Being a Military Mom is one thing. It isn’t easy, but we learn to adapt. We sigh and move on. We accept that we won’t see our soldier who is stationed somewhere too far away for periods of time that drag on like eons.
Then we become grandmothers. My first grand-baby, a precious little girl, was born while they were stationed in Germany. I did fly over and spend a whole month, and that was extreme joy!
Another wave of happiness came when her daddy had to deploy. No, I was not at all happy about his deployment, but it did mean that my daughter and almost two year old granddaughter came to live with us for 15 months. Having them with me made his deployment a bit easier on my soul. I prayed for him every moment, while soaking up all the hugs and kisses I could get from my little princess!
Their next duty station was a seven hour drive away. I happily made that trip as often as possible. They gave me another granddaughter and I reveled in the joy of being able to smother them with “Gramma Slobber” and love. But, in a Military Family, good-byes are always looming.
All too soon, they packed all their belongings and headed off to the other side of the world. Completely on the other side of the world. For three years. We knew from the start that there would be no flights over for us and no flights home for them; the economy had tanked, and flights were just too expensive.
And their family of four was about to become a family of five.
I watch my soon to be one year old grandson grow through pictures and video chats. I cried on my granddaughter’s eighth birthday because I realized I had not hugged her since she was six. I groan in my soul every time one of them is sick, or my daughter is overwhelmed and I cannot go be of any kind of help. And I am still not convinced that a child can actually grow properly without a little Gramma Slobber!
I ache from missing them. I still have more than a year to go before I’ll be able to gather them into my arms. I wake up crying in the middle of the night sometimes. I check the computer every morning for new pictures, anecdotes of the cute things they have said or done, or the new havoc they have wreaked upon their mother.
Their family of five has just grown once again, with the addition of a three year old little guy who stole their hearts, and mine. Now I have TWO grandsons whom I have yet to get my hands on!
There are days when I don’t think I can hang on any longer, but I have adapted the habit crying on Christ’s shoulder. I actually picture myself climbing up into His lap like my grand-babies would climb into mine, and putting my arms around His neck, sticking out my bottom lip, and telling Jesus all about my boo-boos and woes. I know, it sounds a bit silly, but it works for me, because I swear I can feel His gentle kiss on the top of my head, His soft hands caress my back, His whispered words of concern, and His overwhelming love. When I say, “God, I can’t do this any more!” the whisper comes back, “I am here with you, you can do this with Me by your side. Just keep holding My hand, don’t let go.”
So, with my hand firmly in His, I continue to wait for the days, weeks, months; another year to pass. From the outside, I may look strong. I may seem fine. I may appear to not have a care in the world. I may come off as being quite happy and contented.
And I am all of those things! Truly I am, but ONLY because I won’t let go of His hand, and He continues to lead me on.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Phillippians 4:13 KJV