Looking Back Over My Week
Ah Sweet keyboard and empty page glowing on my screen. The house is quiet, the kids are in school and I am left to reflect for a moment on my life. So much has changed. So much of me has changed and I am so grateful. I remember conversations Matt and I used to have about how his life was blooming in front of us and how I felt so stuck. I felt like I had been the same for years, little challenge, little growth, and we agreed that soon, my time would come to bloom.
During a lunch meeting yesterday a sweet older couple shared with me about their ministry to military members and families. Instead of retiring, they decided to open their home in the mountains to anyone to come for a day, weekend, or week to go fishing, hiking, four-wheeling, etc and be loved on by them free of charge. As they asked me questions about my life and especially this week, I must say I was surprised by my own answers. “How did I get here?” How did I go from a girl leading a counseling session yet having no words for a woman out of prison to this week delivering statements and answering impulsive questions in a press conference? How did I get involved in the lives of incredible heroes who fought an insanely long battle and altered the nations focus or much more -made history?
All I know is that its been a rough, but beautiful week. I have been on the phone more than I have wanted to, but wouldn’t have traded one discussion I had with those families. I have sat and held someone as they cried, I have encouraged them that there is no right way to grieve, only positive ways to move forward each moment. I have seen God move in my own life as I attempted to connect with others who needed Him through me. I have felt him calm my fears, hold back sickness like a dam holding a river. I have seen him make 20 people or more completely unavailable so He could move in someone’s life without others there. I have seen my community of friends reach out to offer me anything I needed. I have seen good people have compassion, what a joy it is to see people love others. What sweet healing comes from listening to someone tell their story and feel their tension release. What honor it is to be someone feels safe around.
I wish I had answers. I wish I understood evil, death, and life’s consequences to bad decisions. I wish I had power beyond even God’s to deliver to their soul the love he has for them and break down the lies that sweep in. But even though I am tired, sometimes feeling I have no words left, I wouldn’t trade where I am- where Matt is- for anything. The couple yesterday asked me if I fear where he is now, if my anxiety is different now that I have seen the outposts he regularly visits breached. My answer was yes. I do feel fear and at any point my mind can think terrible things, but the truth is in the peace I have had since we drove onto this post. I know he is where he should be, I know that God needed him there, and me here. I know there is a design for each of us individually that when brought back together will explode into Spirit-led, purposeful, kingdom changing opportunities- Lord willing and if we stay close to Him. He will birth life out of our struggle, life that will continue to give life and I want to be part of that.
I am humbled that he trusted us to care about magnificent people. I see now why people always say never forget. The world keeps going. We are in a culture that is so different and foreign from the “real world” that people just say to themselves, “I don’t see how they could do that- I couldn’t”. I know cause I was one of them. I still don’t understand it sometimes, what we are doing in the fight- but I know its where we are supposed to be. I was brought to tears when driving back on post from the grocery store yesterday there was an older gentleman bundled up in the cold outside our gate holding a sign that simply said, “thank you”.
I guess I can say “your welcome” now, and that feels really good to know that he gets it.
Here are some things I learned this week:
1. Green suits, uniforms, and rankings are not as intimidating as I thought.
2. Compassionate people are everywhere.
3. Some reporters don’t do their homework and show up unprepared.
4. Every decision comes from the Lord, there is nothing left for chance (proverbs 16:33)
5. Children are more resilient that I thought, and so are grown-ups.
6. Some people would rather be a voyeurs than prayer warriors.
7. You really can’t count on tomorrow, but you can live today and plan for it.
8. Laughter during grief is healthy and you always seem to laugh about something that you would never think is funny if you weren’t grieving.
9. When Aidan tries to sound out the word “Fort” and he thinks it says “fart”- it makes me laugh.
10. Jack really can use the potty if he wants to.
11. Always have a soup or casserole in your freezer, you never know when you will need to give it away.
12. Never walk to a house empty handed.
13. Friends are absolutely imperative to survival.
14. Its okay to finish a battle (real or perceived) with the mindset to just survive it.
15. Moving from one thing to the next is not denial or avoidance, its making a decision to do the next thing before you realize how tired you are.
16. Discipline in your life is necessary so that when life leaves no room for your discipline, you are disciplined enough to bring it back in.
17. Nothing is more important than your family, your husband and your kids. When it comes down to it… hearing I love you from them is all you need to set your day right.