Some of my readers may have missed the fact that my husband is in the military. We’re often asked whether he deploys (gets sent overseas for a period of time). The answer to that is no. At least, not yet. Right now the air force does not deploy its pediatricians except for short humanitarian missions a few weeks at a time; however, Lee’s considering some career options that will make him more deployable. So I’ve been thinking about deployment a little more closely lately.
My mother-in-law was a new bride when her husband was sent to Vietnam. She lived with her brother-in-law and his wife, with their two small children. Recently, she mentioned that she learned a great deal from them about parenting, and their godly example was instrumental when my father-in-law came home and their own children were born several years later. I am excited when I consider that God took a very scary, difficult time, but used it to mold and shape the mother of my husband. I am thankful for what God did.
Although I’ve not seen my husband gone for long periods of time, I’m encouraged when my friends share how God is teaching them lessons they would not have the opportunity to learn any other way. One friend has been working on repairing a relationship with her mother who lives out of state. Another friend has found more opportunities to talk to her husband about spiritual things on the telephone. I’ve seen the trials of deployment motivate many wives and mothers to turn to God for their ultimate security and strength.
In fact, it’s also true that God can use a deployment to draw a woman (and her husband, far away) close to himself in salvation. Deployment can be an opportunity for the local church to serve as God intended, building up the family and encouraging them in the Lord.
Many times I’ve had a difficult trial, and instead of looking to see what God would have me to learn, I’ve started to complain about why I wish the trial were gone. How sad that must be to God. No matter how God leads our family, I can rest, knowing that He is working for my best good.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:1-2, 6-9
Pray for the wives whose husbands are gone. Pray that they seek the Lord. Pray for strength and wisdom. Pray for spiritual growth in their husbands. When you see the uniform, pray!
Update: About two years after I wrote this post, Lee told me that he had volunteered for a six month humanitarian deployment. Here are my thoughts on the eve of his departure.