Today I write from a new place. A little over two weeks ago we learned that my husband will be deploying overseas this summer for a nine month support (non-combat) mission. This is his second year as a JAG reservist and will be our first deployment. I am so proud of this accomplishment and his heart for service, but that doesn't make it much easier emotionally as a wife and mother.
While we previously knew it was a matter of when, not if, he would deploy, I don't think one can truly prepare for such news. It's not real until it is. I was initially in shock and emotionally distraught. We told the children, resilient little things, who shrugged off the seemingly faraway plans. My teen daughter said she understands it is just a part of Dad's job. My oldest son wanted to know if he would get to travel on a ship or military plane. I listened hidden in the next room, not yet able to show them the peaceful strength they need from me.
So for about a week I was in a daze, mindlessly putting one foot in front of the other, doing the things that had to be done, and letting the gravity of it sink in. Tears sprang to my eyes whenever I thought of being away from my husband so long and coping with the emotions of my children when they miss him (which broke my heart in two when he was gone for eight weeks of training a year and a half ago).
Then I realized I had to see people and answer questions (besides those very close friends and family who I pretty much demanded begin praying for us immediately) and I really didn't want to think about it. Details started to attack my brain whenever I imagined him away. All the work. All the responsibility. Little relief. There was so much to think about that I couldn't handle it, so I chose not to think, not to talk. I spent about a week feeling bitter and deliberately not thinking about or talking about all the things. I reluctantly sent an email to our homeschool group to share our news and explain that I wasn't able to talk about it in front of my children yet. Of course, I received a flood of prayers and offers of practical support from our generous community.
Last week I started to come out of that stage. I made a list of things to do in the next couple of months before he leaves for advance training. My husband and I started to chat about expectations while he is gone. I'm not sure what this new stage is, but I know I need to move on. I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I also know I cannot move towards the sorrow of him leaving but towards the joy and hope of Christ. I am taking things one day at a time and trying to keep the worries at bay.
Humbly I ask for your prayers. I know this is only a tiny corner of the Internet, but I like it here. It's my place to share how God is working in my life, and I have a feeling I will have a lot to share in the coming year. But time to write might be more challenging! God has never failed to provide abundant graces for our family when we need them, and I know He will do the same during this new opportunity.