Friday, March 27, 2009

Burdened

I am feeling a memory. The memory is a vivid one. The feelings are intense.

My eyes keep welling with tears at random times. There are moments like tonight when I am overcome with emotion.

My heart aches.

I cannot stop thinking about the past. Thinking about the past is taxing. The feelings are heart-wrenching.

Empathy comes easily to me. It does not sit easily on me.

This week a neighbor of mine is deploying to the middle east. There is a going away party for him tomorrow. His wife's name is April. She has a 7 year-old son. He has a daughter from a previous marraige, as well. She's probably 6 or so.

I look at their newly displayed American flag and I remember.

A friend of mine from church is leaving toward the end of the week. His wife's name is Desiree. She has 4 children. Their ages are around 9, 7, 4, and 9 months.

I think of their children, and I remember.

When my husband went to Iraq, I had 3 children that were 4, 2, and 6 months.

That year about broke me.

I hurt for my friends. I hurt deeply for them.

All I know to do right now is to keep on expressing myself. I am being open with God. I am pouring my out my heart to Him. I plead for insight on how to be a good friend to these friends. I ask for their safety. I desire their comfort and strength.

I need to write this. I cannot keep from it. I want to ask you to bathe these friends in prayer. The whole year is difficult. There is no denying that.

This week, as for many other weeks to come, will be intense.

Imagine:

Seeing your husband hold your baby just one more time.

Answering questions from the kids that you just can't really explain well enough for them to understand.

That last look before your loved one leaves.

Feeling scared, alone and overwhelmed with responsibility.

Wanting to be left alone and be surrounded by friends and not knowing which would make you feel better.

Imagine:

You are leaving, setting out on a mission with tremendous responsibility.

You want to comfort and provide for your family.

You want to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the job ahead.

You are torn between two opposite and strong feelings.


I can't make a list long enough, or more accurately, powerful enough. Both the soldiers and the families are experiencing extreme emotions that are not always the same.


Please pray for these friends - as well as the many, many others in the same situation.

15 comments:

Beth E. said...

Praying for the military and their families. You DO have the ability to minister to those left at home during this time. As you said, you have experienced firsthand what the wives and children will endure while their husband/daddy is away. You have a loving servant's heart. Just ask God to show you what to say and do...He will. :o)

He And Me + 3 said...

Thank you for posting this. I will be praying for them...I can't even imagine.

Melanie (Allergy Family) said...

I will say a prayer for them. It's so hard when your loved one leaves for such a long time, we have been through it twice. It's an emotional rollercoaster on both sides.

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

I've seen it from another angle...I'm a Navy brat. My dad would be deployed to far away places for long periods of time when I was young. It certainly wasn't the same as there was no war going on. But I remember missing him and wondering about the situation.

Thank you for the reminder of all the families still affected by the war...I will be thinking good thoughts for military families separated.

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

This was so heartwarming. Thank you for sharing this. My heart and prayers will be with these families.

Nicole said...

Praying right now.

samantha said...

I'm sure this post will not only allow more people to think of what those families are about to go through, but also bring more prayers their way. Thank you for sharing. They will all be in my prayers and thoughts!

RLR said...

"I am being open with God. I am pouring my out my heart to Him. I plead for insight on how to be a good friend to these friends."

Jane Anne, I think you have a special insight that not enough of us have. You know just what these friends need, because you HAVE been just where they are right now. Praying for them, and for you, too. You can do it!

McCrakensx4 said...

What an uplifting post Jane Anne. It must be so hard to see a loved one leave for battle; I can't imagine. I teach at a school next to an Air Force Base, so I see it almost everyday with my students, but they live it, I don't. Lifting these families up in prayer.

momstheword said...

I am always so thankful to military men and womean and their families for their sacrifices.

My mom talks about how my dad used to ship out for 9 months or more at a time. He didn't see my brother until he was many months old.

When my brother was in the military his baby son was born and died in the space of a day, and my brother never even got to hold his own son or see him, ever. He was buried before my brother returned.

I believe it takes a strong person to be in the military and to marry military.

Thanks for reminding us to pray for them!

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh...that makes me want to cry! I've always heard that it is so hard to be a military wife. I'll be praying for the families, Jane!!

~~Missy~~ said...

I cannot even imagine having to go through all that.

Thank you to the military families that make these sacrifices for us.

Praying for them.

sarah said...

JaneAnne you are such a beautiful writer! You have a lovely way of making people think through your writing. I really can't imagine doing it alone and having to be the momma and the daddy-It really makes me sad to even think about it a little. My mom was a single mom and I often wonder how she did it. I think in many ways it is like when the Isrealites were fighting and Aaron and Joshua held up Moses' arms. We all at times need those to hold up our arms so we can continue on. It sounds like you are one of those upholding them through your words and prayers!

Kathy said...

This brought tears to my eyes, as it seems not so far away that Bill left... but it was only for a third of the time. I will say a prayer for these families and for you... and God using you as their friend. I know you know, Jane Anne... how awesome for them to have somebody in their lives that has lived it and come out with flying colors. Thank you for sharing these families with me.

blueviolet said...

I will be praying for these families during these difficult and scary times of separation.