Just the other day, my son came back from being deployed. He’s been gone for almost half a year! I never realize how much I worry about him being gone until he comes back safely and this incredible weight gets lifted off my shoulders! I do trust God to watch out for him…after all, God loves him even more than I do but it involves a daily relinquishment of my son's safety into His care.
This valiant son of mine has himself a precious little boy who is now over a year old. He has grown up so much over the last 5-1/2 months in his father’s absence. Just days before my son left, this little tyke took his first wobbly walk…what a gift for his dad to witness those first tentative steps! Then he was cruising all over their home as if he owned the joint! Before my son left, his baby was just babbling and chortling and now, this adorable toddler is saying his first words, including “Dada”. It is pure joy for me to watch this sweet, amazing family interact, now that they are all back together again. There is definitely truth in the old adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder!”
Despite the new technology of being able to SKYPE or FACETIME in order to stay in touch and catch up, their separation was extremely long and challenging. Our ingenious daughter-in-law held down the fort and put photos of her husband holding their son in several places all over the house and would point them out and remind her baby of my son and their relationship. He learned “Dada” quickly. She is an amazing woman and a fabulous mom!
I have so much admiration for her and the way she handles the difficult military lifestyle with so much time apart. Our son is also an involved, engaged dad and my heart bursts with pride in watching him pour his love out on his little boy! But the time of separation are very trying. I quite honestly don’t know how they do it! Before their son’s birth, this couple took their military commitments in stride. They missed each other, but it was definitely doable! Both husband and wife were busy with their careers and life choices and the time flew by. This time was very different! There was a third family member in the mix…
This time there was a little one at home missing his daddy, even though he would never have been able to verbalize it and maybe wasn’t even aware that that was the ache in his heart that he couldn’t identify. Maybe that observation is only the crazy notion of a sappy grandmother; perhaps he was too young to even notice his father’s absence. But let me tell you…this little boy hasn’t wanted to leave his daddy’s side since his father reappeared in his life!
This whole experience has me wondering. Do we, as God’s children, have that ache in our hearts for Him? Do we notice His absence when we haven’t taken the time to be with Him? Is that the missing piece (or should I say, missing peace) that we just can’t put into words? Do we seek Him, put our hands on the Word of God and whisper, “Father!”? Do we wrap our arms around His neck as we cuddle and sigh, “Abba!”? Do we worship with reverence and sing “Savior!”? Do we launch into His presence with exuberance and yell “Dada!”? Do we refuse to leave His side, once He is back safely in our hearts and homes?
Moreover, as parents, do we teach our children that keeping the Father close to our hearts is the best thing we can do? When we are in His presence, do we know (and have we taught our children?) that we need to listen to Him, obey His Word, revel in our relationship, enjoy the bond, and realize deep down in our souls that He is the missing piece? Do we admit that in our crazy lives, He is the missing peace?
“Home, sweet home~ where each lives for the other, and all live for God.”
Share this blog post with any military couples, (or couples separated because of jobs/ life) you know who would love a word of encouragement. Then make sure that you thank the service men and women for their service. It is through times of great sacrifice that they serve to preserve our freedoms!