Finding Hope During Deployment
Easter of 2007, I had two children, 2.5 years old and about four months. I decided to take them to church Easter Sunday. I couldn’t imagine missing that. I might miss church sometimes, but you don’t miss on Easter Sunday. I dressed us all in our beautiful Easter outfits and headed to the on post chapel.
As I sat there in my Easter best, holding my baby, tears started to come. My husband, the one who I had spent every Easter with for the last few years was in Iraq. He wasn’t there with us like he should have been. I remembered other Easters. One where he was home with us and we could spend the holiday together.
As I sat there, trying not to completely lose it, I decided to look to the future. Next year, he would be with us, right? Next year, when our kids were a year older, we would all go to church together, the four of us. We would make family memories together again.
The truth is, during the middle of your deployment day, you can get stuck in “deployment” thinking.
You start thinking that you will always feel that lonely, that you will always feel that sad, that your spouse will miss everything and that there is nothing you can do about it.
But if you can look past that, if you can remind yourself that this deployment, no matter how long the separation might be, is only temporary, you can gain the strength you need to press through.
During military life, there will be seasons when they are away and seasons when they are home.
There are years when Easter Sunday will be the loneliest of days and years when Easter Sunday will be filled with family fun. There will be weeks when you aren’t sure you can make it to the next day and weeks when you will feel like you are rocking military life.
If you are in the middle of a deployment, if you are feeling pretty hopeless about the whole thing, remember, this too shall pass. It will. Time will go by, days will go by, and one day you will wake up, put your cute dress on and head down to the gym or airfield to pick up your spouse. Time will go by, and you will be spending your weekends at Lowe’s, going on date nights and making memories together again.
There is hope during a deployment.
Hope that you will get through it. Hope that you will grow stronger during the months they are away. Hope that you can do this and you can, in fact, do it more than once, more than twice or however many times you need to get through a deployment.
There is hope that through the months apart, you and your spouse can grow stronger. That you can learn more about yourself and even each other. That you can find that inner strength that you didn’t even know you had.
There is hope that although you might be alone this Easter, they will be there the next Easter and maybe even the one after that. That someday you will look back on your “deployment years” as a struggle you were able to get through, even though it was some of the hardest years of your marriage. That one day, you will be able to take what you learned during the months apart and use that for the future, for your struggles and to help others.
So yes, there is hope during a deployment. Even if you can’t see it right away. Even if it takes you a while to understand it.