Psalm 73: 23-26, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom
have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and
my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
This week, my Son-in-law Brandon left for a nine month unit deployment.
Leading up to his departure he requested our family meet and stay together at our
favorite North Carolina beach for his week long block leave. When our daughter
Hannah told us his desire to spend that week together, I immediately began praying
for our time together because God brought to my remembrance the raw emotion
leading up to the painful good-bye of a deployment. I knew from experience the
challenges my daughter Hannah and her soldier were already facing. As the days were
getting closer to their goodbye, the reality that they could do nothing to change their
months apart was setting in.
Galatians 6:2 tells us to carry one another’s burdens. My heart immediately began to
carry the burden of my precious family and I purposed to lift them up daily in prayer
and asked God to show me ways I could serve them during this time. Our week at the
beach together allowed Hannah and Brandon some much needed date time and for
them to experience special family memories together. The night before we left as we
gathered for our final dinner together, my husband asked me to say the blessing. I
graciously declined as I knew I would cry. I could feel the heaviness of my daughters
heart at the thought of her best friend leaving in three days. Earlier the same day, my
son-in-law told me he was dreading going home, his way of expressing the sadness in
his heart and the impending good-bye to his precious family.
The Lord in His goodness reminded me of the lessons of faith we had learned as we
walked through the exact same circumstances as a military family. The most
important being that God had made the plan for our lives. He was the one who had
decided for our time apart during each deployment not the US Army. As we embraced
that truth, it helped to comfort our hearts and lean into the Lord, seeking what He
wanted to teach us as He did a new work in our hearts and lives.
The day my son-in-law deployed was a hard day for me. I wanted to jump in the car
and drive to my daughter and granddaughters to help them through a very painful
day but it was the Lord that reminded me once again, He held the hearts of this
precious family in His hands. He wanted them to learn the same lessons of faith that
our family had learned. He desired they draw near to Him, to trust Him with their
hurting hearts, and most importantly to know He truly was their portion forever.
Jesus, the name above every other name, and yet He knew and cared about every
detail and the pain they were experiencing through this painful time of good-bye.
I laid my desire to drive to Savannah down and began to pray that God would reveal
His heart to them in a new way. I asked Him to be their constant source of peace and
comfort. I asked God to teach them to trust Him even more through this painful
goodbye and in the days ahead as they live apart from one another.
In my book, Wife of a Soldier, A Journey of Faith, I share how I felt God took my
husband, my best friend out of my life, so I would learn to trust He was always there
for me. That is what I have been praying over my daughter and even my young
granddaughters. A few days later, my daughter posted what I have copied below about
what the Lord had already been teaching her through this goodbye.
~ The world is not looking for more doctrinal proof of the reality of God. The world is
looking for Christians who can stand up to every crisis, trouble and difficulty, and
remain calm and at rest in the midst of it all. The world needs to see God’s children
trusting wholly in their Lord.
Beloved, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Freedom from fear and worry comes
when you rest confidently in the very One who created you!
Said see ya later to our best guy a few days ago.
It never gets easier. One of the hardest things was to see him say goodbye to the girls,
especially Raegan who felt it so deeply and yet didn’t understand. As he walked away
and she cried and called for him, she and I both sat there with tears streaming down
our faces. I didn’t know what to say or how to calm her at first, because gosh darn I
needed someone to comfort me.
But my heart quickly shifted back to my Jesus and I asked her….”Raegan, who has our
hearts?” She said, “Daddy!” And I asked her again who has our hearts. She said, “Jesus
Mom!” There it was! We both knew who has our hearts and where rest could be
found! So we praised Jesus, prayed and headed home without our soldier because
even in the midst of this He is good! He has us! He will grow us and teach us so much
in this time!
I can’t control this situation. The ache of just wanting to get brandon back home is so
deeply real to me. But I can’t do anything about it. It’s there in that hurt, ache and
brokenness that I find my ultimate peace and REST in Jesus! 💛
He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! He has never failed me! He always
sees me through and He will do it again!” ~
I thank the Lord for His answer to my prayers for my daughter’s heart.
May you be encouraged by this testimony and when you find yourself in a painful
situation, may you remember the truth found in Psalm 73:26; even if your heart feels
as if it will fail you, God is the strength of your heart forever.