We are military women. We are strong. We can do anything. We have super powers.
Okay, um ... no.
Yes, we are the strongest of women. I will say that again and again and again. We face battles that most can't imagine. We live through things that many will never understand exist. Sometimes it can feel like we can conquer the world, we are told that - I tell you that. I believe that we are strong, that we are able, that we can do more than most but it is those moments when we feel like we've "got this" that the moments when we are crumbling make us feel like we have no right to.
This life is hard, this life is beyond challenging.
We do not have super powers.
We have great love, we have unyielding support, we have Grace but when we enter into this life we aren't suddenly given an ability we never had before - that automatically makes us super-able. It doesn't work like that.
You have to seek it.
A very good friend of mine is right in the middle of the deployment while also in the midsts of a very big unknown. We have all been there. That time when everything falls apart, when we fall apart. When we physically feel like our body is breaking into pieces, one by one by one. When we find ourselves barely moving, barely breathing, barely surviving. When we question if we can do this - when we are unable to see beyond this most trying time. We feel helpless, we cry ourselves to sleep.
We don't sleep.
We all go through it. And so very often we tell ourselves, "I'm an Army wife. I can do this on my own. I should be able to do it. Everyone else does it alone."
It is so easy to think that. I find that so very often that it's the leaders who tell themselves this over and over and over again. Because if we reach out what will people think? We can't be weak! We can't make people question if we are capable. No, no way!
I get it. I really, really do. But that is not how to lead. We teach our wives (yes I know how funny that sounds) to be self-reliant, to learn to function on their own, but we always remind them of their resources, that they are not alone, that we are here.
We tear ourselves apart trying to make it on our own. Trying to not lose it when all two or three or four kids get sick at the same time - when we get sick at the same time. When you finally get all of you into the car to go to the doctor and the car won't start. When you lose your ID off post. When CYS loses paperwork that kicks your child(ren) out of their system until they get it together. When you turn on the news at just the wrong time and that panic sets in on top of every other emotion your heart can hold. When you see announcements that the American people take for face value and you have to hold your tongue. When every muscle of your body aches.
Those are the days that can break us. Those are the days that can take us out of this life. Those are the days that the strongest of women cannot do it alone.
We have no superpowers.
But there is always great love, great support, awe-filling Grace.
ASK for it. USE it. CLING to it when you need it. And at some point, no, at many points we all need it. Call a friend. Call your family. Call your church. People want to help, know who they are, and ask them for it. That is where you will find the grace.
You cannot lead if you will not reach out. You cannot thrive if you aren't willing to fall to your knees. You cannot find strength if you do not seek it in others.
There is no shame in knowing your limits. It doesn't make you "less" of an Army wife. Deployments teach us who we are. The darkest moments show us our strength. Sometimes we need to share someone else's. Sometimes they will need to share ours - and we are all willing to give it. Asking for help doesn't take from someone else. We do not lose anything when we give it. We gain.
So take a deep breath, find that littlest bit that is left, reach out your hand and ask for help.
Sometimes the strongest act, the greatest triumph, is found in the quietest, softest, most broken cry for Grace.
"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.