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.


Thank you for allowing me to blog ad nauseum about this deployment! Today is a hard day knowing that Brandon is finally flying away. We kept hoping to get an email saying, “Stop! Psych! You’ve been punked.” (Sigh). I know God goes with him…

“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

*The following video was played at the homecoming ceremony just before we were reunited:

26 thoughts on “Homecoming

  1. “You could hear the tears” – can you hear them from Oregon, my friend? The signs, the soldiers, the video, your emotion-filled writing – all very tear-inducing! Here’s to the waiting – may it pass quickly, and may you know that we are all waiting and praying with you! xoxo

  2. I’m crying here in Newton, MA, too. You write beautifully and always make me stop and appreciate what I have to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. Oh Jeneil.

    Sending you love.

    The light of God surround him.
    The love of God enfolds him.
    The power of God protects him,
    and the presence of God watches over him.
    Wherever Brandon is, God is, and all is well.

  4. I know I’ve told you this before, but not a night goes by that Amy doesn’t mention Brandon’s name to God in her prayers … and then she prays for Brandon’s family waiting here at home. I hope you feel it.

    We all wait with you.

  5. Jeneil,
    This must be so hard. We care over in this corner of the continent. I pray that you hear Jesus speaking his perfect peace to your heart, mind and soul every morning, as you wake up, and every night as you lay down.

  6. I see that I’m not the only one crying.

    I am praying daily—DAILY—for the angel of the Lord to encamp around Brandon, and you, and the girls.

    I hear those wings settling around each of you.

  7. Praying your strength in the Lord while you wait. We love you. You, Brandon, Rhema and Hope are covered in our prayers. Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord, Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord.

  8. How I loved that powerful line “you could hear the tears.” I’m just overflowing with emotion right now for you and your family. I WISH so hard that you HAVE been punked. I cannot imagine. A good friend of mine’s husband was in Afghanistan for 10 months right after she gave birth to her 3rd child. Her other two boys were both classified (ADHD and her 2 year old just doesn’t talk and has sensory issues and gets early intervention though no ‘diagnosis’ as of yet). anyway, i watched her go through every day with her children and her faith in God. That, along with the support of her friends, got her through. He came home in July. Thank the Lord!

    I wish for your homecoming to come soon and that your heart can find enough peace to get through each day while he’s gone. I wish I could offer you real help getting through with your girls alone, and hope you have help w/ them. i couldnt imagine parenting alone, on top of being worried about my husband’s safety. You’re in my prayers! always… 🙂
    thank you for your beautiful posts. they are so amazing.

  9. One of my favorite Mark Schultz songs. Continuing prayers for all of you, especially as you deal with these changes in Rhema. May God’s strength be yours as you navigate this season. His strength will see you through this time.

    Lots of love and prayers this weekend~elaine

  10. You are incredible! God in you is incredible! The way you let your life’s song sing to God’s praise and glory is just too beautiful and rich for words. Reading your blogs ALWAYS humbles me and draw me closer to our Lord. My heart truly goes out to you as you wait. Know that we are covering Brandon in our prayers. What a brave and courageous man you have. Thank God for men like him willing to serve God and his country wholeheartedly. Love you!!

  11. Pingback: Band of Runners « Run Luau Run

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