For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
I am reminded of this verse today as I recall our last year and the roller coaster it has been. This time last year we were selling our home in TX and awaiting new orders from the Army. We were hoping for Ft. Bragg but until those orders are printed there are no guarantees. DH was still in school far away and I was home with the boys, dogs, and staging the house for showing. I also had some surgery that could no longer wait. We never did sell the house but leased it instead and had about a 10 day notice to get packed up. Upon arriving in NC we learned that DH was assigned to the brigade that was deploying for a year and leaving in a month.
Here I was in a strange place, no church family, no friends, and soon no husband. The pressure was intense. At the time I would have told you I was fine and thought it was going to be fine, but looking back I see how hard that actually was for me. I did crash initially, for about a month, but only God can pick you up and I was not in a praying place at all. We weren't doing school, we were barely making it to church, and I wasn't sleeping. God pulled me out of it enough to realize what was going on wasn't working. We switched churches (something I do not take lightly), I made friends, and things got better.
Now this was an 8 month process. I never questioned God's purpose for bringing us here. I knew we were where He wanted us. Many friends back in Texas questioned it but I never did. My DH being in the middle of a war zone never bothered me. God can protect him just as well in combat as he can in North Carolina. That nagging place in my heart reminding me of how much I missed him is what got me most everyday. The constant thoughts of how much better things are when he is home is the thing that took part of the joy out of the day.
I say all this now because it started all over again. He came home for his break after 8 months. He was only able to stay for 15 days and part of me was thrilled to have him home. The other part was dreading the inevitable crash which is where I find myself now. I have been in an awful mood and it finally hit me why last night. It was this mourning period that I went through the first time. Another Army wife called it the mourning period which made so much sense to me. You are experienceing a huge loss but we are caught in between. Those of us that lose our spouses to deployment lose something big. We have to exist day to day as if our spouse is gone, but emotionally they are not. We are still married and have to now communicate electronically and via packages. We know it will end but it is so very far away.
Please don't mistake this as a plea for pity. I am in no way comparing this to someone actually losing their husband. It is different in so many ways. I think there are more people who can help when you actually lose your spouse or at least who are willing to help. I get this blank stare and the most common phrase "that must be so hard for you" from most people. They don't know and simply can't understand. I know because I was that person 8 years ago before the deployments started. Before the military took my husband away to schools, TDY, or simply out of the country.
I so appreciate that knowing look from other military wives who have been there. Who know you have hit a wall, or need an activity, or simply don't ask that question. It means you don't have to explain and you can relax. You know she has been there too or worse. I know several wives who are dealing with their 3rd 12 month deployment. Those who had children while their husbands were away or major surgery. We have been so blessed to have DH home for each birth. I have moved 3 times without him, once while pregnant. Our last move was his first. Most wives don't ever have to imagine doing this without their husband.
But, seasons come and go. Some day he will be on deployment and I will have teenage sons. Soon he will be home from this deployment and we will pray he gets to stay for as long as possible. Some day I may be sending a son on his first deployment and doing everything I can for his wife. Whatever the season, I pray I bring glory to God in all I do. I know He sustains me on nights when all I can do is cry while doing dishes. I know He protects us while our Daddy is gone and Boy 1 is convinced there is a giant mouse in the attic. Whatever the season we are never far away from God.