“I will stand at my watch…I will look to see…Yet I will wait patiently for the day…” ~Habbakuk 2:1
We are down to days.
Many years of being a military spouse has taught me that nothing is for sure in the Army… but I think this deployment is finally coming to an end. Honestly? I feel like I’m crawling toward the finish. And when I get there, instead of doing a victory dance, I think I’ll just fall asleep. Yeah right there at the finish line. Don’t pick me up. Just bring me a pillow and some blankets!
I hope I will let myself take a deep breath and put aside my concerns about schedules, work, changes and the whole re-integration process. I suspect my apprehension will fall away and joy will overtake as soon as I see him home, safe, laughing with Hope, holding Rhema’s hand, making up for lost time.
I turned back the pages of this old blog and found some things I’ve shared about deployments and reunions of the past. At every turn God’s faithfulness sings out to me. Brandon and I have been physically (and sometimes emotionally) separated for years at a time, and God so gracious, has stood over the process of us reorienting ourselves back to each other. Time and again He helps us find our way, as a family together, again.
Because of this I believe with all my heart that God in a marriage can do anything.
Mind if I share some snippets this week??
The following was written in 2009, at the beginning of a 14-month deployment. But the events actually occurred 10 years ago (!)… and still, we wait. And the waiting is precious.
I’m waiting for a call.
A call to say that he has arrived safely in Kuwait.
Even as he goes out, I am already thinking of his coming in.
I think back to five years ago when a handful of spouses gathered in an old gymnasium in Katterbach, Germany in the dark of night. There were babies and small children, and wives who were suddenly decked out in their best clothes. We were waiting… like the ten bridemaids of the Biblical parable, we were waiting for the groom, with oil in our lamps.
I’ll never forget walking into that gym and seeing the signs that caused a lump to form in my throat.
The first thing I did was to check the manifest. To see, for sure, if my beloved was on the list. He’d said that after a long, hard year he was coming home. But in the Army, you just never know what might happen, so I stared hard at the list until I found his name. And when I did, I bounced an 11 month-old Rhema on my hip, and let my heart rest for the first time in a good while.
The hours dragged on and we chatted, laughed, traded babies and tried to be patient. Around 2 in the morning, the announcement came that Bravo Company, 3rd of the 58th - deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom – had landed on the kaserne. While in Iraq, they had set up an airfield for coalition aircraft in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, and now they had returned to their home away from home in Katterbach.
It would still be hours before we could see them, as they had to take inventory and turn in their weapons. It seemed like forever.
Then a screen descended, the lights went out and a music video played.
The song finished, the screen was raised… and then we saw them. A small, weary company of air traffic controllers, led by my husband. Before being released to their families, they stood almost humbly, in formation. You could hear the tears.
I know they were praying, quietly thanking God along with us. Thanking God with all their hearts that not one of them, not one, had been lost.
So here am I again. Waiting… for a homecoming.
While I wait, I am aware that we are all waiting for something.
May your waiting make you stronger.
May you know His peace that passes understanding… while you’re in the in between.
May you know His love surrounds you,
May He be your portion…
in the waiting.
This I pray.
“Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.” —Charles Spurgeon