll be happy when things settle down. But I’m also very thankful for where I’m at and where I’ve been and how God is going to use me from here.

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Tragedy at Fort Hood

I remember when I was in 8th grade, there was a shooting at my sister’s high school – the school I would go to the following year. It was a terrifying experience. I remember some of my friends parents didn’t want them to go to that school anymore because of the shooting, but others were saying, “if it already happened once, it won’t happen again.”

Now, as the wife of a Fort Hood soldier, I can say that horrible, tragic things, like a shooting, can happen twice in the same place. You never think that something like this is going to happen once, definitely not twice. I mean, really, what were the odds?

Yesterday, as shots rang out on Fort Hood, I found myself thinking back to that school shooting thirteen years ago. I remembered how scared I was then for my sister as I wiped away my tears for my husband. My husband was okay – under lockdown on post. He was safe, but all I wanted was to have him home and put my arms around him. There are few things as heartbreaking and paralyzing as the thought that I’ll never see my beloved again.

As an Army wife, I’m prone to worry. I’m no stranger to the thoughts that my husband might not come home. But I’ve only ever had those worries during deployments. I never thought I’d have to worry like this when he was home.

A place like Fort Hood (and any other military installation) is a breeding ground for tragedy. There are so many soldiers who’ve come home from war and who will never be the same. These soldiers have seen and experienced things that many if us cannot even fathom. Tragedy happens every day at Fort Hood, we just don’t always see it. Tragedy happens as marriages fall apart due to PTSD or combat related stress. Tragedy happens when soldiers take their own lives. Tragedy happens when soldiers aren’t given the help they need. Tragedy and heartache are in the faces of the soldiers all around us every day.

This world is a scary place. Anything can happen, anywhere. If it wasn’t for God’s grace, I would probably live my life in fear. Fear of the unknowns and what ifs. Anything can happen – anytime – anywhere. We don’t know what our futures hold or what pain we may face, but God does and gives us the grace we need for every day. Just when we think it’s gotten too hard, that this life is too much to deal with, He gives us the grace we need to get through the day.

Please join me in praying for the victims and their families (to include the shooter’s family), for the soldiers at Fort Hood and soldiers everywhere else, for our community, and for our nation.

Yesterday was one of the scariest days of my life and words can’t describe how thankful I am that my family is safe. It’s definitely a reminder of what’s really important and how much of our worries are really insignificant.


I’m Still Here

I realized recently that it has been a while since I posted a blog other than my 7-in-7 poems. So here’s one to get you caught up with where I’ve been over the last few months.

1)      I’m still running. I’ve been running my heart out to prepare for my first half marathon, which is in 20 days – the Rock n’ Roll half marathon in New Orleans. I’m still in desperate need of fundraising though. I’m running the Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had planned a LEGO® Brick building competition, but we’ve had to adjust our plans to only do a virtual build competition because there wasn’t as much interest in it as we had thought. I’m pretty bummed out about it, but I’m praying that God will provide a way. I have 13 days to finish raising the money.

2)      Training is hard. Training for this half marathon has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Yesterday I ran my first double digit run – 10.01 miles. By the time I got home I was ready to collapse. My body ached and I was exhausted. But the pride I felt is something that no one can take away from me and something that no one could ever buy. I earned every mile of that run through the strength that God has given me. I am weak to survive these long runs on my own and I am so thankful that God is on these runs with me, giving me the strength to press on when I feel like I can’t take another step.

3)      Husband is home!!! Robert has been home for a little over a month now. It’s so amazing to have him here – to fall asleep next to him at night and have someone to share my lonely evenings with after the girls are in bed. The Army life is hard, but thankfully God has given us the grace to get through another deployment.

4)      My sister finished chemo and kicked cancer’s butt. You haven’t seen true strength until you’ve witnessed someone fighting cancer. Her strength amazes me and I’m so thankful that God got us all through it. She is why I am running. She is why I push myself so hard in training. She is my big sister. I may not tell her this enough, but even though we are grown up and have families of our own, I still look up to her.

5)      I’m almost a certified personal trainer. I’ll be taking my test later on in the month and (if I pass) I will be certified and ready to start training. So who’s ready to train with me?

 

There’s so much more I could write about right now, but I’m limited on time right now. I’ll update more later. My  New Year’s resolution is to post at least once a week, so you should be seeing a lot more from me in the near future.


