God Moments: From Airman to Mom

God Moments: From Airman to Mom

Through her unique yet challenging deployment, Amanda learned that she could do more than she ever believed she was capable of and that small acts could in fact change the world. She became more compassionate. And her eyes were open to the kind of suffering that was happening outside of the US every day. She realized she had to do more, so upon return home, she started donating to various organizations in helping people less fortunate than many Americans.

Although deploying changed her in many different ways, another challenge also significantly affected her --- transitioning from Airman to Mom. 

Read More

Deployment - Take 3

This piece is Part 3 of a 4 Part Deployment Series covering my 4 deployment taskings in my Air Force Career.

Incase you haven't read the 2 previous posts, here is a quick recap.

Air Force Deployment Blog

I had been tasked to deploy two different times without actually deploying.  I was removed from my first deployment because the commanding officer wanted someone higher ranking. No big deal. Then, after moving to another country, finding out we are pregnant and then miscarrying, a second deployment tasking drops (remember, this one was a dream job).

I went on a short notice TDY (training) and on the very last day of training I found out I was pregnant. No more deployment. 

We had our precious Natalie and life was good, then two months shy of her first birthday I was notified that a third deployment had dropped... This time, I would leave 1 week after her first birthday. 

Thankfully, current Air Force Policy meant I was safe from deployments or trainings for a year after birth, but i never imagined they would task me right after my daughter turned 1. 

Words can not express the feelings I had about this deployment. No longer was the job a dream job, nor the location a “vacation” spot. To top it off, I would be missing 5 months of my baby girls life.

Deployment Blog

Life Is Not Fair

Why would God wait until she turns 1 to pull me away? Why didn't he let me go on the last tasking, rather than allowing me to get pregnant just to leave her behind? 

It didn't seem fair at all. Not to me and most definitely not to her. And my husband just returned from deployment a few months prior! But duty calls and I volunteered to wear the uniform, at least that’s what I keep reminding myself.

In my moment of desperation, I got to my knees and started praying. Regardless of my questions, I needed to accept the fact that God had called me away from my family.

I eventually accepted the mission I was being sent on, and then it happened...

A text message from my commander that read - Your deployment’s been canceled, thought you would want to know… Happy Holidays!

 
IMG_5259.JPG
Christmas Deployment Blog
 

This was the last message I was expecting to receive and I can't say that I was happy with the news. 

How did I get out of not 1, nor 2, but 3 deployments? All of which I feel like I had no control over. This roller coaster of emotions goes right through me.  Everyone starts celebrating that I don’t have to deploy and the only thing I can think about is how God had prepared my heart to leave.

He gave me a sign. I was meant to deploy. 

He ignited the flame inside me to get excited about this deployment, all for it to just get canceled.

I wasn’t happy about leaving my husband or infant daughter. The thought of everything I would be missing just made my heart ache. My eyes would tear up thinking about how she would crawl around the house calling for mum-mum and never find me. Or how she would cling to her caregivers at the CDC (child development center aka daycare) to get the comfort that she can't get from her mommy.

No mom wants to be replaced. But on the other hand, I felt this strong sense that God was sending me on a mission and that mission was now canceled.

The day I found out about deployment #3, God gave me the verse “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, ESV).

This was very much what I classify as a #Godmoment.

IMG_7275.JPG

I took this as a sign that God would be with me on my journey away from home, for the 5 months, completing whatever it was that he needed me to complete. So why would He give me this verse, just to yet again, remove this deployment opportunity? 

When this last deployment was canceled, I was still aware of the possibly of getting tasked again, but I didn’t really believe another tasking would drop - until another one did.

There were only a few weeks between deployment tasking #3 and #4. I knew that God had a mission for me, I just didn't know what that mission nor why I felt like I was being jerked around on this road called life. Nevertheless, I was ready for whatever would come my way.

Deployment Tasking #4 (okay, maybe like Deployment #3 take 2).

Deployment - Take 2

This piece is Part 2 in a 4 Part Deployment Series covering my 4 deployment taskings in my Air Force Career.


Although unexpected, the second deployment tasking was a dream deployment. It was the same location as the first tasking, but this time, the job was everything I had ever wanted. It was like a glorified party planner meets executive assistant for the Air Force, also known as Protocol.

Although the deployment was a few months away, I needed to leave right away for a training back in the states and was set to depart two months later.

 
Protocol.jpg
 

On my last day of training, I notice something seemed off so I took a pregnancy test and lo and behold two little pink lines showed up on a pregnancy test (more like 15 pregnancy tests).

 
Pregnancy tests.jpg
 

Y'all, I was in shock. You would think I would be excited, especially since I miscarried less than two months prior, but the first thing that went through my mind was heartache and confusion.

Why would God give me a dream deployment and then take it away in a matter of weeks?Especially, when two months prior, He called my first baby home... Why now? Why would He call my first baby home? 

I was angry. Not at the fact that I was pregnant, but at the fact that I would have to go home and tell everyone that I could no longer deploy.

I am going to take a bunny trail here and say that in the military, there’s a stigma that some women get out of deployments by getting pregnant. Right before I left for training, I foolishly told people that “I would never be one of "those people” and now I was one of “those people”.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted - Matthew 23:12 ESV

A Humbling Experience

The bible clearly tells us that when we exalt ourselves (glorify ourselves) we will be humbled. That, my friends is what God was doing. He saw me placing myself on a pedalstool. Rising above all the other ladies who have gotten out of deployments and reminded me who was in charge.

The month following the miscarriage, we did everything we could to get pregnant again. Not to toot my own horn, but everything was timed perfectly yet, nothing happened. The following month, we found out I was deploying, so no more "trying" to make a baby.

Again, God had other plans. All the charting or temping (check out the Fertility Awareness Method) couldn't get us pregnant when we wanted to and apparently, didn't help us when we decided to stop trying.

David and I were intentionally trying not to get pregnant and God decided it was time.

Are you picking up what im throwing down? We try for a baby, and nothing happens. We try for no baby and BAM two little lines on 15 different pregnancy tests remind me that the Big Man upstairs is in control.

In shock, I made my way back to England and tried to gather the courage to tell my husband, my commander and everyone else that I would not be deploying due to an unplanned/unexpected pregnancy.  Thankfully, the news was well received and the girl who went in my place was extremely excited to deploy.

Funny story - poor David was on an emotional roller coaster. One minute he is prepping for me to leave. The next minute (13 days later) I tell him hes going to be a dad!

His respone "You need to quit messing with my emotions".... romantic right?

Now, we fast forward to present day... Baby girl is 1.5 months shy of turning one and I get notified that the Air Force wants me to deploy again. Deployment tasking #3.

Lessons Learned

1) There is very little that you can actually control in your life. Realize it and embrace it. 

2) There is no good in pride. I was so prideful about who I was professionally that I allowed it to steal my joy when I found out I was pregnant. 

3) You might never understand the why. I don't know why I had to miscarry my first baby, nor why God blessed me with our baby when i finally had a job I wanted, but I know that all these pieces will fall into place and the picture will be revealed on the other side of heaven.