Great news! The love of my life is coming home early! This week in fact!
This deployment left us missing yet another Valentines Day, our 14 year Wedding Anniversary and both of our birthdays!
But here is what I wanted to share...especially for all of my Military Spouses out there, but really its for everyone, so keep reading.
After many deployments I have come to realize that there are certain times before, during and after a deployment that I have to be very aware of.
Before he leaves, tensions can be high if we aren't careful. He doesn't want to leave his family and his head is racing with his mission. I don't want him to leave, I fear for his safety and without even realizing it, my old feelings of abandonment rise up! We have both learned to be aware of this and take extra care to show each other love because none of us are promised tomorrow but we do get to choose what we do with today...so we try to make it count.
When he leaves...he is busy settling in and wrapping his head around his mission and I am picking up all the pieces of my new reality, building up a wall around my heart so I don't feel and trying to wrap my head around the fact that I can do this...again! Now, instead of building up a wall around my heart, because that's NEVER helpful, I put on the full armor of God instead and I combat all negative thoughts and cover my husband and his soldiers in prayer instead.
Right before he gets home...he is exhausted and trying to wrap things up as quickly as possible so he can get back to his safe place...his family. I am exhausted and wondering why he is a little distant. Mamma needs a break and I am tempted to think he is living it up where ever he is! lol Can anyone else relate to this lie? I am also tempted to freak out because the house needs to be detailed, my hair and nails need to be done and I didn't lose the 10lbs I wanted to:) just to name a few! I also know that I will have to readjust my schedule, yet again in order to welcome my husband back as the rightful head of our home. Let's face it, giving up that power when you've been the head and chief, isn't always easy!:) So instead I have learned to take it in strides, write my list of to do's and focus on making our reunion as romantic and peaceful as possible because I know we both need it! :)
Over the years, we have learned to recognize our emotions and the time of the deployments that they normally come. We have thoughtfully considered why we are having these emotions and most importantly, we have learned to turn them over to God!
It doesn't help to focus on the negative aspects of a deployment or anything you are facing in life because your focus determines your reality!
When I am focused on how God is building my family and marriage and I stay focused on the good of what we have and where God is taking us, my entire outlook changes and so does our experience.
I am sharing all of this in hopes that our experiences will encourage you through your trying times.
This deployment was different then all the rest...probably because we have had a lot of practice at readjusting our focus:) This time we both grew deeper than ever before, not just in our love and understanding of each other but also in our relationship with God! We worked on keeping our focus on each other, as one of our true top priorities in life, but most importantly on God and it made the world of difference!
No, it wasn't perfect. Old emotions rose up BUT we recognized them and combatted them together!
Some of the things that helped?
1. We read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren...both Tony and I, as well as our girls. This gave us something else to talk about and most importantly kept our relationship with God growing!
2. Tony wrote me sweet emails almost daily (pray for him, he needs to get better at this! LOL) and I tried to send pictures of what the girls and I were up to with an email as well.
3. We talked more openly about our feelings and we had mercy and patience with each other instead of allowing them to get the best of us.
4. We focused on his return and some fun travels we have coming up.
By having these things to keep up focused we were more aware of our emotions, were able to deal with them and turn them over to God.
I know that separation, deployments and hard times are not an easy thing to go through but Tony and I are firm believers that IF you allow these times to, they WILL make you stronger!
So to all of my fellow Military spouses out there. Hang in there! Choose what you focus on wisely and allow God to be your strength! Its ok to focus on weight loss, self improvement and other goals that will help you improve over the time that will pass...trust me, we have done it all and usually combine a fitness goal in there as well BUT there is nothing that replaces a focus on Christ at the center and truly honoring him and each other in all you do.
I would love to hear from you. Did this blog help in any way? Do you have some tips you could share? Also, we have a lot of people going through tough times and deployments, please share this blog post, you never know who it may encourage! Thanks in advance for your feedback, likes and shares!