Tag Archives: deployment

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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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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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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