More End of Deployment Musings

Truly, the only thing that makes time go slower than during a six-hour layover with an infant and a toddler, is the last couple of weeks of a deployment.  Time is c-r-e-e-p-i-n-g by.  I am so ready to be done.  So ready to fall into Husband’s arms.  So ready to have him home, and to see my girls snuggle into their Daddy.

But we’re getting through it.  We have to, after all.  There isn’t really any other option.

We’ve started talking about Daddy coming home more and more.  We bought a special pumpkin to remind us it’s almost time and we bought some pumpkin M-n-Ms to put in a jar.  Little Miss is pretty excited to get to eat one each night as we count how many days we have left.

I’m starting to feel anxious about all sorts of things.  Have too many things changed even in just a few months?  With me?  With the house?  With our routines?  Will he be overwhelmed by that?  I am always a little worried about the ‘reintegration’ phase.  Even without the ‘people shooting at him’ factor there are re-negotiations that must happen when he comes home.  Homecoming is so much more than just hanging pretty signs and waving flags at an air terminal.  But all of it will fall into place in time.

I’m also dreading Husband’s schedule when he returns.  Because this was a mini-deployment squeezed in between two normal ones he’ll return to a life of hot and heavy work-ups to get ready for the next deployment.  He’ll actually leave again for a short little jaunt about a month after he gets home.  It’s hard to get excited about him being home when being home will consist of him being away so much.

But…  such is life with the Navy, yes?

In a slightly different vein of thinking (since my ramblings of mundanity are already rolling strongly on and on), I’ve been excited lately to see many faith-lessons illustrated beautifully with deployment stuff.  Over at Excellent or Praiseworthy the current devotion talks about that ‘my husband/wife/mom/dad doesn’t really feel real anymore’ feeling.  I hadn’t thought about that relating to my feelings about God, but it most assuredly does.  How often does God feel unreal as I struggle to figure out how to relate to His…  Godness with my feeble humanity?  Husband is still real…  And we are just as strongly bound to one another in marriage as we ever have been…  Even though so often Husband and my life with him feels more like a figment of my imagination or a whispery memory of what it’s like to be married than anything.  If that is the case with Husband…  then how much more with God?

I ran into the same concept over at The Online Chaplain.   He puts in incredibly well in his post, Shadows.  He writes:

Bev, my wife is the single most important person in my life, bar none. There has never been a more faithful friend…..But, even important things like relationships can blur into the shadows over time. It is not because they are unimportant, or neglected, or unreal. The simple fact is this, the relationships we forge in our lives change in deployment. They become shadowy.

It is important we remember shadows are real. They are representations of things, but nonetheless real. They represent things that have become important in our past and by virtue of history are important in our present. And so we must remember they are our anchors, our safe harbors and our sanctuaries.

The psalmist writes, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” The shadow of God’s loving presence doesn’t always seem real. His protection sometimes seems a figment of our imagination. Sometimes God seems far off, non-caring and illusive. I know that. I have had these seasons too. However, even if you don’t see the wings covering you, ponder the shadow of his wings.

Good stuff to think on.  More occasion to ponder the sacramental nature of marriage.

And with that, I shall end this little excerpt of verbosity. 


One thought on “More End of Deployment Musings

  1. I read this post and the tears just fell. Not because I know how you feel, but because I don’t. Because of families like you, I get to live in this wonderful country with my wonderful family. And I am SO grateful.

    I know that a ‘thank you’ may seem trite when taken along with all you have been through – will go through. I can’t even begin to imagine half of it. I have my own little corner of aches and worries, but I have never had to face them for months on end by myself.

    So trite sounding though it may be, Thank you, Val. Thank you to you and your wonderful husband and family for sacrificing so much for a country who so often takes such things for granted. I just wanted you to know in a personal way, that what you do matters – truly.

    I will be praying for your husband’s safe return.

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