7-in-7 #7: He’s Home

In the excitement of him coming home yesterday…I forgot to post my last 7-in-7 poem. Not my usual style of writing…but it’s what came out…

He’s Home
He’s home
No more waiting
He’s home
No more crying
He’s home

No longer alone
No more sleeping alone
He’s home

Seven long months
Time spent waiting
Hoping and praying
For that “welcome home” hug

This is our life
He serves
We wait
His job, his calling
Our hero, our duty
It’s not easy
But it’s all for love

He’s home
No more waiting
He’s home
No more crying
He’s home

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For the Well-Meaning Civilian

This is for all the wonderful, well-meaning civilians out there. For those who, so often, try to reach out and help the military spouse when her husband is gone. For the civilian who wants to show love and encouragement to the scared young mom while her husband is off in a combat zone…I’m going to offer you a little bit of advice on the best way to support the military wife during times of deployment or separation.

#1 – Do not try to offer cliche phrases as words of encouragement. These phrases include, but are not limited to: “You knew what it would be like when you got married.” “It gets easier, doesn’t it, since you’ve already done this before?” “At least you have your kids to keep you company.” “I don’t know how you do it. You are so strong.” “Put on your big girl panties and drive on.” “You have to stay strong for your family.”

These phrases, and many others like them, may come with good intentions. But for the scared, lonely, and stressed out military wife…these words do not offer much encouragement at all. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people tell me to stay strong, pull my big girl panties up, or some variation of that. But to be quite honest, unless you’ve been on this end of battle, you don’t know how incredibly impossible it is to just “stay strong” when it, quite frequently, feels like the world around you is falling apart.

Many people seem surprised when I confess that I break down in tears about once a week, after the kids are in bed and the silence of the house is depressing. I just miss him, his hugs, his voice, his touch. I let myself break down, I cry out to the One whose strength has sustained me this far, and will continue to sustain me until my husband is in my arms again.

So if you want to offer encouragement, support, and love, just give her your ear to listen or your shoulder to cry. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything – that is okay, we won’t take offense to it. Offer to pray with her and for her. Give her Bible verses that might encourage her and remind her of God’s strength and love for her. Don’t expect her to be strong, but point her to the One who will be strong for her.

#2 – Want to give her a gift? Offer to watch her kids so she can sleep, read, clean, run, or whatever it is that she wants to do. She doesn’t know what peace and quiet is like. She doesn’t have time to sit down and read or to just sit outside and watch the beauty of nature unfold. Let her enjoy a few hours out of the house, away from the kids…let her feel free for just a little while.

Being the spouse of a deployed soldier is, in many ways, like being a single parent. It’s me and the kids, all day, everyday. While I love them and enjoy watching them grow and learn every day, it’s hard to do it day in and day out without a break. Life can get mundane and repetitive and it’s easy to slip into an “I’m not making any difference in the world,” train of thought. Which then leads me to feeling overwhelmed and stressed about my life and questioning my parenting ability and value.

Military wives, even if we portray an image of independence and self-sufficiency to the world, need your help to survive the deployments…whether we’ll admit it or not. We may not ask for help because of our own foolish pride; but it means the world to us to know that someone cares enough to offer.

#3 – Hug her. You may have no idea what she is going through and maybe you feel uncomfortable with her despair and desperation. Hug her anyway. And don’t let it be a fake, quick, one armed hug that just feels like your hugging out of obligation, not love.

It may have been days, weeks, or months since the last time she felt the warm embrace of a hug from someone who cares about her. Your hug will never replace the tenderness of the arms of the man she loves. But a hug can bring a tired soul to life and remind her that she isn’t fighting this side of the war alone. Your one hug can mean more to her than you’ll ever know.

I have a few friends who do this for me. They always seem to know, I’m pretty sure it’s God’s planning, exactly when I need a hug. Few things compare, when I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, to the feeling of a loving hug of a sweet friend. It feels like someone came along to help me carry the weight. Which is what we’re all here for, right? God didn’t make us to go through this world alone. He made us different in every kind of way. He made us to need friendship and love. Show her friendship, even if she is feeling too low to show it back.

#4 – Invite her and her kids over for dinner of bring dinner over to her house (and stay to eat with her). She’s missing the company of adults. Spending all day with children can get frustrating when all you want is some adult conversation. Just talk to her over a meal, not about anything in particular, just talk.

