For the last few months, there's been a day I've been dreading ... October 12, deployment day. Every time I even thought about this impending day, I teared up and had to control myself to not bawl. Of course, sometimes (when it was appropriate) I would let myself just feel and experience the feelings of fear and grief and loneliness that I was experiencing. Lately, I've felt as this day is drawing near, the more I've focused on it, and the more I've also thought that maybe I was focusing on it too much. So during these last days, I've tried to pray for others and their struggles more. I've fallen asleep praying and thinking about them instead of crying for myself or dreading the future. On my short list right now ... my grandparents who are going through a life change with the arrival of a live-in caretaker while my grandfather recovers from a stroke, and my grandmother recovers from a dislocated shoulder ... a single Mom with two toddlers trying to be the best parent she can be to them while dealing with her own life issues (job changes, relationships, hope for the future, recovering from the past), a local friend with a newborn, learning how to balance two children and dealing with her father's struggle with cancer ... another local very pregnant friend on strict bedrest trying to make sure she doesn't go into labor too early, as well as dealing with how helpless she is as she longs to return to her normal tasks as a wife and mother.
I can still cry at the drop of a hat if I allow myself to think about this Sunday, but the odd thing is that once we get past this one day, I will immediately leave behind a day that I've been dreading and instead gain a day that I will look forward too for the next 7 months, Homecoming! It's odd that the same day I dread, will also be the beginning of the hoping phase of this journey. Yes, I'll still have difficult days with the boys and the pregnancy, but those days will happen randomly and without my prior knowledge rather than be pre-appointed days that I dread. More importantly, now I'll have a definite day to look forward too, as well as days in between when I've asked relatives to visit and help out.
Once I get past Sunday, I think I'll have a lot more days to look forward to, than not and SO... for that, I am ready for Will to leave and just get on with his deployment, and for us to get on with our lives. I'm ready to NOT dread a day and not cry when I think about it, not that there won't be other days of tears and frustration, but now, at the very least, I'll have a definite day to hope for, and more for that matter because I'll have the birth of my baby to look forward to as well. :) (although that's surrounded with mixed emotions because Will is most likely going to miss it and I can only hope that I have relatives in town when it happens because I'll be on my own). This only begins a long list of things that I am going to HAVE to learn to trust to the perfect planning and providence of God. It won't do me any good to fear or dread them, so I hope He can teach me to let Him take care of me, which might be difficult because I'm a planner. :)
With that in mind, I am so happy for the blessings He has already sent my way and for the providence He's given me, as I mentioned in my last post.
First, Will and I made a wonderful discovery upon our return to our Norfolk home in Ingleside ... new neighbors, great neighbors. They're a young, newlywed, Navy couple, without children, who love children, our children and who have offered to help me in any way they can. On top of that, the wife is an EMT and in training to be a nurse! (I've already asked her to drive me to the hospital if my family is not in town). :)
Second, I have a wonderful group of friends that I returned to at our church and in the area, here in Hampton Roads, including new friends who just moved here who have already been such a great help to us. It just so happens that our children were born within days of each other, we're both pregnant with our third (only a month apart) and I have the same birthday as the wife. I feel like we've been living parallel lives. :) Anyway, the husband has come over several days and nights to help Will fix up our home for me before he leaves, he's actually here right now. :) They have also offered help in any way I need it. I also have other wonderful friends who have watched the boys, or taken one to pre-school or picked them up so I could get to a doctors appointment or sign my will. :)
Third, I have found a wonderful girl to babysit for me a couple of times a week. She lives close and she loves kids and she's very good with mine. I'm so excited! On top of that, I have planned a schedule for family to visit every month or for me to go visit family. In fact, Will's Aunt is driving down from D.C. to help me fly to TX for Christmas with both our families and that is such a huge blessing!
Apart from the physical help of dealing with the boys and our lives day to day, I have a wealth of people praying for us and although I may place more emphasis on someone willing to watch my kids for a few hours, I know that the prayer is what will truly make the difference for us. So, I thank you ALL in advance for the prayers you send our way because they will be the prayers that sustain me when I'm mentally and emotionally overwhelmed ... they will be the prayers that find someone to help me when I need help ... and they will be the prayers that protect me, my children and my husband while we cannot be together.
I hope this beginning of a long list of blessings will be a brighter note during this interesting time for us and bless you as you remember that EVERY good gift comes from God.