Well, my dad got home safe and sound Thursday afternoon!!! It is so wonderful to have him home and know he isn't going back! Praise God! Just last night i was thinking about the day my father told the family he was going to leave for Iraq. It is all so clear and feels like yesterday but it was so long ago. I remember dreading the thought of my dad gone for a whole year but now that year is gone and it is all in the past.
But as my dad said, even though he is back and we are all excited and joyful there are still MANY men still out there fighting for us and our country! Some men out there might be single young guys or others might be married men with wives and kids at home. Some might be serving because their father and grandfather served before them and they are carrying it on, others might be serving because they felt it was their duty to fight for our country. But whatever the case is, we need to be praying that those men stay safe on the battle field and that their familes stay strong while their loved ones are away.
Two years ago I knew there was a war going on but I had never tasted the results of it before. I was pretty much living my life normally not thinking about what was going on over there. Now, i have tasted those results so profoundly that it felt life the war was happening next door to me.
I ,knowing what it feels like from a personal experiance, would like to thank each and every person who has or is fighting over there for me, thousands of others, and this country! Also i want to thank the family members of those officers who are at home praying for their safety and struggling to get through each day without them. I know how hard it is and i know how painful it is, but i also know that we will not get through those long hard days if we rely on our own will power and strength. The only way we will ever get through this is if we have God's help! He is the sustainer of all things and if we put our trust in Him, He will comfort us and see us through those difficult triales! No one else is going to be able to do it better than Him!
Trust me! I tried to rely on myself when my dad left for a year to go to Iraq! I knew it was going to be hard but i didn't want God or anyone else's help! I wanted to just curl up in my little corner and make it through by myself! But that didn't work so well. I was angry and hurt! Everything area of my life seemed like it was falling apart and I had no idea why! I was sad all the time and would, sometimes, just cry myself to sleep.
Then one day i was crying on my mom's lap and she asked me a simple straight forward question, "How much time have you been spending praying and reading in God's word?" I was floored! I hadn't been reading the Bible at all and all my problems, which i should have been lifting up to God, i had tucked away, in my heart, and was dwelling on them constantly. I was sinking into a deep murky pit and instead of calling out to God for help I relied on myself and instead of being lifted out i sank deeper and deeper.
I realized God was the only person who could get me through this! I realized God was holding my father in His hands and nothing would happen without God knowing it. He was right there with my dad the whole time he was away and i took hope in that! God had the whole thing under His belt and could handle the situation much better than i could have!
So if you are waiting for a loved ones return or maybe you haved had a experiance where your loved one has not returned from his duty, I want to encourage you to put your trust in Jesus Christ. You can walk down this dark dusty road by yourself....OR... God can sweep you up and carry you through it in His arms! I tried the walk by myself and it ends in even a darker place, but with God I made it through!!!
"Have you now known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God , the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strenght.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings life eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."
-Isaiah 40: 28-31