Saturday, May 16, 2009

Discussions We All Hate

We don't want to think about it, much less talk about it, but death is something every Soldier and wife must talk about before the Soldier deploys. It's difficult, it hurts, it stings, it tears at the very core of your heart as you look into the eyes of the one you love and have to talk about the possibility of death - but it's important.

My husband and I have been having these conversations off and on some lately. Off and on because it's hard to do in one sitting. It's not easy, and it makes me want to vomit when I think about it, but I know it has to be discussed and certain things have to be set in place. When he tells me he loves me and doesn't want me to have to think about it later, if it were to happen, I can't argue with that. But, I do cry (which makes it even harder for him to discuss).

To get to the point - this morning I was wide awake at 5 a.m. (not by choice because it's Saturday, but because I'm used to it) and, as I was reading my bible, I came across this (it's long so prepare to stay engaged and read it all):

1 Corinthians 15: 42-55: So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

All of it spoke to my heart. All of it moved me to tears. All of it made me think about the man God created for me. All of it made me so grateful that he has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. All of it made me rejoice that we don't have to worry about death. Christ gives us VICTORY over death! I love the verse that says, "we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed..." And I love the final verse that helped me to find peace with the very thing I feared the most. I put it in bold letters above, but I want us to read it again - Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

The Lord has called my husband to something that requires that he give up EVERYTHING and go to the place God has called him to go. The Lord is asking him daily to give himself fully to the work of the Lord, and His Word tells us that it is NOT in vain. He's asking that of me, too, and of all who believe in Him. We must stand firm and let NOTHING move us! We MUST give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, and, if in that, we lose our life (physically) then we will know what it is to stand in the presence of Almighty God!

We will continue to have these tough conversations, but the sting has lessened by the power of God's Word and the promises therein.

Thank you for your Word, God. Thank you for your promises. Thank you that because of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made we can live in victory today and forevermore.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Touch of His Hand

Early this morning my husband rolled over and moved his arm to the back of my pillow and, as it woke me, I put my hand in his. I'm finding these simple touches instantly bring me to this thought - how in the world am I going to live without him for so long?

Monday, May 4, 2009

What If...

This evening I picked up my book - Following God with All Your Heart, by Elizabeth George - and just had to giggle at God. If you haven't read my post from yesterday, you might want to read this first so the rest makes sense.

In this particular chapter of the book, speaking mainly about obedience, Elizabeth ended it with:

Imagine what the world would be like if...

Noah said, "I don't do boats."
David said, "I don't do Goliaths."
Mary said. "I don't do virgin births."
John the Baptist said, "I don't do baptisms."
Paul said, "I don't do letters."
Jesus said, "I don't do crosses!"

And what if Joshua said, "I don't cross Jordans."

I can't tell you how many times I've picked up this book to find that God just continues to speak on the same subject I was reflecting on, or read in my bible or talked to Him about. It's as if He rearranges the pages to continue the conversation.

I thought this little phrase at the beginning of the next chapter was pretty amazing too...very fitting for what we are experiencing.

If it is God's plan that we should march through a river,
or attack a walled town, or turn to fight an army,
we have simply to go forward.
He will make the mountains go away.
Rivers will dry up; walls will fall down;
armies shall be scattered.
F.B Meyer

Sunday, May 3, 2009

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

One of the twins just asked me how long it has been since I've blogged...I found that a little funny! He heard me say I needed to blog this weekend, and then evidently noticed I haven't done it yet. The weekend's not over so I guess I better keep my word! haha...

I'm having a hard time with it being May already. Part of me wants it to be May because our son is coming to visit this month (in less than three weeks now!!), and the other part of me - the part of me that thinks about the deployment - doesn't.

I struggle with the thought of wishing it was the weekend all the time, too. I know I shouldn't wish my days away, but I long for them so I can spend more time with my husband...not to mention work is stressful and exhausting.

Today was the last time I'll hear my husband preach for over a year. I did good - I didn't cry, or even tear up! I prayed all the way to chapel that I wouldn't. Thank you, Lord!! His sermon title was "From ordinary to extraordinary" and was very fitting for all that is taking place for the people of our chapel.

Many of us are about to experience deployment and a year long separation due to it. Also, due to so many chaplains deploying this summer, they have decided to close our chapel and one other on our post. Our last service will be May 31. They said today that 60 chaplains from our post will deploy, leaving only 20 to minister to those not deploying. I'm sure those 20 will be extremely busy with rear detachment so I support that decision.

With all the changes taking place, we all have to make the choice - will we be ordinary or extraordinary? Will we step out in faith and do things for God that make a difference? Will we trust God and His will for our lives? It's not an easy thing to watch your spouse walk into harm's way and not feel overwhelmed. It's not easy to accept change sometimes, or not get down when things don't go the way you had planned, but God is with us and wants to work in and through us to accomplish extraordinary things for His kingdom.

I love Hebrews 11 and 12. After reading verses 35 - 40 of Chapter 11, I was touched by these words that came out of my husband's mouth - the world was not worthy of them, but the world NEEDED them. I knew God was speaking to my heart.

I don't know what it is exactly that the Lord would have me do in my husband's absence, but I've been asking Him to show me and prepare me. I know God has a purpose and plan for all things, and that it is His will for my husband to go and minister to our soldiers on foreign soil, and so I'm at peace about this. It doesn't mean I won't be extremely sad to see him go or not struggle. It just means I'm going to lean on the Lord and trust Him in this and seek to do the extraordinary for His glory while my husband seeks to do the same. And when the days set before us get tough and challenge our faith, we will remember those who have gone before us and fix our eyes on Jesus!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 1-3