Have you ever had a moment in time when you knew change was coming, yet as you go through all the pomp and circumstance, and maybe a few tears, your life feels exactly the same?
You celebrate, fellowship, run around preparing for the big moment, and stress until you feel the shakes, but the need for closing a door in order to open a new one seems to be lost in the space well above your head.
That was me until I saw the empty hook by the front door.
At the end of a long weekend, and a longer lifetime of preparation, an empty hook by the front door late into the evening made my heart sink and almost led me to pout and cry over the moment of closure. An empty hook tugged at the heartstrings that held to who and what I am were slightly severed at that moment. It was there as I hung my purse. Lonely, and cold, the hook drew me in.
The camouflaged jacket was gone. The camouflaged cover was gone. No longer to be ready for 6 am departures, they were gone. An audible sigh came from me, but it was lost on my loved ones in the other room, too absorbed in their nightly routines to notice.
I knew the jacket and cover were probably thrown on my bed or the computer chair, waiting for me to hang in the closet or throw in the wash. Their finality is not complete until they find their way into a box of mementos or on a top shelf somewhere.
I knew it was time to take down the celebratory American flags and sparkly decorations. It was time to clean the house and say goodbyes to visiting family. A short rest was to come as we decompressed from one event before heading into a new phase of life. It was time to watch for something unseasoned.
I have been a military spouse for over 22 years and have known my husband for 24 years of his career. Mourning for my loss is one thing, but hearing a soliloquy from his mouth about his love for country, family, God, and his brotherhood in the Armed Services spoken to a group of proud supporters was to bring closure and renewal. Thinking it did, my emotions did not realize that a missing jacket would do me in.
He has served nearly 25 years, been deployed for over 45 months, and out to sea for nearly 90 months. Then there was the training, travel, late night calls, early morning departures, tears, arguments, ceremonies, laughter, missed births, blacked-out days, unanswered questions, unspoken prayers, and so many moving boxes. All the heartache and laughter could never be replaced. The stress has been worth it. The love overflows. The disappointment lies in what we leave behind and how fast the world and country have changed.
The thing that never has changed is not material nor fallible because faith never disappoints. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He keeps us steady no matter the deployments to sea, the moves across the country, or the uncertainty of what is to come. God is our true north no matter any circumstance.
Proverbs 14:26 ESV
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
True North never changes. We can lean and trust in the Lord no matter our own insight, understanding, or situation. Confidence in our faith is what should always be front and center.
I thank the Lord for a husband who cares for me and our children. I am thankful for his integrity and hard work. But most of all, I am thankful for a husband who has placed his faith in the Lord. I can look forward to our lives here on earth and for an eternity together. We have grown a multigenerational faith in our home and that is far more of an adventure than any pirates one encounter, thrones that have been overthrown, love letters from other continents, or sleepless travel.
Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
What is next does not matter if we are in it together with God. He determines our steps despite us being the ones to pursue our goals and dreams. He places dreams on our hearts and walks with us along the way. His lack of failure is what motivates us to keep on moving no matter the road ahead.