I started typing up a long, detailed post full of deep thoughts and nice sounding words. Things I’ve learned and things I’ve struggled with in these last few months. But the more I typed, the less I liked it. So here are the main points in their most simplistic form:
*Our current deployment is almost over. Praise the Lord. The thought of life returning to normal brings tears of joy to my eyes. (Although that's not saying much. My emotional and stress levels are at an all-time high and my mascara gets reapplied many times a day.)
*This deployment has been harder than the first one; partly because he was only home for 3 1/2 months between them; partly because of the waves of ALL. THE. THINGS. GOING. WRONG. AT. ONCE; but mostly because I miss my husband so, so much.
*There are some things that the Lord has shown me in these last months:
1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
2 Samuel 7:18 Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
These verses spoke to me when I started to feel sorry for myself. God has brought me so far. He has done so many great things for me. And why? Because I’m good? I’m not. Because He made a mistake? He doesn’t. Because He wants me to be a really happy person? No. Because He loves me. Because He has set me apart. He has anointed me. He has called me to His purpose. Because He has brought me this far.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
So as it turns out, I don’t have to try to be strong all the time. And then wonder why I fail. In fact when I try to be strong all the time, and don’t acknowledge my weaknesses, I’m not letting God’s power be used and shown. I’m not great at asking for help. But this deployment I mastered the “Can you take the kids for me” text to my sister and father-in-law. Something I had done on occasion before, but always felt like a burden to do often. And I even let someone get me some milk at the store once. Something I never would have felt comfortable asking for before. But then I got to see God’s power. As if he was saying, “See? Just let me help. I can do it so much better than you can on your own!”
Deuteronomy 32:6 Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.
God hears my cries and He gives me comfort when I am sad. But when I start feeling sorry for myself, this verse reminds me that He has established me. Who am I to whine about the life he has given me? He has given me this life and put me in this place for His purpose and His reason; even if I don’t understand His purpose or reason, yet.
*I still stand by my 3 rules of deployment. When your husband deploys the following things WILL HAPPEN:
1. The kids will get sick. Each one of them. Multiple times. We had hand, foot and mouth disease, ruptured ear drum, a few stomach episodes, one allergic reaction to ant bites, one undiagnosed rash that I chose to ignore because I was OVER. IT.
2. Appliances/Vehicles will stop working the way they should. We were without air conditioning in our home for almost 2 weeks – in May – in West Texas, the roof of our home was completely totaled in a storm – not an appliance but falls under this heading, but at least the vehicle has been reliable – so far. And by reliable, I mean guzzling gas one $100-tank at a time.
3. Time will crawl. This deployment, I decided not to keep track of days or weeks or even months until he came home or since he had left. We had our Daddy Day chart with activities on it for each week – but we started with 20, and I didn’t count them or look at it much as we went, so as not to know how long until it was over. I’m not sure if this helped or hindered the waiting. It still feels like I haven’t seen my husband in forever. It still feels like every day gets longer and longer. I hear people say, “It’s already the end of May?!? Where did the time go?” and I think, “Oh my gosh, it’s only Tuesday! Why did time stop moving!?!”
*Today we are going on our very last Daddy Day. We will be hitting up Chuck-E-Cheese this afternoon for some good, family fun and to possibly pick up a case of who-knows-what as we touch everything we see and then put our fingers in our mouths and noses. It’s going to be great.
*This will probably be my last post for a few weeks. But I will be back later this summer to post pictures from our upcoming Most Awesome Koper Family Vacation Ever. So be preparing yourselves for some awesomeness.