Veterans Day and all patriotic holidays grip my heart and make me to think upon the power of Christ in watching over my husband throughout his 17+ years (& counting) that he’s served this great nation. This photo is from 2010. It was the day we said goodbye before he left for stateside training and prep for a tour of duty.
I know what it’s like to be the one who stays home. I know what it’s like to “hold down the fort” while my better half is serving our country and defending others bravely.
But…I’ll never know what it’s like in his eyes, mind, and heart. How tough it must’ve been to hold us tight, knowing that in moments he would be letting go for a set amount of seemingly endless months. Knowing that he’s called to serve but leaving most of his heart at home with us. I cannot imagine the difficulty it must bring to carry this weight. How brave.
And this moment captured on film…soon after, he packed his bags onto the bus and boarded it. I waved goodbye to the busses and once I thought he was out of sight of me I leaned into my MIL’s arms and wept. I collected myself realizing I needed to be strong for my son. I/We held my 10 year old son and confirmed that he was okay and then I went to work. He was handling everything remarkably well.
Upon arriving at work I was greeted by a patriotic bouquet of flowers and a signed copy of Jocelyn Green’s Faith Deployed. It was in that moment that I broke down and sobbed. I’m pretty sure I scared everyone within ear shot of me at work that day. It was my first moment to let the reality sink in where I didn’t have to be strong in front of anyone. My husband was miles upon miles away and my son was with his grandparents. And there I was: facing the realization of what just began, grateful to be surrounded by the love and support from my team.
God taught me many things over the months that soon followed. He sent me gifts of kindness through cards, prayers, & hugs of many as we waded through the quiet, long days. And He loved me through the fear and longing for my husband. Our relationship was strengthened through the grace of God. We carefully guarded our hearts for Him, and each other. We sent each other handwritten letters and packages and enjoyed each phone call. Deployments are hard, but nothing is too great for our God.
I say again, I’ll never know what it must be like to be the one who must leave and serve, but I’ll never be able to erase the memories and vivid feelings of the one who loves and supports from back home.
Should we ever face another deployment, we will be just fine. I’ll love him and support him powerfully so that he can stand tall and brave and not worry about us. His heart and mind will never have reason to doubt my love, for I am his and he is mine (Song of Solomon 6:3.)
A devoted, loving military spouse