I’ve not had many words for this space lately. I think it’s just a hectic, transitional time.
We’re down to our last week (5 days to be exact) with B before he deploys for a year. Last week I had visions of getting away for a little family vacation, but things did not go as planned. Random items started breaking in our house. Our furnace decided to run HEAT during the heat wave and our central air decided to stop working altogether. Our refrigerator also went on the fritz. We got the furnace fixed and then waited all week/weekend for a part for the air conditioning that never came. My sweet Rhema also had some major unexpected issues which pretty much made us housebound… in our oven of a house.
I’m not a big crier and I shed tears two days in a row.
On Friday we broke down and bought an AC window unit and installed it in our bedroom. We blew up the air mattress and told the girls we were camping out in the bedroom for the weekend. Hope was beyond thrilled and Rhema seemed happy, too. Nah, we didn’t get much sleep, but I think we’ll all always remember it as precious time.
Thank you, Lord. Teach us to trust you.
This week, this just-before-deployment time is always hard; reality sets in as we see him packing and making final arrangements, saying farewell to friends. Still, I never quite believe it’s happening until the moment he actually walks out that door. My heart hurts for him having to leave his family for so long. My heart hurts for Hope conspiring to duct tape the doors, so sure it will make him stay. My heart hurts for Rhema wondering why, where has he gone and will he return?
And just when I had finally trained the man to do the food shopping. I could actually send him to the grocery store and he would actually buy the right things (way too much of it, but at least it was right)!!!
One night B did the math of how much he’s been gone, and in the past 5 years alone he’s been away for more than half that time.
I know there are many single parents who work and raise their children and every day they do their best to make it happen. I know I’ve done it before – 2 yearlong deployments under my belt already and a bunch of summers just me and the kids.
But I honestly don’t know how to do this again. I really don’t.
It occurred to me that that’s a good thing. No faux strength. I need Him, greatly need Him.
We sang this hymn in church last Sunday, and it was perfect:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.