She is tired of sitting down for every meal with kids who don’t appreciate what she cooked for them and who end up throwing half of it on the floor. If there’s a baby sitter available, go for a moms night out. Have dinner, watch a movie, anything that allows her to spend some time with grown ups.

I’m sure there are many more things that could be added to this list, but these were just the primary ones I could think of.

As a proud Army wife, I am deeply thankful for my friends and family, whether military or civilian. The battle on home front is not one that we can fight alone. I think it is harder for civilians to understand what we’re going through and often our silly pride stands in the way because we think they can’t/won’t help for whatever reason. From my experience though, my civilian friends often want to help more than my military spouse friends because they don’t have the added stress of the deployment. But what stops them is they simply don’t know what we need from them. And unless we tell others what we need how they can help?


Dear America

Dear America,

Let me start by telling you who I am. I am an American citizen who has, my entire life, been proud to be an American. I was raised by a wonderful mother who taught me about patriotism and service to my country. She taught me hard word and personal responsibility. I am a Christian; I believe in a sovereign God who forgives, love, and redeems. I am veteran of the United States Coast Guard; and I am proud of that. I am the proud wife of a United States soldier; I am proud to be married to a man who loves his country and his family enough to be willing to lay down his life, if need be. I am a mom of two very sweet and adorable little girls. I am a college graduate who worked hard for my education; I paid for my education through my service in the military. And lastly, I am distressed.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

America, I am distressed that our priorities and values have gotten so discombobulated. What has happened to the values that this nation was founded upon? What has happened to the nations love for family and country? What has happened to the base of our government being the constitution? I used to find myself getting angered at the ridiculous decisions our government made, but now, more often than not, I just find myself getting saddened.

As a society, we have messed up priorities. We value the life and entertainment that a professional sports player offers more than the sacrifice that the members of our military offer. We value TV villains more than police officers. We value actors and actresses more than teachers. Why is it that the most important jobs in our society, jobs that are necessary to a functioning society, get paid the least and are the most thankless? When did we, as a nation, quit caring about the things that truly matter?

Proverbs 16:2 – All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.

My husband, a U.S. soldier, wants to go back school and as a service member he should be able to use his tuition assistance and easily have it paid for. But due to budget cuts, the military has cut all funding for tuition assistance until further notice. I know that I can’t be the only one who thinks that, that is absolutely ridiculous. How can we take tuition assistance away from our military and yet we still provide educations in prisons and jails?

What has happened to personal responsibility? Too many of us live with a sense of entitlement; like just because we’re living in breathing we deserve to have everything handed to us without working for it. Why do we think that? Because that’s what our culture and our government have taught us. Our government has said that if we don’t want to work, if just want to sit at home and have an excuse for not providing for our families, that’s okay. Don’t worry about any personal responsibility, it’s not your fault, it’s because of your parents and the way you were raised, it’s because of you grew up in poverty, it’s because your mom didn’t feed you all organic as a kid. We can come up with a excuse for everything, but what it really comes down to is that too many of us fail to take responsibility for our own actions and choices. What we do is no one else’s fault but our own.

Ezekiel 18:20The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

I am heartbroken and pensive about how far we have gotten from God. I know that this is a strongly controversial statement, but abortion is wrong. This is the ultimate failure of personal responsibility. My heart is heavy for the millions of women who have believed the lie that abortion was the only option. I am filled with compassion and sorrow for a nation that has been and is still lying to women that abortion will solve all their problems. Whether you want to believe it or not, abortion IS murder. If God is in control of all things and we only have what comes from him, then who are we to say that we have the right to take the life a child that HE created. I don’t really care what the good ol’ scientists say about when life begins. According to God’s Word, life begins at the MOMENT OF CONCEPTION. And who am I to argue with God?

Ecclesiastes 11:5As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

Job 31:15Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?

Psalm 139:13-16For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Exodus 20:13You shall not murder

We believe everything we’re told that abortion doesn’t hurt the woman, abortion is the best thing you can do for an unplanned pregnancy, abortion will solve the “problem” that your choices caused. They wouldn’t really allow something to be legal if it was bad for us, right? Oh how wrong we are. If there is nothing wrong with abortion, then why do women feel trapped in secrecy and shame afterwards? Most women numb themselves to the emotional and mental effects of the abortion because of the basic human need of self-preservation (and they don’t even recognize they’re doing it). Feeling the pain simply hurts too much. There is only One who can heal the pain of an abortion and that is God. It’s hard to believe, at least to me anyway, that He can forgive that, but that’s part of the marvel of Jesus’ death on the cross. All can be forgiven! I’d love to talk more about abortion and its effect on the woman, but this is not the place for that.

