In honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, today, May 4th, we offer you this inspirational article from a military wife. Thank you to all the families who serve our country daily–including the spouses and children of the men and women who are soldiers. In honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day remember to say thank you, not just to a solider, but to his or her spouse too!
I’m currently enduring a very challenging deployment, but I want to tell you about the amazing gifts from God that have not only helped me through, but brought my family back on a path to Him.
Our son was born in April 2009 and I could not imagine being any happier. Unfortunately, an upcoming deployment was looming and I couldn’t help but become angry and despondent. My husband had decided to accept an opportunity to serve overseas with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula. Now, I’d heard him speak of this deployment many times before, hoping he could someday be a part of it.
I screamed, “But why now? What horrible timing!” There were many tearful discussions and arguments, but deep down I knew he had to do this. After the initial shock, I surprised myself with my understanding and patience. Was that God’s first gift during this difficult time?
In a few months I was to be a single mother of sorts, so I had to just take it day by day. After my husband left, I really didn’t have time to be upset, but somehow I found time! I had evenings alone to get angry and think about all that daddy was missing. I cried a lot, but my tears were always erased by the most amazing baby. I cherished our times together rocking, kissing, cuddling, nursing, singing, giggling. . . the blessings he brings me are endless. His love kept me going. “. . . weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NLT).
This is where I first started to see why God had given me a son when He did.
Just when I thought I could make it through, life threw me a curve ball to end 2009. At the end of November, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Here I was with a 7-month-old baby, a husband a world away, and a family states away. Again, I cried “But why now? What horrible timing! Why me?”
MS is such a disease of the unknown. Every patient is different and all the doctors could tell me was that only time will tell how I fair. Here I am, the one who likes to plan everything and whose only fear is the unknown, and I’m marked with a disease that could eventually disable me. . . or maybe not! Life sped out of control. I went in the hospital for a 3-day steroid treatment meaning I had to stop nursing my son cold turkey. I had to learn about giving myself shots three days per week and I had to break the news to my husband, my family, my friends.
I thought the stress alone would kill me
Somehow I had the strength to carry on, to be positive and try not to worry about the unknown. I again surprised myself at how I was dealing with a difficult situation. This time I really started to see what God’s plan was. I knew I had to be the mom God wanted me to be and it was through God’s gift of our son that provided me the strength and comfort I needed during a tough time. I saw this circle of life and thanked Him for an abundance of grace.
Still midway through his deployment, my husband was told he couldn’t take leave as previously scheduled. But he somehow found a way to make it home. Having our family together again for two weeks rejuvenated me. I thanked God for bringing my husband home when I needed him the most!
God’s plan starts to unfold
The end of this deployment is on the horizon, but God’s blessings didn’t end there. I love to say God works in mysterious ways, so let me tell you of the final gift from God that came from this deployment. My husband and I are Christians, but we’ve struggled to really let God into our lives. Over the years I’ve talked of our need to join a church and gently tried to nudge my husband in the right direction. I must admit, I wasn’t always walking the walk myself. We just weren’t serious about getting on this path.
Having a family now, I was even more adamant in our need to raise our son as a Christian and lead by example. My husband agreed, but I wasn’t sure his heart was in the right place yet. I planned to start looking for a church family and we’d go from there. Meanwhile, I had noticed changes in my husband. He was the one encouraging me to keep faith in my heart during tough times. He was the one telling me that our son, “our Angel,” would help me through it all. He gave me constant praise as a mother and thanked me for all that I was doing. His encouragement was uplifting.
Most recently he wrote to tell me of the “spark that has been lit here” and how he has a longing to learn more about Jesus and to really do what is right. When I read those words, my eyes welled with tears and I thought, now I really know God’s plan for this deployment. If he had to take my husband to the Holy Land to bring his heart back to Him, it was all worth it!
What I am learning on this journey
Last year I learned what it means to experience the best and worst time of your life all at once. God showed me that He truly provides all that I need and He’s working in my life in ways that I could have never known. I was upset and scared, but He provided me comfort—our sweet Angel. I was angry and despondent, but He showed me His plan—our way back to Him.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold…” (I Peter 1:6-7, NLT).
Lynn Burchfield became an instant Army wife when she got married in 2002 and has lived through active duty and national guard life. She is originally from Illinois and now resides in Arizona with her husband and their 15-month-old son. She enjoys writing, hiking (in Arizona winters!) and getting together with other new moms whenever possible.
“Amazing Gifts: God’s Surprising Timing” originally appeared at www.faithdeployed.com, a web site providing spiritual encouragement to military wives. The web site was born out of the books by Jocelyn Green, Faith Deployed and its sequel, Faith Deployed. . . Again.