Another really good gift

I got good news.

But first… the husband recently sent me something he wrote just before he left on his deployment. Interestingly, I could not, would not write details about his departure… (almost too painful, too personal for words)… but *he* did, and now I want to share it:


Aug 09

Why Weep?

I cannot seem to put my finger on it.

My Great-Grandmother was the first Christian in our family—or at least the one that sparked generations of Christian families with our last name. When she gave her heart to Him in the 1960’s, she began to live for Jesus and pray for her family. So simple. So powerful. One by one, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and, if only she could see them now, her great-great-grandchildren learning Bible verses and on their way to knowing Him. How the course of generations of our family was changed.

I last wept when she died in 2003.

I guess that is it. It is grief. Loss.

How do I say goodbye to my kids tomorrow? How do I put Rhema on the bus and watch her ride off to school for the last time? (Dear God, that hurts so bad to even think about.) Does she even know what awaits her over the next many months? Will she think I have abandoned her? How do I hug Hope goodbye on the porch and have her say, “I love you, Daddy.”? How do I walk away from that little bundle of flesh and all of her growing, experiencing, learning, creating, laughing, hugging, teasing, smiling? Will she continue to thrive without me? Doesn’t she need her Daddy?

How do I leave my confidant, my buddy, my comfort, my intimate? How do I leave her to do all of the exhausting work? Have I done enough to make sure she will be ok? How do I stay close to her over these next months?

As I wept today (yes, like a big baby), I could not help to be drawn to Jesus in Gethsemane. (It sounds trite, but sometimes those stories seem to lose significance with us because we hear them so much, but in hard times they often come to life and bring new meaning.) My trial can’t come close to comparing with Jesus’ anxiety, but it gave me great comfort to know that my Jesus has experienced my small degree of pain through his big degree of pain. All I could do today to release my pain is say his words, ‘Lord, not my will, but Yours be done.’

May Your will be done in and through our family. Please use us, Lord, for your purposes. May this time be redeemed day-by-day. May we embrace with all our being the purposes and assignments you offer us during this time.

Psalm 23. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.


Now, the good news: For the past couple weeks Brandon has been undergoing special training in Georgia before he leaves for Iraq. We now know that he will not deploy to Iraq until after Columbus Day, and that he will be free to visit us Columbus Day weekend! We will have three precious days to spend together before he goes overseas. Although, I dread another goodbye, I know this is an unexpected, good gift and I cannot wait for the girls to see him!

23 thoughts on “Another really good gift

  1. Brandon has a wonderful way with words! Does he have a blog? If not, he should!

    What a beautiful post. God will be with you all during these long 15 months.

    I’m so glad you get to see him again eve though it means another goodbye.

  2. Praise God!!!!!!! Words cannot express how grateful I am. As we are one in spirit Sis, I share your pains and your joys, and my heart is filled.

    Thank you Father God for your love.

  3. words fail me.

    you are incredible people. just incredible.

    selfishly, i just feel so blessed to have you in my life and to have the chance to learn by your example.

    thank you.

  4. Brandon has such a beautiful heart. I’m so glad that you guys will get to be together again for that weekend. I pray that you will have strength to go through the goodbyes again and that you will all have peace that passes understanding.

  5. So happy that you’ll have one more weekend together! And Brandon is also an exceptional writer – no surprise the two of you connected! But really, his words are full of emotion and meaning, and so well-rendered. Thank you for sharing his message with us.

  6. Wow, what an excruciating moment. When she was only a few months old, I had this flash forward image of Maya and all the milestones and experiences I am jealous already to experience with her. Even knowing we are not promised a day, a week, a month, a year, any of all this — a soul mate to share life with, children, meaningful and fulfilling work…none of it promised, but that doesn’t mean we don’t WANT IT ALL. Every little bit of it. And such agony, and visceral grief when we are called upon to let go of any of it. Thanks to you and Brandon both for sharing.

  7. What a wonderful letter written by Brandon. I’m very thankful that you get another weekend together – what an amazing surprise!!

  8. hard to know what to say…as you say. brings to mind Sara Groves song, “Generations” and Nicole Nordeman’s “Legacy;” you know it?

    “I want to leave a legacy
    How will they remember me?
    Did I choose to love?
    Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?
    I want to leave an offering
    A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically
    And leave that kind of legacy”

  9. Pingback: excuse me – the heathen version « diary of a mom

  10. Pingback: excuse me – the heathen version « a diary of a mom

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