Preparing your Heart for a Rough Season Ahead

Preparing your Heart for a Rough Season Ahead

I scanned the detailed list of my husbands upcoming work engagements and I began to feel the stress and anxiety pile on.

We have a baby one month and then he leaves for TDY the next, and another the following month, and again the following month. Multiple TDY’s occupying 4 back-to-back months.  All while I manage caring for a newborn and a toddler.

Can you feel the kind of fear that overwhelmed me?

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Deployment - Take 4

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

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If you have been with me this far, then you know my family and I have been on a roller coaster for the last few years. I was tasked to deploy two different times, each time getting canceled for a variety of reasons. During this same time, David and I were brought together, then apart with TDY’s and his deployment, we lived through a miscarriage, then the birth of our rainbow baby, and then finally another deployment and cancelation.

What was weird about the last tasking was that I truly felt God had prepared my heart to leave.

He told me to be strong and courageous, for the Lord my God would be with me wherever I went. 

For reasons I cannot elaborate on, deployment 3 was canceled as quickly as I had accepted it. After a short amount of time basking in the cancellation (and trying to figure out what God really had in store for me), another deployment tasking came down – Deployment tasking #4.

Deployment tasking #3 and #4 were essentially the same tasking, just a few weeks apart and a little bit longer.

At this point, my mind was going a million miles an hour trying to decipher how I was truly feeling. I still believed this was what God wanted of me. He told me to be strong and courageous and somehow I just knew in my gut that I would be leaving my little family behind.

When I mentally accepted this tasking, I stopped telling people I was sad to leave and instead, I embraced this opportunity with excitement.

Why? Well, because God was sending me on a mission. His mission.

Be Strong and Courageous

Once the world around me became still, I began to wonder…

Am I in denial? 

Am I trying to hide the fact that this deployment is going to be hard?  

Am I naïve to think I am capable of deploying? 

Is the enemy trying to confuse me? 

Am I feeling ‘okay’ because I trust God or because I’m delusional? 

To say I was all over the place is an understatement. 

I still don't know the answer to any of those questions. I hope I trusted God. I hope that I felt excited about this deployment because God had a mission for me rather than being selfish about the positives of this deployment because there were definitely positives.

Glass Half Full

Let's be real for a second. This deployment had a lot of perks. It would mean I could sleep by myself with no kid hogging the bed. I could read an actual book, not a kindle version (have you tried reading an actual paper/hardback book near a 1-year-old?).

I could workout and get sexy! Or, as one of my coworkers say "redefine sexy".

And I could make some decent tax free money.

Eventually, whenever my mind would wonder to all the things I would miss, I would think of all of the positives instead. It may seem selfish, but it was the only way I could survive. I had to see the glass as half full. 

Two weeks after the official tasking came down, I was saying “see you later” to my family and hopping into a black passenger van for the airport.

It was time.

Blessing in Disguise

Looking back, there was definitely a reason or a perk for the same deployment getting canceled and turned back on. It gave me another month with my precious family.

The entire first year of Natalie's life, God had been preparing me to leave. He was teaching me how to give her back to Him. How to hold her with open hands and rely on Him to protect her. Finally, I accepted the call he had for me and in return, I received a blessing.

He gave me another month at home and in that month, I was able to see my baby girl take her first step.

How lucky am I?