Thursday, October 24, 2013

Temporary Relief

During deployment, it is always helpful to have things to look forward to. For me, this usually involves a visit from family or close friends. In the past 3 months, DD and I have been blessed with 2 visits – one from my mom and the other from my college roommate and dear friend, who is really closer to a sister.

My mom's visit came first, not long after DD and I got over our sicknesses (see previous post). It was such a joy to have her here. She helped in so many ways. I cannot possibly describe them all, but I'll try so you can see how amazing she is. Not only did she clean up our messes, prepare our meals, play with DD, take us shopping, and give lots of hugs and kisses, she also spent quality time listening to my fears, worries, hopes, and goals. When my mom visits, I can let down. The weight of the world no longer hunches my shoulders. I can be calm and relaxed, not waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel at peace and reassured. There is no feeling like it!

DD very happy to play with Grammy
The hard part comes when she has to go home. It takes several hours, sometimes several days, to readjust. I have a temporary panicky feeling that I can't do it. I can't do it by myself. It was so much easier with my mom here. But the Lord reminds me that He has not left me. Not only that, but this is the way it is supposed to be. I am an adult with a daughter of my own. My mom can't always be with me (though she is always there for me). She has raised me to be a strong, independent, capable woman. And I must make her proud. But how thankful I am for the relief her visits provide!

Not long after I readjusted and returned to my routine, my college bestie came to visit. The feelings were similar. It was a party every day! We laughed and cried, shared our hearts and our lives in ways you can't replicate over the telephone. She met DD for the first time, and they were fast friends. Her visit was therapy to my wearied soul.

Fast friends
3 happy girls
Yet again when she had to leave, there was a readjustment period. The house was quieter. Nights were lonely again. Reality didn't sink back in, it pummeled me. The end of each visit is another goodbye that serves to remind me of the goodbye I had to say to my husband. The pain comes rushing back until I acknowledge it and affirm that yes, this is a hard time, but it is not impossible. If it weren't so difficult, I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy the satisfying wholeness that these visits bring. So while when they end, I feel loss, I would not trade their restorative power for anything. Not only do they give me something to look forward to, they help me persevere. They are a glimpse of God's love for me, how He sustains me even in the midst.

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