This morning I awoke, dreading the sounds of the blessed day. Birds sang happily outside my window and I cringed, burrowing deeper into the blankets. Silently cursing the birds, I hugged my pillow tighter.
Come home, husband. I miss you.
I whisper words of love into the pillow, tears falling steadily down my cheeks. In another room, children wake from their slumber and amble into the adjacent play room. I cringe. Another day has begun. I wither. Another day? I sigh. How can I face one more. It’s already been months. I feel so weak this morning. Please, someone come along and take the kids for a fun-filled adventure today. Please. God? Are you listening?
Clutching my pillow even tighter, I whisper confessions to my plush, make-believe husband.
I don’t feel strong enough.
You’ve been gone a long time.
Things are easier when you’re here.
Are we done yet?
Please, come home.
I hate it when I don’t hear from you for a few days.
I’m scared that you won’t like me anymore when you finally do get home.
Tears come pouring out of my eyes now. My lips are parched and my throat feels dry and scratchy. I’m dehydrated again. Stress has crept up on me and I’ve allowed it. I’d like to say it outright blindsided me, but no. After six deployments in six years, I know the signs by now. I chose not to head them all off. I walked into the train wreck expecting to come out unscathed.
Soaking in self-pity, I pulled myself up out of bed and whispered the Lord’s prayer. I feel so alone, God. Please send a friend.
Walking into the living room, I discover my two beautiful children dressed as princesses, smiles from ear to ear on their pretty faces.
“Good morning, Mommy! Let’s play!”
Yes, girls. Let’s play.
As a princess crown is placed on my head and a colorful puppy book placed in my lap I remember exactly where my strength lies. Christ knew exactly what I needed – to serve those weaker and younger than me because in serving others, in becoming least, so much more is gained than a simple release from life’s troubles and pain.
Thank You, Father for never leaving me and for filling in the gaps when I just don’t feel strong enough to do it myself. You are good. Always. In Jesus’ Name I praise and worship You. Amen