These past two weeks have been difficult weeks for me - mainly because I have had control over nothing. For those who know me, this is a very difficult thing for me to handle. Since I have entered into this life it has been a constant back and forth battle between the Army and myself. Let's just say the Army is winning.
But despite the numerous, stress-filling times that the Army has ripped the little bit of control or stability I thought I had from my grasp, I somehow become frustrated and overwhelmed nearly every time. And there is so much I cannot go into, mainly because there is little that I actually know - another thing that threatens my sanity at times.
These past weeks have been a battle, also, between his world over there and our continuing world over here. A complicated dance between giving information and holding back, speaking in code, figuring out what the other person can handle at the time with the uncertainty of when we will be able to share any communication again. He has held back, mostly (I think) because he simply is not allowed to tell me. I know the minimum (which may not even be true). That is a reality I simply have to accept - even if I don't want to. The little I know, worries me, and straight-up scares me. Over the last several weeks, I have also had to hold information back. I have been undergoing a few things that are best for him to not worry about while his mind needs to focus on other things.
Most people will tell you not disclosing everything, to not communicate, will ruin a marriage. For Army families, it can be a necessity. Our soldiers have sworn a vow to their country that somethings are not to be shared - no matter who they share with. And I am not saying soldiers don't tell their wives things - they do. But there is so much that we don't know. And we just have to accept that - without anger towards them. And at times, as much as it is hard for me to accept, this probably saves us from more worry and fear. But at times, there is information that we keep - or should keep from them while they are away from us. As a wife, while my husband is in combat I want his focus to be on his task at hand not on what is stressful to us back home. I feel I carry a great responsibility to lessen his worry, to lessen what overcomes his thoughts. I cannot protect him from the dangers of war. I cannot shield him from those who wish him harm. I cannot prevent anything that is to come. But I can help him to focus. I can pray he has the strength to endure. I can assure him that we are okay back home. I can send him joy and the happiness that comes from his son's wave through a webcam and his baby's smile as I hold him. I can provide him with the comfort of hearing that I am doing okay.
I have to focus on what I can do and remove myself from all of the things that I cannot. I have to focus on what I know and remove the thoughts of what I do not - because there is so much I will never know. I have to accept that this mission he is being sent on is something I cannot change. That the uncertainty of it is simply the reality.
It is not easy - both to not know and to not tell. It is tiring, it is emotional, it sucks - but it is the reality. We can't change it. Period.
And to accept that is not something I have been able to master yet. I don't know if I ever will. I don't know if I will ever be able to let it go as soon as it comes.
Uncertainty is our life.
That will not change. But, oh how I wish it would.
"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown
"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.