I have been "moved" as of late by an "un-named couple" who will be experiencing their first military deployment soon. I will not name names because this couple knows who they are (wink) and I know for certain they read this blog (they are professed blog stalkers and we are totally ok with it). The husband is one of Josh's very best friends, someone I consider a brother, and was the best man in our wedding, and the wife (who is gorgeous inside and out) has become very dear to me as not only a sister in Christ but, as a fellow military wife! They both are clearly loved by us, which is why their upcoming deployment feels so raw to us as well.
Since we just experienced our first deployment and have come out the other end with awesome battle wounds (one was from a curling iron), we feel for this couple so deeply and pray earnestly for them often. To be away from someone who essentially "completes you" for a year, is a long time. When I look at this couple...into the eyes of their hearts, I see the fear of the unknown and the anxiety of now. I remember being at this point and just actually wanting Josh to leave (which sounds weird) but, it was so hard to think of the reality of him leaving us and seemed easier to rip the band-aid off completely. I'm sure Josh was feeling the same way, wanting to serve his country and begin doing what he had trained for...
So, this is post is for "that nameless couple"... but can really apply to all couples. Christ works the same way, even when you have your spouse sitting next to you. Sufficiency is found in Christ alone, do not place to weight of your spiritual needs on your spouse because it is a weight too heavy for them to bear...
II Corinthians 12:9
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
From a military wife....
Wife (you know who you are my dear)- You can do this. God created you for your husband. He brought you together in a divine manner and intended for this very circumstance to come to about. He will gird you with strength my friend, and surround you with the love of his Spirit (through family and friends). You will feel it at night when you wake thinking your husband is wrapped in your arms... and he's not. You will feel His presence when he captures your tears and remembers your sorrows. I promise to remind you often that you cannot find sufficiency in your husband, only in Christ. Your husband cannot take away the dull ache. He cannot fill the void of himself, only God fills voids. This is a fact. Love your husband blamelessly and without pride. Look forward to your "talks" when you get them and make every word count. When you don't talk, pray for him. Remember that you represent Christ on the "home front" and people will be looking to you to see Christ through the struggle (as they have already done thus far in your life, and you have succeeded my friend). I know you want your husband around my dear, I want him around for you. Remember, he will come home eventually... never question his love for you. Your love will be so fresh and vibrant when he returns...what a gift!
Husband (you know who you are too)- You can and are doing this. God created you for your wife. He brought you through the struggles of life, and rewarded you with the beautiful, godly woman you now call your own. He inclined your heart to the military and blessed you with strength, wisdom, compassion, and grace. You represent Christ in every moment, now and when you are away on the front lines. Remember who you represent. Remember who loves you and pray for them as they pray for you. Love your wife in her absence even more than you do now in her presence. Speak compassion at all times to her, especially when you are away:) When you go to sleep at night, let your last thoughts be of her, then of Christ. Know that she yearns for your return. Never question her love for you.
Here are a few promises to cling to:
1 Thessalonian 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer..
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
We love you both and KNOW God will give you BOTH the strength you need.
The Earls (and Bella-boo).