Friday, March 20, 2015
Hubs got medically ready to deploy this week. Although it's still months away, I found myself dwelling on the thought of him being gone. It would come up in little things...we were talking about planting flowers and vegetables, when I realized he wouldn't be here to see the fruit of our labor...Bubby was washing his bicycle as Hubs washed his car, when I realized he wouldn't be here to see him ride that bike without training wheels...Princess P asked if we could go fishing this summer, when I realized it would be me helping her put a wiggly worm on a hook.
This is the part no one tells you about. No one talks about how horrid the months leading up to deployment is. There's anticipation of sleepless nights and anxiousness about trials you'll have to endure alone. There's tension and stress and it just plain stinks.
Yesterday, on my run, I tried to just pray for Hubs and the unique ministry opportunities he would have while he's gone. I tried my hardest to pray for him specifically, that he wouldn't get cabin fever or sea sick and that he would meet wonderful friends. I was praising the Lord that he wouldn't miss any major holidays (besides the 4th of July, but we never do anything spectacular) when it hit me: he'll miss Charlie's birthday. Just typing that brings tears to my eyes.
Have you ever cried while running? It's happened to me twice and it's not pretty. This particular morning, I was thankful that it was dark and no one could see my face. Memories of Charlie's birth hit me hard and I quickly realized that I'm not over it; perhaps I haven't let myself think about it enough to process and heal. The hard truth is, it might be a scar that I always carry.
I once met a chaplain's wife, who has endured 3 deployments in 3 years and moved across the country and had a baby in that time. I was asking her advice on how to prepare for deployments and she just kept saying over and over, "God will be your strength. Everything will be great." I fully know and believe and trust that, but I really wanted her to say, "This is hard. There will be days of tears and times of fear and I'll be praying with you."
"When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade"...right? WRONG. There will always be a lemon in your life. Sometimes God blesses us with lemonade, but sometimes there are just plain lemons. It seems unfair, I know. But He's using them for His glory. He uses those lemons to make us more like him and to draw us closer to him. I got the sweet lemonade of Charlie out of a horrid pregnancy and delivery and by God's grace and mercy, we were healthy and all together at the end of it.
The next six months may taste sour, but I'm praying that the lemonade at the end will be sweet. I'm not going to sugar coat the lemons of our life to make it sound like everything is peachy. I'll be real and tell you it's hard to prepare for separation and then be apart for months on end. God will be our strength, but in that I recognize my weakness and my need for Him.