It's early in the morning and my husband just left again. He just returned from the field yesterday afternoon and he's headed out to a different location for another five days. It's easier mentally for me when he's just around the corner so to speak (...for those who aren't familiar with the Army, being "out in the field" could mean they are still on their post but their "training ground" is set up much like it would be if they were down range (in the battlefield)...they eat, sleep, do everything as if they were miles away).
We said our good-byes, hugged and kissed, and then I cried. It's not the type of crying where you are sitting there thinking about something and then eventually you start to cry. It's instant. I immediately miss his touch. He comes back to give me another hug. I tell him I am praying for him and let him go again so he has time to tell the kids good-bye (they always ask to be woke up for that).
As I watched him bend down on his knees and kiss our twins good-bye, I looked intently at him in his uniform. He looks so brave, so strong, so manly and confident. I then watched as he walked into our daughter's room and did the same. I felt honored to be the mother of his children. I felt sadness for the times they miss him and the times he misses them. But, at the same time, I'm happy that each of them know what it is to be without him around, that they are learning more and more what it is to cherish time with their dad and not take it for granted. Our daughter had left him a letter on the bar last night. Wanting to read it, but knowing there wasn't time, I quickly took it to him. I watched as he read it...standing at the dressor, pausing from his morning routine of making sure all his patches are in place on his uniform...and then as he folded it and put it in his pocket. I somehow knew it would go with him...and forever be kept in his care.
We're learning to lean more...to lean on Jesus. We're learning to trust more...to trust in God's promises, provision and protection. We're learning what it means to follow God even when it's not easy. We're learning that the Lord will comfort us when we need comforted, and that He is faithful to do what He says he will do. We can tell our children all the many wonderful things about the Savior, but to experience it first-hand only grounds them more in their faith.
About eight or nine years ago, God did an amazing work in our lives and my husband wrote this down: I am God's man, God's way and I won't get in the way. Our lives have never been the same since. I still think about that commitment all the time, and the words my husband penned that revealed a totally surrendered heart, and it moves me every single time. When I look at that Soldier standing before me, or see him on his knees kissing his children good-bye, I feel such great love for him. His commitment to the Lord shines through every day, in so many ways, and I love him all the more for it.
I know it can't be easy...I know it requires so much of him...of us...but I know the joy that comes from walking this path WITH the Lord...the path of obedience and surrender. After my husband left, I went to God's Word for comfort. There I found this verse - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort...(2 Corinthians 1:3) The peace of God passes all understanding!