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Thursday, March 29, 2012

a letter to Avery; my little best friend

My precious sweet girl :)

For the last 3 1/2 years it has been just you and me, together every day. I have so enjoyed our time together! You are my little best friend. God has used you in so many ways already. You have made me laugh and play through many tough times; you have kept me company when I was feeling lonely. God knew that I would need you :) Thank you for helping me to see the world with new eyes. Thank you for reminding me to sing and dance and be silly. You have taught me so much more in three short years than I could ever hope to teach you in a lifetime.

Soon you will be a big sister and things will change for us, but I know it will be good. I just pray you always know that I love you more than life itself. You will always be my little best friend.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Deploy the decoy

Well, one chapter of our lives has come to a close and my family is about to embark on another exciting journey! After two years of intense training that has taken him away from his wife and child, my husband is finally done. I couldn't be more proud of him, or of myself because I feel like I graduated too! We both know that we did it together. But mixed in with the pride and relief are many other emotions I didn't expect to feel: fear, of the unknown; apprehension as we begin a new routine; anxiety as we face all new obstacles that will be thrown our way. Really there is one thing I fear the most. It has been the constant shadow in the back of my mind, always present tugging at my heart. It is the one reason I did not, at first, want my husband to join the military. It takes me to a place of "what if" far too often. It is a word that brings dread to my soul. Deployment.

We haven't faced one of those yet.

We have, however, been separated for months and weeks at a time over the last two years as my husband has trained. And I'm glad that I have the past two years to look back on. I'm glad I have them tucked under my belt. I learned to be much more independent; I practiced being a single parent; I got a taste of what life is like when your best friend and partner in life are not at your side; my relationship with Christ has grown leaps and bounds, because I know that He is the only one who can get me through the separation. And while I certainly did not enjoy the lonely nights, the long looming days, and the countdown to my husband's return, I am glad that I went through it. Because, while I know a deployment will bring with it all new fears and longer absences, I'm not going into it unaware. I know what it feels like to miss a person so much that your body literally aches. I know what it's like to look into the face of your precious child and explain to her again that Daddy is away. I know what it's like to want your husband so much that it almost drives you mad. I know what the waiting feels like. I've felt the heartache of being without my precious husband, of longing for a hug and a kiss or even a phone call.

And so, I feel somewhat prepared. I know a deployment will be entirely different in some respects. At least while my dear husband was only training I never really feared for his safety. But I now have the tools that I will need to make it through. And for that, I am thankful.

As we draw nearer every day to our family's first deployment, I'm hoping I will be able to hear that word without feeling so much dread. I'm praying that that word will strike less fear and worry in my heart. Because for now, the very word shakes me to my core.