Sunday, June 09, 2013

Can you say "emotional roller coaster?"

May 10, 2013

That's exactly how I have felt the last few days.

I guess you could say it started Sunday in church.  Like every other Sunday, I sat on the front pew with my boys.  Colin went to the restroom during meet and greet and decided to sit in the overflow section. Carson decided to go to Children's Church for the first time in over a year.  There I sat. Alone.  I wasn't really alone.  There were the other 200 people in the sanctuary, including Edie and Lauren sitting on my pew.  But I felt alone. I had my Sara Horn moment.  I sat there and fought back tears.

In recent conversations, I knew that Jeff would be leaving Afghanistan in the coming days. I went to the alter at the end of the service to pray for Jeff to have a safe trip back to the states.  With the recent plane crashes, I knew he was a little nervous about flying. I was a little nervous too.  But I also knew that God had been with him each step of the way, and I highly doubted He would let anything happen to Jeff.  But still, I prayed. That's what I do.

When I went back to my pew, my phone lit up.  It was a text message from Jeff saying he was packing up his stuff.  Months of emotions overcame me, but I was comforted by and celebrated with some wonderful people who stayed by my side while Jeff has been gone.  As I left church, I told our pastor the news. He cried and hugged me. 

The following days have been met with constant checking of messages, continued prayer, and rampant emotions.  I've had difficulty making it through the Pledge of Allegiance and the the National Anthem.  And today, I read the back of a substitute teacher's shirt:
Even though I knew a little of her story, I wasn't prepared for that. I felt blessed because my husband would be leaving Afghanistan alive. I felt saddened because her husband didn't leave Iraq alive. I can't imagine the depths of of what she has gone through.  I had to hug her, from one military wife to another.  Because you know....we are not alone. 

When I became a military wife, I wanted to find connections with others.  I didn't want to feel alone.  I was blessed to find Wives of Faith.  I have been blessed by the love and support of my church family. Most of those that have supported me have shared my experience in the past. It has been so beneficial to talk with those at church who were in my position many years ago.  I have been blessed to have a coworker who has been in my position and isn't afraid to speak up for the "wife" when someone asks "is he in a safe place?" She was always quick to say there is no safe place.

No matter how alone I felt, no matter the wide range of emotions that go along with having your husband deployed, God was with me the whole time. The best thing I did during this deployment was to remain faithful to the Lord.  When my nerves were shot, He calmed me.  When I was anxious or frustrated, He gave me peace.  When I needed a kind word, He provided an encourager.  When I worried, He took away my fear.  He provided for my family in so many ways.

Now, the coming days will remain a roller coaster.  There will be more waiting and waiting and waiting.  I am very thankful to walk this path with the Lord by my side. I could not do it without him. 

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