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The Long Miles


This last week I was blessed to have several family members come for a visit. It was so great to spend time with them. For me, the hardest part of this military-way-of-life is being separated from family. I love them all so much. Sometimes the miles between us seem to stretch on indefinitely. It seems like every visit is just a little too short.

I’m learning that visit’s don’t have to be planned down to the minute. Instead, it’s the times when we’re sitting around the table in the early morning, hardly awake, sipping on coffee, or playing a board come into the middle of the night, until we have to pry our eyes open with toothpicks, that are some of the most treasured moments. Yes, it’s fun to sightsee with our guests. But it’s also nice to just enjoy each other’s company. While we may stay in touch through frequent emails and phone calls, there’s nothing like seeing these people face to face. They’re a part of my husband and I. Our family is what made us who we are today. And when they leave, we’ll start thinking about the next time we can be together again.

Because looking toward the future, and clinging to God, is the only way we make it through each day. My mom has said that God gives us the grace to make it from one visit to the next. He’s given us peace knowing that we’re both where we belong, working next to our husbands in this beautiful thing called life. By giving us grace, God seems to dull the pain of separation. Yes, it still hurts, but not intolerably so. In fact, the months often tend to speed on by, until I can hardly believe that’s it’s been 6 months since I saw my family face to face. God is good that way.

This deployed heart often feels the separation, the tiny things I miss out on by being far away. Birthdays, promotions, holidays, there are so many everyday things I miss out on.

But just the same, I have a beautiful home in a beautiful city with a wonderful church filled with a surrogate family. I love my life here with my military husband. I have to trust that God truly does know best. He understands how much I miss those I love, but at the same time He’s chosen to bless me in this place. I can’t help but be thankful for that.

How do you deal with separation? How often do you keep in touch with those you love? How has God provided for you?

Lord, thank you for giving me the grace and peace to make it from one visit with family to the next. Please give me peace, knowing that I’m where I’m supposed to be.