Snapshot of uncertainty: Me … or, where I’ve been for the month of September.

October 19, 2012

I am in the process of creating a series of snapshots on this blog … peepholes into our Army life … to know us better, to love us well. I am saving most of our pictures for Our Story, but this one, well this one, I just had to share right now. Mostly because it paralyzed me for the month of September. And also, while I am sharing a specific moment, this {uncertainty} is an often re-occurring theme in our narrative.

So without further ado, a snapshot of uncertainty: Me. 

I hate the word “well.”

As in, (August of 2010), “Well, I might have to go to Pakistan.” He did, two weeks later, while I was pregnant, after we had sold our house in preparation for moving to Germany. But that is another story for another day.

So he came home around the beginning of September and said, in THAT voice. “Well, I got an email today…”

I almost threw up in the dishwater.

They needed one man. ONE MAN to go to Afghanistan … in two weeks … and he just might be that man.

I preach and preach about being content with God’s will for our life. I say that my life means nothing without Christ, that so much of what I value is wheat and chaff, that I surrender my plans, confidant in His lovingkindness and mercy.

And then He tests me.

Husband comes home and says “Well … “ And I choke down sobs at the prospect of more goodbyes. And more tears pool because my womb is empty still and now … now … more months of not being pregnant … but, I breathe slow and look hard at my handsome man and know that the Master Planner will give us the grace we need in the moment we are desperate for it.

We spend days talking. And He is gracious and I am surrendering.

I move through the next few weeks in a fog of competing emotions.

Oddly enough, I am not angry that he has to leave. Debating the politics of the situation in the moment is a luxury we forgo when we choose this life. Logistically, I have leaving down to a science, and we are perpetually prepared. This is his job and he’s willing to do it.

Additionally, there is a not-small part of my heart that grieves at the thought of another family living out this same abysmal waiting. If we don’t go, there is another pregnant “well …” being spilled out in someone’s kitchen. Is that weird? It’s who I am …

I feel completely divorced from the civilian world …

This one is hard to admit … I feel immense guilt over not being angry at the situation, of looking him in the eye and loving him more for the man that he is in this moment, of being proud of the choices he makes. I feel like I should put up a fight, I should rage and scream and cry because he’s leaving again.

The world tells me that romantic love feels good and I should be happy and how could he do this to us? And I love him fierce and hard and true and yet this does not feel good.  Do I not love him enough because I am not mad at him?

But oh I do, I love this man. 

Something about this reeks of sanctification …  

This is one is even harder because in my fear I lose sight of real, hard, truth.

This will be deployment number four. And after the first year … after the first year … I cannot shake the feeling that every time he walks away, every goodbye … the odds markedly decrease that he returns whole … or at all. I cry hot tears at the thought of losing him. It’s not rational, but it’s real.

He was never mine to give, but in my fear I cling desperately to the falsehood that he is mine to keep. 

This is how I feel … but what do I do, what did I do two weeks later when yes was an ugly, heavy word and we planned our goodbyes? {We had a reprieve, he wasn’t supposed to leave until mid-October}. How do I calm the storm, the wind and waves boisterous around my sinking feet? 

The details surrounding this tasking are not mine to tell. But I am proud of this Husband of mine. He is an honorable man and I have loved him even more, if possible, through this process.

So this is what I do. I wipe away the tears. I buy him some new underwear at Wal-Mart. I buy him some fancy headphones to keep the music piping in, the loneliness at bay. We update the will. I wink at him from across the room and I hold his hand a little tighter in church.

We were waiting to tell the littles, J Girl really. I couldn’t, wouldn’t face it yet. There are some bridges I wait until the absolute last moment to cross.

But, they fought for our family, his bosses, they fought for us. If he went, our home life would be predominately daddy free for 21 months … six months deployed, two months of training post-deployment, four months home, and nine more months gone.

I am weary just writing it down. It’s not terribly unusual for us, these staccato bursts of time … together, apart, together, apart … but it. is. so. hard. 

And so, there were more weeks of not knowing, of surrender and fear and worry, of uncertainty. And who could I tell? It’s unfair to get people worked up about maybe, even maybe of this magnitude. I whispered it in asides to a few dear friends in the beginning. I was more careless as the time dragged on and on. Fatigue loosening my tongue.

I was consumed by this. As evidenced by my obvious lack of blogging the previous month, I couldn’t think to write of anything else. I was {am} a reluctant, recalcitrant child of God, shaking my fist at a Heavenly Father that even still, works His plans for good.

Well … after all that … he’s not going.

And so I am eternally gratefully for his command team. And for an Architect who designs us to live right where He would have us. Which sometimes is in uncertainty. But right now, is still in Tennessee.

Together.

I won’t lie, it was hard to be grateful for this process. And I am weary now on the other side, more weary in this Army life than I’ve ever been.

But God is good and He promises me rest. And still, I wink at the Husband from across the room and hold his hand a little tighter in church.

He isn’t mine to give … and so, I am grateful every gift of a moment with this man I love so fierce and hard and true.  

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 118:1, NKJV).

~M.

Doesn’t your heart just melt?
More about Molly Huggins

I am an unrepentant extrovert with an ongoing, passionate affair with coffee, ellipses, and the written word. I write because it’s how I’m made to worship. I am a story teller, because redemption has a story to tell. And always, I want to be a story collector. So have a virtual seat at my beat-up kitchen table. Read my story. Tell me yours. Stay awhile. And P.S. ... for more about me, click on my mug in the sidebar;)

12 Comments
    1. Oh Molly! This was good to read, in lots and lots of ways. Praising God with you for His goodness! (Also melting at the picture. Completely.)

    1. You. Write. Beautifully.

      And you have my prayers. We were a USMC family for two years (married halfway through his service), with deployment scares, but no realities. And I am grateful, because I learned I am not as strong as I thought I was, nor as trusting.

      Blessings to you and your family. I hope his time home is long.

    1. I know this exact feeling! I felt the same way from January to April of this year. I am glad that he didn’t have to go.

    1. I don’t remember if I commented before (I meant to). I read all of your “Our Story” posts in 2 sittings. I am so grateful for an eloquent voice telling what is definitely your story but feels so much like “our” Army wife story. I’m also grateful that you were spared this deployment!
      Thank you for writing and please continue!

      1. Martha – just visited your website and left you a long, slightly insane comment. Thank you so much for your kind words, and thanks for reading. Nice to internet-meet my fellow Army wives.

      1. Thank you Jenn! And thank you again for arranging our little blogging powwow.

    1. You beautiful women are kind to me. This one took a loooong time to write. Hard to get the words out the right way. 🙂 Thank you for your love and prayers. And for reading. And commenting!

    1. So, I was completely captured by your writing and frankly feeling a bit guilty for having not called the last month, knowing something was up for you. I’m sitting there reading your blog and crying when Ben comes over wanting to know what in the world I’m up to, just as I get to the part where he gets to stay home. It took me about an hour to recover. I’m rejoicing with your whole family sister.

I love to hear from you!