1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Personal responsibility; we’re all looking for a way around dealing with the consequences of our actions and our government is us a “quick fix” for everything. What we fail to understand is that those consequences don’t go away; they just get postponed or pushed into something else.

America was founded on Judeo-Christian values: free will – being free to make our own choices, personal, moral accountability – being responsible for our own choices and actions whether they are good or bad and dealing with the consequences, and a true moral law – which stems from Christ and the Jewish prophets.

Luke 6:46Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

It’s heart wrenching to see the state our nation is in now. It saddens me that over half of our children don’t know what a successful marriage looks like. It’s depressing that God has been so far removed from our government and our society that anything related to religion is outlawed or banned. We wonder why or how things could’ve gotten as bad as they are now, and there’s only one answer for that – we refuse to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

Isaiah 60:12For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.

Psalm 33:12Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

It may not be within my lifetime, but I think that this country, as much as I love it, is headed for self-destruction if we don’t get our focus back where it needs to be – on God.

Joel 2:12Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;”

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

I would like to take a minute to note that none of which is written above is to be meant with judgment or anger, but my intention is love and hope. I hope that, one day, our nation will turn back to its foundations – back towards God. I hope that, one day, we will welcome Him back into our country. But until then, I trust Him and His plan for me and my family in the midst of the pain and suffering.

Sincerely,

A Broken Hearted, Jesus Following American


Fear and Faith in Deployments

The deployment is happening soon…too soon if you ask me. It’s all creeping up on us so fast and I am struggling to trust God through it. The truth that God is in control of whether or not my husband comes home is a scary and reassuring one. Scary because that means that Robert, even if he does everything right, may not come home, if that is God’s will. And reassuring because that means that God already knows what is going to happen and He will take care of me either way. I know that this is a time that I need to trust and lean on God more than any other, but I am really struggling with it becuase I am so afraid.

Faith and Fear
The pillow next to mine
Right now, it holds his head
But it won’t be long until
I’m lying in an empty bed
When I got married to a soldier
I knew that this would be our life
But that doesn’t bring me comfort
In bed, alone at night
People ask me how I do it
Truth it, I simply do not know
On my knees with falling tears
I don’t want to let him go
He reassures me he’ll come home
But doubt lingers in his eyes
He’s going off to fight a war
That could cost him his life

I’m trying to stay strong
In the truth that God is near
But I’m struggling to trust in Him
As I wrestle with my fear
What if he doesn’t make it
If he never comes home
Will I hold strong to my faith
If I’m left here on my own
When we were first married
As two, we became one
If I lose half of me
Will I forever be undone?

I know that God is faithful
I know that He is true
So why am I not trusting Him
To know He’ll get us through
His will, will be done
Whether I like it or not
He has a plan for all of us
He has lessons to be taught
Am I willing to let go of fear
And hold on to His love?
Will I hold on to things of this world?
Or to those from up above?

God, please hear my prayer
Please bring him home to us
Keep him safe and hold his heart
Let him feel Your love.
Your plans are better
Than mine will ever be
Help me to hold on to that
Please help me to see.
Help me to see that You are love
You give mercy, You give grace
Help me see the joy of who You are
Even in this horrifying place
You already know
What our futures hold
Please help me to rest in that
So in Your love I may be bold
Take my heart and keep it
Safe in your loving hands
I’m crumbling under all this weight
Without You I can’t stand
Give me strength to trust in You
And grace for when I’mlost
Help to lay all of these fears
Down at the foot of Your Son’s cross


I Signed Up For The Fight

The Army life…it just plain hurts at times. The constant separations, the missed birthdays and anniversaries, the lonely holidays. The times you get the kids in bed at night and you just sit there, wondering where he is, how he’s doing, if he’s safe, or if he’s even alive. The times that you just wish you could stay in bed, when you don’t want to get up and face the world. Civilian families don’t understand. They may try to be supportive and loving, but they just don’t get it. They don’t understand the very real possibility that your husband may never come home. They don’t understand the pain of missing his voice, the softness of his touch, or the sweetness of his kiss. But those are only the negatives and if you only focus on the negatives, you won’t see the positives.Military Ball

The positive list is much, MUCH, longer. When you’re a part of the Army, you develop an instant family. You have sisters who understand exactly what you’re going through and who are all willing to support and encourage each other at all costs. Army wives get to experience the joy and fun of Military Balls; dressing up like a princess and enjoying a night of beauty, romance, and fairy tales. That is something that civilians know nothing about. Our husbands are willing to lay down their lives for each other, but we do the same on the homefront. We have healthcare and we have homes to live in; no, they may not be the greatest, but at least we have them. For that alone, I am thankful.

