Both of these images above showed up recently on my newsfeed, only a couple of days apart, from two fellow military spouse friends. Both images caused me to stop my scrolling for a minute as I hit the like button and offered up a heartfelt prayer for these precious families. Because I get it. I know. That’s what deployment looks like.
Daddy’s who are gone and are missed oh-so-much that those left at home cling to whatever reminders we have. For little ones, it’s often the Daddy Dolls like you see in the pictures. Or maybe a recordable book or video that was made just for them that’s watched over and over again. I remember multiple trips to the exchange or commissary (stores on base) and my sweet girl would run after someone in uniform yelling “Papa, papa!”. “It’s not him baby girl” I’d gently say as my heart was breaking. That’s what deployment looks like.
For us mamas it might be a shirt of our loved one that still smells like him, at least for the first few months he’s gone. It’s the phone call in the middle of the night because they’re on the other side of the world and that’s when they can talk. It’s writing emails and sending care packages. It’s wondering if we’ll hear from him today and feeling lonely as we once again sit down to dinner with his empty chair across from us. It’s the ever-present worry, the biggest fear that no one wants to talk about, the sinking stomach when you turn on the news, the knock-on-the-door you never want to come. That’s what deployment looks like.
For those of you living through that today, I get it. And I’m praying for you. Praying for peace, praying for strength, praying for encouragement, praying for endurance. Praying that you get to talk to him today, praying that you know how to help your little ones through this, praying that you get to feel his arms wrapped around you soon.
Because spending more time in prayer, relying on His strength to get us through each day, trusting that He is in control more than we ever have before, that’s what deployment looks like.