I am so excited to have Lydia from The Few, The Proud, and This Marine Wife taking over my blog for the day. I have loved getting to know her. She is just a few steps ahead of me in this military journey, so she has been such a wonderful encouragement and example to me. Take it away, Lydia!
Hi there! My name is Lydia, and I blog over at “The Few, The Proud, and This Marine Wife.” I’m a lifestyle blogger, so I write about a variety of things: my life as a military wife, motherhood, and my favorite, DIY projects and crafts. Thank you so much to Chelsea for letting me take over her blog today! I feel privileged to be writing here and sharing my heart with you!
Despite all the help and support, my heart was not prepared for deployment. I went to all the workshops. I surrounded myself with family. But, I still felt like a fish out of water. When I watched my husband get on the bus that would begin his seven-month stint in Afghanistan, my heart sank. I clung to our 2-month old baby and thought, Now what?
I’ve been a believer for many years, and I knew God would be my strength through that deployment. But, I didn’t realize how big of a role He would play. On that lonely car ride back to our mostly packed up, partly empty apartment, I whispered a simple prayer, “God, please help me.” Every imaginable emotion flooded my heart. I felt lonely, despite our new baby sleeping soundly in his car seat behind me. I felt scared. I felt anxious. I had just said goodbye to the love of my life, and I didn’t know if it was going to be our last. I knew he was going to be facing dangers unimaginable to me. I knew there was a possibility of him getting wounded or worse, dying. I couldn’t let myself dwell on these thoughts or else they would overwhelm me.
The first few weeks went by quickly, as I packed up our apartment and travelled to my parents’ home to spend the deployment there. I knew that I needed to have family around me, especially since I was a new mom and was venturing this path for the first time. I stayed busy. Busyness became my ultimate helper until one long and lonely night. I stayed up late in bed and broke down in tears. I sobbed uncontrollably. It had been nearly two weeks since I had last heard from my husband. Whenever I did hear from him, it was usually a short conversation that always cut in and out because of their satellite phones being in horrible condition. Fear racked my heart. I don’t know if I can do this life alone, I thought.
Then, a still small voice pierced the loneliness of my thoughts. You’re not alone, the voice said, I am here. I took a deep breath and a fullness filled my heart. No, I didn’t hear an actual voice, but it was as tangible to me as if I had actually heard it. God was reminding me of His presence. He was reminding me how not alone I was. I knew I needed God during deployment. I’ve always needed God in my life. He is my strength and my comfort. But, I didn’t realize how much I needed Him. Curled up in the fetal position, with tears streaming down my face, I could think of only one verse: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither will the flame kindle upon you” (Isaiah 43:2). I whispered that verse out loud over and over again. I was passing through the waters of loneliness and swimming in the rivers of uncertainty. I was walking through the fire of fear and feeling the flames of depression. But in all this, God was with me. He never left me, and I needed Him more than ever.
Peace swept over my heart. This wasn’t going to be the last night of facing these emotions, but I knew I could have a peace that passed all understanding. God was holding me and hiding me in the shelter of His loving hands. All I needed to do was trust. I needed to trust that no matter what happened, He was Sovereign. I needed to trust that He was going to protect my husband but that if something happened to him, God had a divine purpose in all of it. I needed to let God carry my fears. I needed God’s peace to overwhelm my soul. I needed to remind myself that God is divine and that this was only a season. I would see my husband again, whether it was on earth at the end of deployment or in the glory of heaven. I would see him again and there was and still is always hope in that. I needed that reminder. Above all the help I had, I needed God.