2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
This past Saturday many of my family and I were gathered to welcome home my second son-in-law from a deployment of 6 months. We gathered together in support of my third daughter as she was waiting for her soldier to deplane. It was one of those moments that brought back the number of times I welcomed my own husband home after many months deployed. It was also another insightful moment to see how God had prepared our Mary to be the wife of a soldier. She had waited beside me many times for her Daddy’s face to appear through the crowd as he returned from a deployment and today she was anxiously waiting to see her husband’s face through the crowd. She was excited and giddy with expectation of holding her husband soon. She would be able to take a breath and rest after carrying the weight of her household without her soldier and now share with him the growing life of their first child expected to arrive mid-February. Her sisters were standing beside her almost as excited as they were waiting to capture the reunion on their iPhones. Tim’s parents drove from Virginia to welcome home their only son safely from deployment adding another special element to his celebratory return in the airport. Tim returned home with a small wave of soldiers and we wanted to come with a crowd so all felt welcomed. After we embraced our soldier and all the emotion that goes with a welcome home I took a step back and then for the first time I realized the emotion of a family right beside us. It only took a minute before I recognized the look on the face of the spouse, trying to be brave as she prepared to say the painful goodbye to her soldier because duty called. Let us not forget those who are currently deployed or assigned away from their families and the families left at home, especially during this Christmas season. The sacrifice of the military family is real. For those of us who have experienced the emotions of walking through a deployment let us take to heart the words from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. May we purpose to demonstrate through thoughtful and kind words, actions and prayers comfort to those who are missing their loved ones currently deployed and pray for those serving in uniform away from home and all they hold dear.