Sunday, September 27, 2009

Forever Changed

Thoughts come easy, words don't. This month has been like none other in my life. I've watched strong Soldiers cry, wives mourn the loss of their husbands, mothers and fathers mourn the loss of their sons, siblings mourn the loss of their brothers, children mourn the loss of their fathers, and friends mourn the loss of great friends.

Death has a sting like none other. It forever leaves its mark on our lives. It scars our hearts and leaves us forever changed. It's something no one wants to face in life, but something we most assuredly will if we live long enough. Babies born just before daddy's departure to Afghanistan, or soon after, and those yet to be born will never know what it feels like to be held by them. They will only have pictures and stories told by others to cling to; not even a memory.

My mind has been filled with thoughts to the point of overflowing this last week as we mourned the loss of Soldiers in our own battalion. One was a friend, and someone my husband greatly misses downrange. He brought smiles, encouragement & company to my best friend. They prayed together and opened God's Word together. They talked about his unborn child and his sweet wife. When he was finally able to call out, I cried as he shared with me he had lost a good friend. Even now, it's hard for me not to cry about that loss, for war is already difficult and even more so when you lose a friend.

I will never forget the moment when it hit me who it was and that my friend, Sarah, had just lost the love of her life. I couldn't speak without crying as I shared with her what her Chaplain, my husband, wanted her to know. He had just married them 9 months prior.

Her strength and faith in God has been a testimony to us all. She smiles while others cry. She tells us she's praying for our husbands just moments after having said good-bye to hers. She is a woman we all admire and love.

Though it has been a difficult month, I've grown closer to many of our ladies in the battalion, and experienced things that only come through such tragedy. I've made many new friends, who I would not have known otherwise, that have touched my life beyond words. I've watched our Soldiers give it their all to honor their fallen brothers (even those wounded coming to the memorial & funeral), and experienced a new level of patriotism and honor. And for all this, and other reasons I still can't find the words to express, my life has been forever changed.

I will never forget those who gave their lives, nor stop praying for those who continue to honor them by continuing the mission set before them.


LAURIE said...

Covering you with prayer as you minister to these wives and their families. Not an easy thing but certainly God has placed you and your husband to be a hope and strength to these families that are hurting.

Michael Collins said...

Even though this was a difficult post for you to get through, I'm grateful to know how you are and what's going on in your life. It really helps me to know how to pray for you.

Something that my husband's chaplain showed him in chaplain training was, grieve WITH those who grieve, and rejoice WITH those who rejoice. I'm not sure this will be appropriate to post, because it can seem harsh and even possibly inconsistant with bearing one another's burdens.... but for those of us who's tendency it is to shoulder the entirety of someone else's burden it helped me. "With" is an important word in this passage. While you are with them, grieve or rejoice, which ever the circumstance requires. When you depart, know that their grief or joy is not yours to continue in. That's not to say it has no effect on you, neccessarily. Simply put, God's plans for molding and shaping through other's grief or joy is their appointed time and the lesson He will teach you through it is another matter.

I'm noodling this one out still. It's rough on me when those around me are in pain. I'm quite empathetic, and sorrow, joy, whatever those around me are feeling, I feel with all my being. Knowing that it's not about me and what I'm sensing can be a struggle when the feelings are that intense.

You have my prayers, my friend and sister. Hope your family is well and contented. May you know you have God's full approval, and that He rejoices over you with shouts of deep and abiding joy.

In His grip- Holly

Pinkshoelady said...

Such Powerful Words!
Know too that there are many of us out there who are praying also. Many will never leave a comment..some will just read and hit their knees. But praying for you and with you we are!
We are too grateful for all you do for us not to pray.
I am praying Psalm 20 for you today read the words as a prayer God has picked someone out to pray for you today!
PS We are getting closer to getting in...Hopefully the November boards.

Lauren said...

This brought me to tears, but thank you for posting it. A honest reminder of the prayers that need to be lifted up to the Lord. May God continue to bless both you and your husband's ministry in the Army.

Denise Mitchem said...

Dear Laura,
My heart goes out to you and all the families of those lost.
My husband and I are at the point where you and your husband were back in May 07. Jim, my husband, will leave for Chaplain school on January 10th. He is prior service and we both know all to well the affects of war.
I read several of you blogs. We also have 4 children ranging in age from 25 to 12. In one you talked about "no coincidence"...well, I say the same. My thoughts have been the same over these past several months; what if something happens to my husband, my best friend etc., etc. I thank God for showing me the scripture that you posted, Philippians 4:6-7.
Reality of what we are about to do is setting in.
We are excited about the path that God has led us to. I look forward to connecting with other army wives and particularly Chaplain's wives.
I'm on facebook and would enjoy having you as a facebook friend.
Denise Mitchem

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Laura said...

Anonymous - thanks.

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