I’ve heard people say, that when my husband is gone I should just go on with my life like nothing is different; to an extent that is true. But how can I live as if nothing has changed when my other half is in a war zone, when I go days, if not weeks, without any communication, when our young children want to know where their daddy is and don’t understand why he’s not here. So yes, our lives must go on, but it is impossible to live as if nothing has changed because, when he’s gone, everything is changed.

DeploymentBut in the midst of the absence of my husband and the sadness of missing him, I serve a great God who gives me everything I need to keep going. In times of separation, I’ve noticed that I feel a closeness with God that I only feel when my husband is gone. When I am upset with the thoughts of ‘what if’s’, God brings me a peace and comfort that I don’t experience at any other time. Maybe it’s because when he’s not here, I have more time to spend in God’s Word and focus on Him, or maybe is it’s because God knows that I need to feel His presence more in my husband’s absence, or maybe it’s a combination. Whatever it is, I know that I don’t deserve it. I know that God’s greatness extends beyond anything I can possibly fathom.

When I got married to a soldier, his dreams became mine, his goals became mine, and his fight became mine. He fights on the front end of it all and I fight on the home front of it. We’re fighting the same battle. The fight for God, love, and family.

You signed up for the fight
It wasn’t long after meeting
She knew he was the one
Even though she knew his job
Meant carrying a gun
When she said “I Do”
She meant “I’ll give you all of me,
Even when we are apart,
Two as one, we’ll always be.”
It didn’t take long at all
For the orders to come
The ones that meant he had to leave
His one and only love
He told her that he’d miss her
And that he’d see her soon
He tried to calm her fears
The possibility of doom

She’s afraid of what could happen
Afraid that he could lose his life
On her knees, she prays to God
“Bring him home to his new wife.”
She cried, “How will I get through it?
Twelve months is a long time.”
So she opens up her Bible
And lets God’s Word fill her mind
God told her, “It’s okay to cry,
I am your strong foundation.
Your husband is a man of honor
Fighting for his nation.
For better or for worse,
You signed up for the fight too.
I love you, I love him.
Love alone will get you through.”

You see her in the park
At church or at the store
Now there’s two toddlers in tow
She had expected so much more
She has given up her dreams
To cling to and follow his
Most days she wouldn’t mind it
If she could simply feel his kiss
She lays the kids in bed at night
A little voice says, “I miss daddy.”
With tears in her tired eyes,
Together they pray softly
“God, keep my daddy safe.
Me and sissy miss him lots.
We know he’s where you need him
But sometimes without him we feel lost.”

Some days she’s just plain lonely
The man she loves is far away
With a willing heart and empty hands
She falls on her knees to pray
“Lord, I want to be the wife and mom
That you’ve called me to be,
Help to embrace this separation
When through the tears, I can’t see.”
God told her, “It’s okay to cry,
I am your strong foundation.
Your husband is a man of honor
Fighting for his nation.
For better or for worse,
You signed up for the fight too.
I love you, I love him.
Love alone will get you through.”

Now the kids have gotten older
And now they understand
Why daddy has to go and fight
Why he protects their land
But understanding leads to fear
When they know that he could die
Just the thought alone
Brings tears to precious eyes
“Mom, how did you do it?
Marry dad in this profession.
Aren’t you scared that in his job,
Anything could happen?”
But it’s not about his job,
It doesn’t matter what he does
When you find the one, that’s it,
Your heart can’t stop the love.

Of course she’s still afraid
What if he won’t come home?
But she holds onto a God who’s stronger
And who won’t leave her all alone
She drops down to her knees
She prays, “Lord, protect his life.”
But even if God’s will’s not hers
She knows she’ll be alright
‘Cause God says that, “It’s okay to cry,
I am your strong foundation.
Your husband is a man of honor
Fighting for his nation.
For better or for worse,
You signed up for the fight too.
I love you, I love him.
Love alone will get you through.”


