Reminders of War and Finding Joy…

Deployment, day 204

So, I’m sitting on my couch fighting tears because my busy-ness of the past several days has come to a stop…and the reality of the quiet, emptiness of my home covers me like an unwanted, dense and smothering fog. No longer do I enjoy the sounds of people in and out of my home, of my singing along with my ipod as I sew & create costumes for the upcoming weekend… even the sound of the music I have playing doesn’t drown out the slow, constant hum of emptiness that is all around. The emptiness is a result of war. Because of war, my husband is deployed and my home is not the same…

It’s not just the emptiness that reminds me of war…but other things too. If you are easily shaken and your brother/sister/cousin/husband is currently deployed, stop reading here please. Otherwise…I will pick up where I left off… There are many things that surround me, and plague me with reminders of the reality of war. I find myself so much throughout this deployment focusing so much on the positive and trying to enjoy life in whatever way possible so that I am not sulking & melting in my sorrows or fears and by diverting my focus, I tend to ignore what war is, if that is possible. Allow me to explain; you see, I don’t watch the news. I don’t read certain sections of the paper. If people wish to tell me what they have seen on the news & it pertains to the war I politely, yet firmly cut them off & tell them I do not want to know. So here I am in my bubble… I even went through & deleted several of my military connections on Facebook because I didn’t want to see any more of the content that was being shared online. The way I see it…anything I need to know about this deployment I will learn from my husband. So…I thought I had it all figured out… but I can’t avoid some things.

More than once I have been driving down the road and pull up behind a vehicle at the light & read the back window to see a tribute to a slain (KIA) husband, father, brother, etc. I can barely fight the tears & emotions that flood every time I see those little white sticker silhouette soldiers bent down on one knee praying at the foot of a cross with gun in hand with sticker words that arch above the his bowed head with his name and date of birth and death. Just the other day I was opening up my Sunday paper eager to get my coupons out, the funny papers, and the sale papers & what do I see on the front page but a Marine with his legs severed from the knee down due to a bomb. Even Hannah Montana had a show recently with soldiers and families. I see pictures that have been posted by my husband of a bullet hole in his oil pan on a truck he was driving while out on a mission, of the soldiers sleeping in cots with guns close by and how every inch of everything is covered in dust & sand, I see pictures of their living areas & see pictures of families in the background & know that all of them miss their soldiers deeply too and I know that this is a reality of war… that all of these things are very real and very much a consequence of war… and I am torn but somehow I stay strong & keep it together and don’t fall apart. By the grace of God, I don’t fall to pieces…and I actually wake up every day with joy in my heart…

So I ask myself, why is it that I cope with this by not focusing on the reality…and I don’t really know…All that money & man hours I spent working on my degree in psychology, all those perfect grades…and I have no idea on this one. I have some speculations… I presume my rationale is that I can’t dwell on the scary side of war or the negative possibilities… if I do they will cripple me. Instead I choose to focus on the positive side of things. The fact that I believe that my Savior hears my prayers. That I have faith that He knows my heart…and that He knows how deeply I love my husband….how long I waited for him…how much I need him…how much my son needs him… how much my heart is complete having him in my life now. Obviously as a Christian, my heart belongs to Jesus…but as Husband & Wife, my sweet soldier and I are now one. I believe that Jesus placed him within my life and that He is with him every moment and will bring him home to me. I believe also that if we trust Jesus and we reflect on the lovely things like He has said to do in His word, that He will sustain us and lead us if we allow Him too.

So, I am about to go to sleep…I will climb into my cold, lonely bed but soon, in just a few weeks I will have the wonderful opportunity to share it again with my Love…even though it will only be for a moment, I will cherish every second. I’m not even sure if I will be able to sleep while he is in for a visit because I won’t want to miss a thing 🙂 To God be the glory for the joy in my life. For the ability to be strong, however I choose to do it…and however He chooses to supply it…and for the wonderful gift of the amazing person that is my Husband.

Philippians 4:8 says…”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Nehemiah 8:10 says…”The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

Psalm 118:24 says…”This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Song of Solomon 6:3 says…”I am my beloved’s, and he is mine.”

Friend, whatever you are facing…please remember to focus on the Lord. To dwell on the lovely things and to take joy in knowing that He, the Creator of the universe holds you within His palm and is with you. May He be your joy and strength. ♥

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