Home home

Hope, age 2, "looking for Daddy" through the mailslot when he was deployed in 2009-2010.

Hope, age 2, “looking for Daddy” through the mailslot when he was deployed in 2009-2010.

Just a quick update-

Brandon returned home from deployment last week and we have been enjoying the time together. Hooray!

The girls and I had planned to meet him at the airport but he was delayed by several hours. My good friend Gail willingly came over and stayed with the girls – almost until midnight – while I picked Brandon up at the airport. This homecoming was different. He was not in uniform. He traveled alone. There were no crowds or signs, no ceremony. No newspapers or news cameras this time. Just me and him.

It was the best way. The first time he deployed to war over ten years ago it had been just the two of us at an airport… (well, actually my dog Ronald had been there and Rhema was in my belly, but we’re just counting the bipedal adults…).

Now things seemed to come full circle for us. He walked over to me and gave me a hug. He sighed heavily, “We made it another year. No more.” It was a promise. And I simply said, “Ok.”

Two kids, three deployments and what seems to be a lifetime of ups and downs, pains and joys, we were back to just the two of us. Making peace with all the life lived apart and what it cost us. Looking ahead to a new chapter.

The quiet homecoming made me think of a favorite story:

A missionary couple, after years of faithful service overseas, was returning back to the States. They returned to the New York harbor on the same steamship as Teddy Roosevelt. Upon their arrival in the harbor Roosevelt was greeted with great fanfare – a brass band, reporters and photographers, firecrackers were set off. And this aged missionary couple, health broken and spent in their service for Christ, walked off the gangplank and through the crowd, unmet and seemingly unknown. As they walked, a tear trickled down the husband’s cheek.

“What’s wrong?” his wife asked.

“My whole life I’ve given to serving God. We’ve spent ourselves for Jesus and nobody is here to greet us. There’s no bouquet of flowers for you.”

His dear wife thought for a minute and then said, “Honey, we’re not home yet. We’re not home yet.

 

In the coming months Brandon will begin the process of retiring from the Army. It will be quite a change for us – I’ve only always known him as a soldier – but it’s a welcome change. I’m thankful, so thankful for the chance to finish and begin again, for whatever God has for us next (we give our lives to Him), to live and love and work together until we’re Home home.

.

*Thank you so much for the prayers and encouragement this past year! 

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15 thoughts on “Home home

  1. Love this. Love that he’s home. Love that you made it. Love the promise. Love that there is a better home. Love the self-sacrifice your family makes for country, for children, for each other. I would add only this change: unlike those missionaries, there were countless people watching at your homecoming, waiting anxiously, cheering you from afar, sending bouquets in our hearts, We have seen you spend yourselves. We are very, very glad to say welcome home.

  2. I just want to echo what Jett said. I’m here in Chicago, and have been waiting and watching too. Best to the whole family as you embark on this next chapter.

  3. I’m crying with relief and praise to the Lord for Brandon’s safe return. Now I will begin to pray for the transition you will all be making. Finishing a career as all-consuming as the military and adjusting to civilian life must have some challenges. You both will meet those challenges with love for each other which grows in the circle of love and faith in our Lord, and friends like me will be lifting you up in prayer. Welcome home, Brandon!!!

  4. I am one of those countless people who surround you with great rejoicing and thanks to God for B’s safe arrival home!

  5. What a blessing to be able to begin a new chapter. Surely God’s many blessings await all of you! That is my prayer, and I thank God fir what He has done and will do in your lives! Thanks for schlepping us along on the journey! :)

  6. Hi – I have not visited your blog for a long, long time but I’m overjoyed for you that your family has made it thru so many deployments and now you get to look forward to spending the rest of your lives together. Praise be to the Almighty for his faithfulness and loving kindness to your family.

    Emma

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