Sunday, October 28, 2012

the race that is set before us

      It feels a little like a deployment right now, or the time he served in South Korea on an unaccompanied tour for a year. I've done the "single-parent" thing before - but always with a goal ahead. There are no paper chains hanging on our doorway to count down the days this time. So even though it feels somewhat like he's just in the desert, there's a different weight to everything I'm doing. As a military spouse, and kids of an active duty service member, the four of us know ALL about adjusting: A new base, a different culture,a friend's moving, a deployment, a return, a change in DoD policy....etc. You could say we've been in some state of adjustment for 16 years.
      that's the common thread through every one's kind words. It's going to take time / It will be an adjustment.
      Our first adjustment, since we've been home, is that the kids and I need some time to learn to live together again. For 10 months, too long, Sarah ran the house while I divided my time between home and the hospital. I didn't attend many of their activities, barely cooked, and seldom did laundry. They started attending school outside the home. All these HUGE adjustments they navigated, mostly without me - quite a change from having me as the one constant all their lives. They're struggling with sadness, without a doubt, but also a little friction with me. We'll take things slow and we will learn again. We talk a lot. I listen a lot. We're honest, and it's painful. We're prayerful, and it's healing. We'll adjust. We don't have a plan yet. We feel a little lost, but we have a knowledge and in that is a stability that brings peace. We know that there were not things left unsaid. None of us wonder if anything could have been different, or if there were things unspoken that cause doubts or questions in our minds. We know how much he loved us, and that we meant everything to him on this earth. We don't have to wonder if he knew that we felt the same - he knew. We had no secrets. There is strange kind of strength in that type of knowledge. One that will keep us moving forward, however slowly, with or without a plan. Something that will help us stay focused. That will help us cross hurdles.
oh, the hurdles.
the "firsts"
some we see coming, a few take us by surprise and buckle our knees.  We savor some as a sweet memory, while others we close our eyes and press through, just praying to come out in one piece.
We hit the ground running when we returned to Germany on Tuesday, my kids went back to school on Wednesday and (to my surprise) Noah had his first band concert Wednesday night. He played not only in the band, but in a jazz band and a jazz trio. With tears, I clapped loud enough for the both of us, Rob and me. Both sad and encouraged that without warning, I made it over my first hurdle. Other little ones, like church or a movie night at home, we've made it though - others are coming: holidays, the Indian restaurant, figuring out the driving schedule, and dividing myself as a single parent. Little or big, they're all hard.
      We are not hopeless in our grief and our uncertainty of the hurdles to come. For we ALSO have the knowledge of a sovereign God. If we believe that God is sovereign, then it is impossible to look back over the last year, the last 5 years, our lifetime, and not see God's hand at work. In the absolute sovereignty of God there is a freedom to accept the impossible.  Acceptance is not without sadness. We miss him every second. Yet, through that sadness is an understanding of being part of God's plan, learning to step-out in faith where there is no path. without a plan. and so our mantra has changed, once again, and we recite - sometimes through tears, sometimes through smiles, "God is sovereign, God is sovereign,
God is sovereign...."
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