Also, by three months down I was really close to several of the women in our battalion, and felt a part of the "family". It felt good. I had struggled before the deployment to really feel a part of the "family". I think it's something everyone goes through... God had blessed me with some wonderful friends and it was something I had really desired to take place long before, but I think sometimes it's difficult for people to warm up to us chaplain wives. I could be wrong...but I would be interested to hear what other chaplain wives think... I know, after I got to know some of the ladies well, they shared their fears of being close to me since they weren't "religious". They soon came to find out that didn't matter to me. I wanted to know them and become friends just like any other woman would want. Thankfully, that opportunity came with the deployment, and I wouldn't trade those times of great laughter and even great tears for anything. Except for the lives of our Soldiers.
Thinking through the deployment isn't easy. This time last year my husband had probably just gotten back on the battlefield from having been gone for R&R (it takes longer to return than to get home for R&R). We were given two weeks together and it was wonderful!!! Saying good-bye again, however, was not. I teased him a lot about restraining him and not letting him return. :) But, I knew he must return and that his men needed him there. I think knowing it's what the Lord has called us to do makes it easier...and when I say easier I don't mean it like it was easy to do at all, just that God gave me the strength to somehow let go and watch him step on that plane to go back to a very dangerous place.
I'm thankful it's over and he's home. I am thankful for this Army life, even when it's difficult, and thankful for all the Lord has done. My heart goes out to all enduring a deployment right now!