The Sacrifice of the Military Family

I am a proud Army wife. My husband proudly serves our country as our kids and I cheer him on from the sidelines. He is wonderful man. He loves his wife and kids and would lay down his life for us if need be. His job also proves that he is willing to lay down his life for people who don’t know him, let alone appreciate him.

But the personal pride and honor that come with serving your country also comes with great sacrifice.

The Sacrifice of Time

When Rylinn was a month old, Robert left for 6 months of training. We saw him twice during that time and talked on the phone regularly. But nothing will ever replace the deep sadness that we both felt about everything he was missing. But we managed to get through it, looking forward to the time when we’d be back together again.

When Rylinn was 7 months old and Mackenzie was almost 2, we got to spend almost a month together as a family before he left again, this time for Afghanistan. This separation was harder. We didn’t get to talk on the phone very often and we didn’t get to Skype. Our main form of communication was through Google chat. For me, it was hard to not talk to him. I never knew how much you could miss the sound of someone’s voice.

In the first 14 months of Rylinn’s life, he missed about 12 months. He was deployed when Rylinn turned 1 and Mackenzie turned 2. He was deployed for his birthday, my birthday, and a handful of other holidays. He missed Rylinn’s first words and steps. He missed Mackenzie’s first stitches. He missed my baptism. The sacrifice he has made astounds me and the pain he must be feeling hurts me.

Rylinn will be 2 in 9 days, and he will be in the field. So now, he has missed her first birthday, he will miss her second, and, unless things change, he’ll also be deployed for her third.

These are the sacrifices of a military family. I’ve been asked, “How can you handle that? Doesn’t it just make you angry?”

1 Corinthians 13:7 – Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

And here’s my answer: I handle it because I love him. We make it through the separation knowing that one day, we’ll be together again. He misses a lot and we compensate for that by making a lot of home videos. It makes me very angry! I hate seeing the sadness in him when he misses a big event in one of our girls’ lives. But love is what gets us through and love is the only thing strong enough to get any military family through any type of separation.

The Sacrifice of Love

Jefferson Bethke has a video on marriage that says, “it’s not the love that sustains the promise, it’s the promise that sustains the love.” I love that statement and I feel like it’s a great reminder for military families. It’s good to remember, that just because I don’t feel love the way I want to when he’s deployed, that doesn’t mean that the promise we made to each other on our wedding day is any less valid. The promise that we’d love each other and be together until death doesn’t go away when physical love isn’t there. During those times of extended separation we can’t forget that it’s the promise we made to each other on our wedding day what helps to sustain our love.

1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

The sacrifice that we make isn’t easy. Some say that it gets easier with time, but it doesn’t – it only gets harder. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder either, I hate that saying!

God is there and He knows what I am going through. The great thing is that even when I feel lonely because my husband is gone, I am never truly alone because He is always with me. I feel like He makes His presence more known to me when Robert is gone because He knows I need that. What a loving God we serve!

The Sacrifice of Fear
Death is a very real fear for a military spouse. We live every day not knowing if our loved one is still alive, not knowing if you’ll talk to him, and not knowing if you’ll ever see him again. If you dwell on, it’s terrifying and it’s easy to live our lives in fear of the “what if’s”.

It’s in those moments of fear that I think it’s even more important to trust in God.

Isaiah 41:10 – fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

We don’t have to be strong enough to handle the fear that come with deployments, but we simply need to know the one who can.

Psalm 112:7 – He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Trusting in God when the fear seems overwhelming is easier said than done. It’s hard to trust that God has it all under control and that He’s in control of what happens. I know I struggle with it. It’s hard to let go of it and give it all to God. To admit that God is actually in control of whether or not Robert comes home alive is a terrifying realization.

I know that I don’t see things the same way He does and I struggle with seeing the bigger picture of things. It’s comforting to know though that He has a plan for all of us, a plan to glorify himself, whether we can see it or not.

Isaiah 55:8-9 – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

So in the meantime, we’ll pray for protection and safety, but we’ll also pray that God’s will will be done, whether I like it or not. I’ll accept God’s ways even if I don’t agree with Him. Because who knows better how anything should work than the One who created it? In the fear, in the separation, in the sadness, and the pain, I will turn to God because He knows!


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