Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lessons Through Fruit

Every time my husband and I say goodbye, I am forced into a lifestyle that I never wanted.  I never wanted to feel like a single Mom.  I never wanted to be the sole emotional supporter of our family.  I never wanted to be alone.  In fact, growing up I always said I wouldn't marry a military man (God had different plans).  I often go into these temporary separations with a smile on my face but a hole in my heart.  The pressure that comes with being a military spouse is almost unbearable at times. While deployments are nothing new for our family, the amount of time Mike has been gone in the last 12 months is.  We've seen the leader for our family exactly 139 days this year...a bit over 4 months.  It's true that this deployment has finally ended. but I believe as a couple and a family we will be reflecting on it for a long time.

I always do my best to ponder on the lessons I've learned.  As much as I wish God would choose a different path to show me His way, in the end I am always convinced it was necessary for my growth as a Christian, wife, and Mother.  As per norm, our lives on this final go-round went a tad nutty.  We had plumbing problems which resulted in my daughter being without a room for weeks.  We've had issues with the school and bullies.  We have been addressing some medical issues.  Random broken household items, and emotions.  Emotions can never be left out of the equation.

Through it all, although I have smiled (most of the time) and blown off situations, the truth is it has been ridiculously hard.  I have questioned myself, my marriage, and my life as a whole.  I never questioned my God, as I had all but pushed Him away.  The craziest part, and one that I am thankful for, is that I remained faithful to our Sunday morning worship.  Every time I was surrounded by my fellow Christians, lifting up praises, I could feel Him.  He was moving my heart...telling me to not give up; reminding me that He was there.  

 I have been led to revisit the seven fruits of the spirit.  These were things Mike and I spent a very long time teaching the children about, encouraging them to practice.  Yet here I am, facing the good, bad, and ugly part of myself.

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

I am joyful and overwhelmed with the love at the way my children and I clung to one another throughout every stumbling block that came our way.  My children constantly stepped up to help whenever and wherever they could.

Unfortunately, finding my inner peace did  not come as easily.  I really struggled with so many overwhelming emotions and my kindness.  I recognize now that Satan was hard at work within me.  I felt so resentful that my husband, who was forced to be away from us, was away.  I got so angry at the "freedom" he had.  He could sleep in on days he didn't have to work.  He could go running whenever he was off.  And his meals...all of his meals were prepared by others and most often delicious.   Meanwhile, I was here pushing myself to make dinner.  I'm ashamed to say more often than not, they were nothing special or glamorous.  I was quite frankly not a very patient wife.  

How horrible to feel such hateful things toward the man who was giving so much.  His hard work enables me to stay at home to be with our children.  His hard work is what takes care of our finances.  Now the guilt...there he goes again...Satan at work. 

Because my heart was rarely at peace, my gentleness lacked.  

Because of that I was so encouraged and grateful to the kindness that was shown to me.  Thoughtfulness (goodness) is something I never take for granted.  I always try to be kind and gentle to others, but the amount of tenderness that was shown to me this past year has made me joyful!  My friends are the greatest. They let me cry when I needed to cry, listen when i needed to vent, and encourage me when I felt I could do no more.

As for my self control, well, that will always be a work in progress for me. However, I will say I demonstrated quite a bit of self control when dealing with some serious school problems and their seriously troubled system.

Finally, my faithfulness.  My faithfulness never wavered.  Despite my feelings at any given moment, there was never a question of my devotion to my husband.  Mike is my best friend, my partner, my cheerleader, my helpmate, and my love.  He is dedicated, self sacrificing , and faithful.  What more could a woman ask for?

Putting these feelings out there, make them so much more real.  Quite obviously I still have a lot to work on.  My hope is that now that my man is home, my loneliness will be disappear.  Once the realization that I'm not in this alone, we can heal and I can be the very best.

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