"What is thy season this morning? Is it a season of drought? Then that is the season for showers? Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. 'As thy day so shall thy strength be. I will give thee showers of blessing.' The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God's blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace, He will also give comforting grace. He will send "showers of blessings." Look up today, O parched plant, and open thy leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering." --Charles Spurgeon--
When you are deeply in love with your husband, there are no words to describe what it feels like to be separated from him for a great length of time. Most people assume that it is the big events that I miss him most-holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. While it is impossible to not think about his absence on those days, it is the tiny everyday moments that tug at my heart the most. The times when we are playing a board game after dinner or our weekly family movie night-those are the times that you can most feel the giant hole in our family. For me, the absolute worse time is after the kids go to bed. I guess people would assume that I look forward to their 8pm bedtime as the grand finish line to another exhausting day, but instead of feeling relieved, I ache with lonesomeness. My house is quiet and without my children's bubbly noises, and I am filled with the silent loneliness of my new" normal".
Like most military families, Jeff and I are without the luxury of having family nearby to watch the kids when we need a date night. We live on one income so it isn't very practical to hire a babysitter AND spend money to go out. I always thought of our moments together after the kids had gone to bed as our "date" time. Our time to connect, to be together, and to be a married couple and not just mom and dad. I always thought the term soulmate was so cheesy that it almost always made me throw up a little in my mouth when I heard someone use that term when describing their significant other. However, I can think of no other word to describe how Jeff feels to me. All wives should feel as important and cherished as my husband makes me feel. I am right below God when it comes to Jeff's list of priorities. No interest or hobby or career would ever replace me in his heart. He is my other half. He completes me. And, yes, he is my soulmate.
In addition to missing his companionship, I also miss his partnership. I am so blessed to be married to a man who is a dedicated and involved father. Lyn and Jack are the apple of Jeff's eye and bring so much joy into his heart. I know that it physically pains him to be separated from his children. His greatest joy was always coming home from work and playing with them. Jeff also helps me so much around the house that I am, admittedly, having a bit of a hard time keeping up with everything. It was so nice to have someone to wash the dishes while I bathed the kids or to help me put away laundry. It is so nice to have the extra help with chores because it is difficult to accomplish all the household chores while simultaneously homeschooling my two blessings. Most military wives will tell you that with each deployment/extended absence you may learn to cope a little better, but it never gets any easier. And yet, in the midst of this storm God has given me so much to praise Him for.
How blessed am I to even have a husband worthy of missing this much?! That alone is a gift from GOD! I still am in awe as how He saw me as good enough to be Jeff's wife. I feel honored that I can even be married to someone of Jeff's magnitude, and yet God saw fit to give him to me. How awesome!
In addition to blessing me with a truly magnificent husband, the good Lord has gifted us two extraordinary children. They are so obedient and willing to help while their dad is away. Sometimes I am just in awe of the beautiful people my children are. So kind, caring, and wise beyond their years. One of the first comments people make when I tell them that Jeff is gone is, "Wow, I bet it drives you crazy to not get a break from the kids." Honestly, I think the kids are what keep me from going insane. I have their laughter and company to pass the time with. I would hate to be left alone with nothing but my thoughts. Anytime I feel sad, I can just look at them and think about the wonderful two beings that were created from my loving marriage. There is really no great gift I could have been given than that.
Most of all, God has placed such extraordinary people in my life since we moved to San Angelo almost 5 years ago. Have you ever heard the saying, "There are two types of family you are given in this life. The one you are born into, and the one you choose."? The friends I have made here truly are my family; I love them like we are of the same blood. I could not get through this nor any other difficult time I have faced here without God and the "angels" He has placed in my life. It is such an honor that I have gotten to know, befriend, and love these people. With them, many of life's mountains have been easier to climb.
Romans 8:28 reminds me that "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I know that God will use this difficult time in my life to bring glory to His plans for me and my family. Sometimes my focus is so small that I miss out on the greater picture that God is creating. Instead of drowning in misery in the storm I may be facing, I will try to keep an eternal perspective and look ahead to the sunny days I know are just over the horizon.