16-Month Deployment

“But I solemnly promise that you, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law will be kept safe . . .” (Genesis 6:18 CEV).

 

This verse tells us the words spoken by the Lord to Noah as he prepared to take his family into the ark, on a very long “deployment.” We can take heart in them today as our own families prepare to face heavy seas ahead.

Sixteen months doesn’t seem like such a long time until you think in terms of your children growing up without their daddy or mommy for that length of time. My grand-daughter was not yet two years old when her daddy left for his first deployment to the war, and she had already turned three by the time he would return. When thought of in those terms, sixteen months seems like forever.

When my family got the news of our second soldier’s impending deployment, I suddenly had a whole new perspective open to me. I know what it feels like to be a mom of a deployed soldier; yet, to be the Gramma of a baby with a deployed daddy – well that was a completely different story! It made me ponder on what our military moms and dads who stay behind go through.

To be a single parent is not an easy task for anyone. But within the military community, it is more complicated because the left-behind spouse usually lives far away from his or her family, and these “at home warriors”  must depend others who live nearby and are likely to be in the same situation. Deep bonds of friendships form quickly between them, as a gift from God to help them cope.

I pray for all of our soldiers and their families all of the time, but I also have a specific request that God will lend His daily strength and aid to all of the parents’ left behind to raise the children, the children who are missing their soldier parent, and the parent soldier who is missing their family and wishing they could be home once again. Whenever I am missing my own soldier son, I now think of all those daddy’s missing baby’s first steps, school plays, soccer games, graduations, and so much more. By spending some time praying for them, I find that my own fears are dissuaded, my sense of self-pity disappears, and I can go about the rest of my day with a new inner peace that only God can give.

 

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