Today. What can I tell you about today? Well, for starters, I can tell you that I have about 365 things to be thankful for today. Today should be the last day I get to see my husband for a year. His unit, which I obviously can't tell you much about for their safety, is deploying today. Today is the day.
Last night should have been the last time we sat together to eat dinner. It should have been the last night I got to lay in bed and feel his warmth beside me. I should be sleeping alone tonight. I should be feeding the kids, giving them their baths and tucking them in alone tonight. But I'm not.
Tonight I will get to hear his car pull into the drive way, hear his keys jingle in the lock and hear him come through the door with his normal "Heeeeeellllllllloooooo!!!". I will get to see his face, hear his voice and feel safe in his presence. Instead of hearing Lula Mae say "Mommy, where's Daddy? He at work Mommy? When he gonna be home Mommy?" I get to hear her say "DAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYYYY!!! HELLO!!!!!!!" just like any other day. I get to see her come around the corner running as fast as she can and jumping into his arms to hug him and lay her head on his shoulder so sweetly, laughing out of excitement that her Daddy is home. I could just as easily be seeing her stand at the door, calling for Daddy with tears streaming down her face because she doesn't understand why Daddy is not home. I could just as easily be holding her, wiping away her tears and trying to comfort her the way her Daddy does. I can't be her Daddy. I don't look like him, act like him, sound like him or smell like him. My arms are not big enough, my voice is not soothing enough, my words are not silly enough, and my presence is not comforting enough. She loves me and needs me, but she needs and loves her Daddy just a little bit more.
By the Grace of God I don't have to be her Daddy. He gets to stay behind. He gets to come home each night and be with his family. We need that. I need that. I need my husband, my best friend, my partner in crime and my right hand man. I don't have to wonder if Jayce will be afraid of his Daddy when he returns because he is a stranger. I don't have to wonder if Lula Mae feels like it is her fault that her Daddy abandoned us. For the next 365 days I will be thankful to have my husband by my side instead of half way around the world.
We know we are lucky. No, not lucky, blessed. We are very aware of how blessed we are to be able to say that he is a stay behind this time. It is proof that God answers prayers, even big ones. Since we heard about the deployment I have prayed and prayed and prayed that he would not have to go. While praying for him to stay home, I felt guilty. I should be praying for God's will, not for what I want. So I did. I prayed for both. I told God that if he had to go, he had to go. I told Him that I knew He would get us through it if that was the case. Then I prayed that He would just let him stay. Never in my wildest dream did I think God would bless me this big. This is HUGE. Bigger than any blessing I think I have ever received (aside from my children). I owe Him big time for this one. Big time.
God is my strength, my joy and my life. God is showing me every single day that I need to be grateful for everything. The good things, the bad things and all those things in between. He is showing me that I really can give Him all of my fears and problems and He will take care of them. His grace is amazing! I have an awesome God who loves me and takes care of me. He is molding me into a better person with each passing moment. My heart is forever changed and focused on Him. I hope my children look back at this and realize that God was looking out for them. Their lives would have been changed forever if their Daddy would have had to go overseas for a year. What if he didn't come home? How devastating would that have been to all of us, but especially to Lula Mae and Jayce?
We could have gotten through the deployment, we have done it before, but I am grateful that we don't have to. There aren't really words to explain just how grateful I am. I am happy and sad today, all at the same time. Happy for us, but sad for the other soldiers that have to leave today. Please pray for the others in the unit who were not as lucky as us. The soldiers are leaving behind wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, friends and family. Each one of them will forever be changed by the year ahead of them. Pray for their safety, strength and courage. Pray for their loved ones back home.
I will continue to pray for God's will in our lives. I will also pray that God will help me not to take this amazing blessing for granted.