Always Real, Faith

Homecomings

This morning in church, we welcomed one of our congregation’s soldiers home from overseas.  Everyone stood and applauded to honor him.  What a joyous occasion it is when one of our soldiers returns safely home!  I am a big patriotic dork, but these kinds of things always bring tears up out of my crusty old heart to sting my wrinkly old eyes.

I can’t put my child to bed without thinking about all the soldiers overseas who do not get to tuck their babies into bed at night. Many of them are missing out on entire seasons of their children’s lives. The magnitude of that sacrifice overwhelms me as I look at my own child snuggled into his tiny bed, drifting off to sleep secure in the knowledge that his mommy and daddy are within the sound of his voice.

Every night since Sean was born, as I have tucked him into bed, I have prayed for our soldiers overseas. And now that Sean is older, he has made this part of his bedtime prayers as well.  Together we pray that God will watch over the children whose mommy or daddy is serving in the military far away from home and we ask that He provide them an extra measure of comfort. We pray that God will bring all of our soldiers safely home to their families.

Of course, we know that our prayers will not always be answered in the way we petition. We know that every soldier will not return home to those who love them.  And this pains me deeply.  I simply don’t understand why a God who can do anything wouldn’t do that.

But we continue our prayers anyway, knowing that sometimes praying does more for the one who prays than the one prayed for, knowing that God is at work in the world in ways we simply do not understand.  All I know to do is pray without ceasing as Scripture calls me to do and try to allow my faith to fill in the gaps where there is a dearth of understanding.

And to rejoice with tears and prayers of gratitude for every homecoming.

20 thoughts on “Homecomings

  1. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a patriotic dork. I cry when they play the national anthem at a ball game. And I’m totally not embarrassed – I’m so thankful for that emotion. YOu have lots of company in your tears and your full heart.

    And your wrinkly old eyes? I can tell you’ve been hanging with those twenty-somethings. When I go visit LouLou at 102 and her cronies, I leave there feeling like a real spring chicken. Drops years off!

  2. Beautiful. I too have such gratitude for those who serve to keep us safe and free. We also pray nightly for the safe return of our troops.

    I remember all too well a Marine coming to our home when I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 to tell my mom that my brother had been shot while serving in Viet Nam. Fortunately, thank God, he survived – all told he had over 13 operations – he came home on a naval hospital ship and then was at Great Lakes Naval Base Hospital for over a year.

    Our family is very gratetful for his safe return. We hope that each and every one of our soldiers come home healthy and safe and feel for the families who are away from their loved ones.

    I watched “Taking Chance” last night, with tears in my eyes and bawled like a baby. As a mother of a son, I know it is hypocritical to say that I don’t want him to serve his country, but I want my little boy safe – like every other mother out there. Well said.

  3. Amen to that sister Pat T., Beverlydru and AM. I watched Taking Chance last night and I cried big sobbing tears through the whole thing. I never knew, I always thought I could begin to understand, but I never knew. Not like now anyway. My son is in Iraq and now it’s personal. Yes there has been some very deep prayers and yes it seems to benefit me during this time.

    I blog too and wrote on my feelings from last night. I am not the writer that AM is so if you go please leave me a note of your visit. I never thought I would love women I never met but I do love the women I have ran into on these blogs.

    Thank you for your prayers for the soldiers.

  4. I think of the mommies and daddies who are missing first steps and first words and sweet goodnights. And I think of the mommies who remember those first steps and first words and sweet goodnights of children grown and now gone to war. I thought I couldn’t bear it when my daughter went away to college. How much worst it must be to send them over there. I stand in awe of you who have done just that. I keep you and your children in my prayers.

  5. Beautiful post, and a great reminder to uphold those soldiers and their families in our prayers.

    Jerriann, I’d just like to say thank you for your sacrifice on behalf of all of us.

    Patriotic dork? Sign me up!!

  6. Thank you for this post and you are in no way a dork! My husband is in the Navy and we will more than likely be going through our first deployment in the next year. I think about it all the time and can’t imagine how hard it is going to be on me and my young son. Thank you so much for the prayers for our military!

  7. I usually come to your blog for a good laugh (“Millie Conway” has to be one of the best blogs ever written!), but today you’ve got me crying. I work as a nurse, and whenever I take care of someone I know was a serviceman, I thank him for serving to keep me and my family safe and free – especially the Vietnam vets, who got so little honor when they came home. Thanks for honoring them on your blog. Praying with you for them!

  8. I’m in Iraq right now, and I’m so grateful that I DON’T have kids. I see so many folks get so sad when they talk to their kids… For example:

    One of my friends deployed when her baby girl was just 10 months old!! Imagine going back home after 6 months and seeing what a change has happened!

    My other friend… his wife just gave birth to his baby boy last month! It will still be another 3 months until he gets to meet him.

    Pray for those folks… but pray for their families at home even more! The family at home is the one who suffers the most… thank YOU for your support. We receive random boxes all the time from folks at home (mostly Texas!:) and it makes are hearts soar here!

  9. As the wife of a deployed soldier, THANK YOU for your prayers! They mean so much. My husband is on his way home for 18 days of leave and we are so excited to see him…it has been a long ten months and we’re going through a fifteen month deployment, so we’ll have a few more when he goes back. My girls will have their fourth birthday when he’s home. He left right after their third birthday, so he has basically missed their entire third year. Also, my baby sill turn two before he comes home from the deployment. He will probably miss his actual birthday and he missed his first as well. It is hard, but knowing that we are prayed for by wonderful women and men such as yourself makes it easier.

  10. As a sister of a wounded hero from Iraq, I can’t thank you enough for your prayers, which we also incorporate every night into bedtime prayers. They are desperately needed, as it feels like so many people have forgotten there is still a war going on….

    And there is NO SUCH THING as a patriotic dork, it’s sad that those of us so moved by such acts of heroism feel that we are dorks. WE SHOULD ALL FEEL MOVED TO TEARS for the sacrifices our heroes are making for our safety. Our country has become so apathetic about patriotism it’s sickening and disheartening.

    Again, thank you for the prayers, keep em coming!

  11. Gotta agree with the others… there is no such thing as a patriotic dork! 🙂 Beautiful post.

    ***
    I’m not much of a cryer, even when it’s appropriate to do so, but baptisms and anything patriotic — fly overs, parades, military ceremonies — all those things prick the tender underside of my heart. ~AM

  12. I found my quote of the month here today. Excellent post. I am a big patriotic dork, too. All it takes is a song, even a cheesy one like “Proud to Be An American” and I’m a puddle.

  13. what a beautiful post! thank you for the reminder to pray for our heroe and those who love & miss them. such a sweet & gentle heart you have . . . 🙂

  14. My cousin had twins two weeks ago today, her first babies. Her husband is being deployed in April … At first I was worried about her and how she will handle it alone, but lately all I have thought about is how this new daddy will be away from his babies. Thank you for your post and most of all for your prayers.

  15. My neighbor’s husband is in Iraq right now. He will be coming home on leave next month when she has her cancer surgery. She has been dealing with the diagnosis alone since he is deployed.

    Each person who is serving their country overseas has something going on in their lives that they are missing while they are away. Praying for them is the least we can do.

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