Saturday, September 14, 2013

What a Difference a Week Makes

One of the hardest parts for me when first starting a deployment is getting used to the new normal.  All of my routines seem tarnished by the absence of my sweet husband.  While in theory it should only affect my night time and weekend routines, deployment actually affects every part of my day.  This is because from the moment we say goodbye, the weight of the world is on my shoulders.  Or so it feels.

My husband once told me about an article he read regarding decision-making and how with each decision we make, we become more and more apathetic.  Each choice we make requires so much brain power and energy that we are simply too exhausted by the end of the day to feel passionately enough to make yet another call.  I feel that this aptly sums up the life of a spouse with a deployed soldier, especially one who is also a mom.

While it's true that you want to keep your husband as involved as possible, it's not always easy when you have to make a split-second decision.  And at the beginning of a deployment, there is a lot of adjusting to this new pressure.  You can't just call or text and find out what he thinks.  It's all up to you.

This was epitomized for me the day after DH left.  It was a Sunday, and I was already dreading going to church and sitting by myself. I remembered all too well what that felt like.  Well, DD decided not to take her morning nap that day, and I struggled with the decision of whether we should still go to church, knowing it would be hours (by the time we got home) since she'd slept.  Now, this may seem like a petty problem, but to me it was huge.  Not only that, but it was Sunday.  My husband should have been home to help me make the call.
Ready for church...nap or no nap
I ended up taking her to church, praying she would be ok in the nursery.  I nervously dropped her off, explained she hadn't napped, and told them to call me if she got too fussy.

Then I walked into the sanctuary and found a spot for solitary me.  Then wouldn't you know?  The first song we sang was "Your Grace is Enough."  I balled like a baby.  So much so that a woman came up to me to make sure I was ok.  I felt like such a fool.  Totally embarrassed!  I reassured her I was fine and tried to pull it together the rest of the service.  DD ended up making it through the whole time, and we went home.  I was exhausted, but we were ok.  I began to realize that the Lord was going to see me through this, even when I felt like I was making a "wrong" decision.

Over the next several days, I continued to strive for a new normal.  Since DH was still in transit, I had no idea when or if I'd hear from him so I began to have quite a close relationship with my cell phone, just in case.  He was faithful to cal or write and keep me updated.

Finally, he got to his destination and within a few days, we were able to Skype.  He was incredibly busy, and the time difference made it even harder.  But DH is so committed to us and does his best to connect with us in some way virtually every day, barring a power outage.

After about a week, we managed to find our rhythm.  By the next Sunday, going to church, I already felt as though we had established new routines and were settling into the new challenges we faced.  Although there were still a million decisions to be made, the pressure and weight of those choices seemed to dissipate.  God reminded me that even though I couldn't always ask my husband, I could always ask Him.

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