These last few weeks have been hard. It started when an acquaintance passed away at the age of 35, leaving behind a wife and 2 small children. James left behind an amazing legacy. He loved God with all of his being and even though his body was ravaged with cancer, he and his wife, Jolene, had a home filled with joy and peace. I wish I would have taken the time to get to know him more, to visit their home.
Rob was unexpectedly called away for 14 days to help with the Air Force MAFFS planes, keeping them running safely. It feels as if he has been gone for most of the summer between his 3 weeks in France/England, his seemingly endless work schedule, and now 2 weeks in Idaho. James’ funeral was held the day after Rob left. Between the extremely short notice of Rob’s departure, the funeral, and Levi being gone for 2 days the first few days of the week were hard. I had a very difficult time adjusting to everything. In a way I still am.
There is a person in church who has had a deep impact on me and I don’t even really know him. But he has been to war. He has been injured in battle. He has watched a comrade die in order to save others. He came home suffering from a lot of injuries both physical and mental. I know he suffers from PTSD. On top of that, he is separated from his wife and as far as I know is unable to have contact with his children. He is even more alone than I could even imagine, and yet, and yet, he is so much more. He is very involved in our church and is a growing, thriving Christian who deeply impacts those around him and probably has no idea how profoundly he affects others. I thanked him today for the impact he has had on my boy’s life. He looked straight at me and told me they were a blessing. I said but oh such a challenge at times. He repeated that they ARE a blessing. Oh how quickly I forget this!
I realize how easy I have it. My husband will be returning home to us soon while Jolene will never again have James home again with her. And even if my husband is deployed again, he isn’t deployed to a “hot zone” but to a safer zone. I don’t have the day-to-day stress of worrying about him fighting in battle or going through the horribleness of what so many thousands of soldiers have to live with daily. It’s still hard being a military spouse but it could be so much harder. And, I don’t have a husband coming home suffering from PTSD. It’s not just a term or an excuse, its a truth of the cost of war.
And I have my children with me. I am surrounded by my church family and my family. I also have support of friends. And I have God and the best source of truth out there, the Bible.
I get so bogged down in the day-to-day-ness of raising kids and working and being a wife and ALL that entails that I fail to realize how precious and special the time I have with Rob and the boys is. I have no guarantee of tomorrow, I have no guarantee of the remainder of today. This last week has been a major reminder of this.
My heart hurts so for these others and, quite frankly, for myself. I hate being so alone but more than that….I hurt for those around me who are so much more alone than I am. I am thankful for this lesson, this reminder.
I want to do something, anything to help those around me who are suffering even more than I can ever imagine, dealing with the loss of a spouse or PTSD. I have been spending a lot of time in prayer, the best thing I can do, yet I want to do more. I just don’t know what else to do.
I do know that I can trust my Lord. He has a plan for all of this, a reason He is causing me to hurt so much and go through such a tiny portion of what others are going through for a reason. My verse used to be Proverbs 3:6 (Hopes version!) In all of your ways acknowledge the Lord, your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And He will make your paths straight.” Recently my verse has been more and more Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I know God is more interested in my journey than in the end point……I hope I can see what He is wanting me to learn right now!