I apologize for not updating sooner. Redeployment, block leave, PCSing, etc. have all happened in the last few months, and I've neglected some things. However, I cannot possibly share about all of that before I first explain how God redeemed this last deployment. Although in my last post, I felt like it would never end, I soon began to feel relief as the Lord answered my prayers. But first a little background...
During the second half of the deployment, I attended a Beth Moore Bible study at PWOC called Believing God. While I wasn't able to attend every session due to aforementioned illnesses, I did keep up with my homework and watched the videos online. Through this study, the Lord taught me many things. The most powerful part occurred one week when Beth Moore told us to do a timeline of our lives, even from before we were Christians. In this timeline, we had to record major events, as well as people God used or ways He was working, sometimes behind the scenes. This was such an encouraging activity, and I highly encourage you to write one yourself, especially if you are in a challenging season of life. As I was completing my timeline, deployments were a common theme, and things I had not thought about in years came back, reminding me of God's faithfulness. It brought me renewed peace and deeper hope.
As I was doing this homework, the end of the deployment was drawing closer and my husband and I began discussing when he might come home. We knew this was a year-long deployment, despite the fact that most other units were now serving 9 months overseas. Of course, my husband had to be in the unit that was the exception. While I was prepared to go the whole year, and possibly even longer (since you never know what the Army will throw at you), I was not prepared for the news my husband gave me one day while we were chatting online. I had been praying big prayers in my Bible study that semester and never doubted God, but I did doubt the reality of what happened next. My husband said he had good news. This could range from passing his PT test to having time to play soccer that day. However, on this day, good news meant that he had been approved to come home on an earlier flight! This flight would bring him back a month earlier than was expected. I was overjoyed at the news, not just to have my husband home sooner, which would be reason enough. This earlier timeline would also mean we would have more time before PCSing, and it would be right around my daughter's 2nd birthday which I had been very upset about him missing. In addition, my mom would be staying with us so she would be able to take care of my daughter while my husband and I could get some much needed alone time. My God is a Redeemer in every sense of the word!
You see, if you've followed my story from our last deployment, you know that my husband had been extended a month longer than the 1 year mark during his second tour in Iraq. It was a very difficult time for me, after what had been a mostly successful deployment. The extension had long-term effects on me, teaching me to never count on the Army's timing.
Although this 3rd deployment was much tougher in many ways, God redeemed it. He gave me back that month that I lost in the 2nd deployment by bringing my husband home an entire month earlier in the 3rd deployment! Had I not done the timeline in my Bible study homework, these details would not have been as fresh on my mind. God is a master orchestrator, fine-tuning all the minute details of our lives to show His power. I love it when God decides to show off! How I pray He would do it more!