Well, a picture says a thousand words... we are together again, and together for good! What a long journey this last year has been, but how wonderfully the Lord has provided for us all. Does it seem too incredible for the wife of a deployed soldier to say that it has been a great year, even though we weren't together? When I think of all that has happened, where we were last year at this time, I can see God's hand so clearly in our lives; loving us, caring for us, and strengthening us by His mighty hand.
Our marriage has grown stronger each day. We learned to treasure each moment together, make the most of each phone call, and to communicate clearly and effectively. We didn't leave things unsaid, or unforgiven, or unsure-- we talked it out, we dealt with things, we discussed the hard issues. We also learned to appreciate each other in a whole new way! Being apart made us discover how much weight the other carried in managing the house, the finances, and the boys. Boy do I appreciate my husband as leader and provider for our home! I didn't realize all that Nick did, until I did it without him! We also were able to experience the longing and desire that Christ has for his church. We learned what self control and patience mean in a different way. And while there is always room for improvement, we learned to trust and rely on the Lord on a much deeper level. Thank you Lord for you faithfulness to us during this year apart!
Our friendships and relationships with other brother's and sister's in Christ developed as well. During the first part of the deployment, a family from our church lived with us (for about 3 months). It was such a fun summer! The boys had live-in playmates, and I had company during the first and hardest part of the separation. What a blessing it was from God to spend the summer with other believers who encouraged me in my faith! The week they moved out, my cousin moved in and stayed with us until this past week when Nick came home! Another blessing from above! My cousin was a tremendous help and source of support and friendship during the last year. We had so many wonderful experiences together, I will always treasure the time we spent together! Nick also developed relationships with the members of his MiTT (military transition team), and came home with some new friendships and great stories! Thank you all for your prayers for Nick's teammate Jeremiah!
This last year has been such an adventure; lots of fun, lots of tears, lots of heartache, lots of grace, lots of struggles. It wasn't easy, but I can say that it was good because... "we know that ALL things work together for good, to those who love the Lord, and are called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28