It's time for another deployment.

I've been an Army wife for six years now, and this will be the second time I'll see my husband off to a conflict on the other side of the world. Except, unlike the first time, there are two little boys who will also being saying goodbye.

But I'm hopeful. Even optimistic in some moments! I'm proud of my husband and his willingness to fill this role. I'm thankful that I'm the one with the privilege of standing by his side {even when "by his side" actually means halfway around the world}. But despite the weight of it all, Jesus is sovereign and He has a plan. 

And not only does He have a plan that will work towards His glory, but He's made a place for us. This time around, He's giving the boys and I an amazing opportunity to be close to our family while Thane's away. As much as I don't want to be without my husband for 10 months, I know we're in store for so many good things this year.

But even in the moments when the reality of it seems nothing but bleak, my deepest desire can't be to travel the easiest path. There are times when I find myself longing for the opposite of what He's set in motion, yet He's patiently teaching me what's best for me {and all of us} is to be "conformed to the image of His Son" {Romans 8:29}. And what does that "image" look like? Like a Man who gave up His rights in order to obey His Father's will. Like a Man who laid aside His very life in order to make an eternal home for us...with Him, where we've always belonged.

Well, it just so happens that the Army has a knack for helping me along in this "conforming". I don't get to call the shots. For instance, I'm generally not able to choose where my home will be... I can't tell the Army "no! you can't take my husband away!"... The blessing of living near our extended family is a mere dream most of the time... I don't enjoy the convenience of raising my kids in a normal, settled home {we're living in a single room hotel right now, and this isn't the first time}... It's impossible to anticipate what our life will look like from month to month with any certainty.

In short, I'm not able to have even a false sense of control over my life.

But praise God for this, because I know that these very things are what He uses to conform me to Himself. I don't presume to compare myself to Christ or even to the vast majority of believers around the world who truly do suffer, and for the faith at that. I only want to share how Jesus so lovingly uses the extremely light and momentary challenges in my life to chip away at the pieces of me that are not like Him. There is almost no room in the Army lifestyle to steer myself by the whims of my own selfish desires, try as my flesh might. Nor is there much opportunity to get comfortable and complacent. We often find that as soon as we do get comfortable somewhere, it's time to move on again.  

And I know that my fellow Army wives understand this all too well.

But if my trust is in God and His sovereignty, it becomes easier and easier to weather the change. My insides churn and bristle less and less each time I hear heavy news from my husband, like "I'm going to deploy...", and then "actually, I'm going to deploy a month earlier than the rest of the unit...". By the grace of God, I'm learning to bend and twist to His will in greater submission each step of the way. 

Now, while the clock ticks down to the moment our little family will have to part, I'm rejoicing in Christ for the joy, peace, and sufficiency that only He can provide.


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