Next month will mark two years since Joel came back from his last tour in Iraq. Two years. That's the longest he's been home since Grace was born. In four years, he was deployed three times. Our life for a while was centered around his short times at home and the anticipation of his time away...
I started noticing this fall how "normal" life feels right now. Although Joel's active duty, he's at a Guard base, so we life off-base. He goes to work, comes home. We have family time, church activities, hang-out times with friends. Life feels really settled. Normal. Civilian.
Besides wearing his uniform when he leaves the house and the fact that there is always a pair of combat boots by our front door, life doesn't feel as military-focused as it has in the past. It's been nice.
It's also been good for us - for our relationship. Although we have grown so much as a couple and individuals through Joel's various deployments, it is really nice to do life with Joel on a day-to-day basis. We are connected. We are raising our children together - learning each day how to parent better. We are pushing each other to grow in all areas of our life.
I've enjoyed this two years of togetherness.
But I've been struggling with some anxiety about what's next... It's been a strange feeling to feel like a civilian family... but it's almost like I can't seem to stay in the moment and enjoy now without thinking of the prospects of him leaving for an extended training or deployment. It's like this has all been too good to be true. That God must have something on the horizon for him - that Joel's just going to leave again, because life has been too good with him home.
Yesterday as I had some quiet time with the Lord, I read this in one of my devotionals - (it's called Jesus Calling and I would highly recommend it as a devotional to start your day and help you focus your heart...)
"I AM above all things: your problems, your pain, and the swirling events in this ever-changing world. When you behold My Face, you rise above the circumstances and rest with Me in heavenly realms. This is the way of Peace, living in the Light of My Presence. I guarantee that you will always have problems in this life, but they must not become your focus. When you feel yourself sinking in the sea of circumstances, say "Help me, Jesus!" and I will draw you back to Me. If you have to say that thousands of times daily, don't be discouraged. I know your weakness, and I meet you in that very place."
So, today I say "Help me, Jesus!" - help me to rest in the place you have us in right now, trusting in you daily that you hold today and tomorrow in Your Hands.