We are officially in the doldrums of this deployment. R&R has come and gone, and we aren’t quite to the halfway point between R&R and my love’s homecoming. Morale ebbs and flows, and these days, it seems to ebb more than it seems to flow. I realize I have a lot for which to be grateful: ten extra days on top of a two week R&R, living with my incredible family, and being able to Skype several days a week.
Still, almost as frequently as each exhale, I remember my love’s absence.
In our married life, we have spent 252 days together and 212 days apart, thus far. You’d think that since those numbers were almost equal, and since ninety percent of our dating/engaged relationship was long-distance, that it would feel kind of normal to be apart. But it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t.
So I miss him.
Every day Crumb hits milestones that his daddy misses, and videos and pictures just don’t convey the joy that he is, and I ache for what he’s missing.
And so, in the midst of my pity party yesterday, it suddenly occurred to me that the longing to be together again was healthy (though a pity party is entirely unnecessary, and not beneficial…either for me…or those around me). Just as a fever works to heal the body, being apart forces us to be intentional when we are on Skype or send emails. It also reminds me of what is to come, and to remember, when we are together and facing conflict, that it’s better than being apart. (I realize that although missing J is healthy, that I can miss him well and make the most of the time, or I can wallow in self-pity and accomplish nothing.)
And I’m reminded of so many situations in the Bible that are kind of like a deployment:
Abraham waited years for the fulfillment of God’s promise of offspring (he even tried to make the promise come true by impregnating his wife’s servant).
The Israelites waited years to enter the Promised Land.
Israel waited 400 years between the last prophet till the Messiah came… total silence from God….no indication other than previous promises, that the Messiah would come.
Christ spent three long days in the tomb before rising from the dead. Can you imagine watching the person you thought would be Savior of the World die on the cross and then be buried? Those three days had to be absolutely dark and discouraging.
Jesus promised He would send the Helper after He had gone, but the Holy Spirit’s arrival wasn’t immediate.
In each of those situations, God kept His promises. Isaac was born; the Israelites settled in Canaan; Christ came as the Messiah; on the third day He rose again; and the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers at Pentecost.
After each exhale and reminder of J’s absence, I inhale and have a choice to make: the joy of the Lord and dependence on the Holy Spirit, or self-pity and sorrow.
The deployment will be over before I know it, and in the meantime, I will choose to breathe in the fruit of the Spirit, and with each breath out, I’ll miss my love, but also speak of the promises that God has fulfilled.