Lee leaves tomorrow for his six month deployment. I have a few more thoughts.
First, our church body isn’t a military church, so they don’t have much experience with deployments. But they are believers, and they take seriously God’s commands to lift each other up practically and spiritually. I plan to visit my parents, but I also don’t want to take away the blessing of the church functioning as a body. Once again, God is showing me how important it is to be a part of a local body, not just attend services somewhere. This is important to me, but also to my children. There is no substitute.
Second, it’s great for people to minister to the kids and me, but I also need to find ways of ministering to others, too. I can sense that it will be easy to become too self-focused, when instead I should be thinking of how I can serve. With my evenings free, I can babysit for families in our church. There are single women I can spend some more time with. I’ll show my children how these things keep my eyes off myself and on the Lord. That’s the place of perfect peace, as a friend thoughtfully pointed out recently.
Third, many people have expressed great concern for our children. We appreciate the prayers immensely! But we are trying to remember that God is our refuge and strength. It is an opportunity to show them that because mommy and daddy know God, we are comforted and strengthened. It is an opportunity to share the gospel with them: they do not have the same kind of help. We are praying that God will use this deployment to draw our children to Himself in salvation. God’s grace is sufficient for our children as well as ourselves.
How can you pray for us? Pray that we will continue to seek the Lord in His word passionately, consistently. Pray that we do not become complacent and waste the time God has given us apart by spending it on idle and worthless amusements. Pray that God will use this time to strengthen our marriage and family. Does it seem strange that God can do this? He can. Pray that we will use the situation God has given us as a tool of testimony. Many unsaved military members do not understand the resources available to believers. We have an opportunity if we do not squander it.
When I look at how I’d like to be prayed for. I realize that these are things I can pray for you. Every person has a unique situation that God is using specifically for his or her sanctification. Deployment is hard, but so are the many struggles that each person carries. Everyone is facing something difficult, not just me. Nobody has it all together. We all need prayer and encouragement.