A good friend and I were talking about some of the unknowns we are facing. They are - as almost always - some very large unknowns. They are far away but really aren't. I hear the tick-tick-tick that started the moment C came home with his next deployment on the chart, on the schedule, when it all became very real.
There is so much I want to pour out here but just cannot find a way. It has put me in a slump. Every time I sit to write the words don't flow the way they usually do. There aren't any lightbulbs going off that make me run to my mac and type, type, type. There is a cloud over us. That looming, annoying cloud that blocks it all out.
I want to talk about how this mission is going to be different, and why it is going to be different, and how much I have NO IDEA what he is walking into, what this means for us, how the day to day will be once he gets on that plane again. This is all going to be so different.
We have so much time. We have more time than most have had in the past between deployments. And while it isn't enough time, while it is never enough time, I just wish I didn't know yet. Because this one isn't going to be the same as the last. This one will be something that we haven't gone through before - that very, very few have gone through or will have gone through. I have too much time to dread all of the things that I do not know that come along with it. Too much time to not be able to share what this is. Too much time to think up every possible scenario in my jumbled mind and have them sit there.
These are the moments that are hardest - when we cannot speak. When as the spouse, as the next-of-kin, as the one who will fear the doorbell, we know things before others. We must hold onto information that we want to tell the world, want to cry about, or scream about, to someone - anyone - other than our soldier.
But these are the moments when you must, you must, honor the trust you have been given. You must recognize that the smallest thing that you say, in a public forum, on facebook, on a blog, can be read by anyone, can be seen by anyone, can be used by anyone.
Nothing that you put out there remains 'secret'.
As much as I would like to share this part of our journey with you, to share the heartache in a way that you can best understand, I will always honor my soldier first. I will honor his mission. I will honor his comrades. I will honor the flag he fights for by honoring the trust he has shared with me.
So please bear with me as I don't tell you over an undisclosed period of time where he is going, when he is going, or who he is going with. Bear with me as I struggle to share our story in a way that it can be shared. Be patient as I try to let you feel what I feel without letting you know what I know.
There will be some sad moments. There are always sad moments when the timer begins. There is heartache and fear and dread. I ask that you stay with me through it - live with me through it. Because if you know me, if you know this life, you know there will be joy. There will be goodness - so, so much goodness - and there will be pride.
There will be grace.
There will always, always be joy and grace.
I hope you continue to share our journey.
"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.