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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Letting Go

As a mother, I know so many of the unique characteristics of each of my children. God gives mothers such a privilege to know those special traits and habits that others may never even notice. I love that about mothering. Joel is my five year old. He is my fourth child, my second son. He has had some of the worst health issues of all five children, but God has brought some amazing healing to bring us slowly along the road of recovery. Joel has a raspy voice. He loses it a lot because he is constantly trying to be a creature and he will put a strain on it sometimes. He is my finder. Whenever I have lost anything in this house, Joel is the one who gets it for me. I don't know what I would do without that boy! I was always a little afraid of having boys, growing up a girlie girl myself...and an only child to boot! But, God knew exactly what He was doing in giving me both girls and boys. I celebrate their differences.

I have been concerned about Joel since his Daddy left. The other children have been able to voice their concerns, let out their cries, write their notes and draw their pictures for Daddy. Joel tried to push it all aside and hide his pain. For three months I have watched and prayed for him...wondering when he would break....wondering how long this vigil of silence would last...wondering how often he would choose to stand off from me for fear of getting hurt again...wondering about how it was hurting his father when he didn't want to speak to him on the phone. I knew what it was...but I was unable to reach inside his soul and touch him. So, I hugged him and prayed for him and told him that I loved him. His behaviour did a nosedive when Daddy left. He was angry and he showed it multiple times a day...to me and to his siblings. I knew what that was all about too, but it was exhausting to deal with the anger day in and day out without his father. Then, on July 4th, when we were having one of our "discussions" about his behaviour...me telling him what the Bible says....that I love him regardless of what he does...that I want him to grow up and be a godly man and that is why I correct him. He just looked at me...eyes blank again as if he heard but he wasn't letting it reach him. I could only leave the results to God. I left the room...and within minutes I heard such sobbing. I went to see what it was all about. He was laying across the couch, half on, half off, his body shaking from the sheer pain. I asked him, "Joel, what is it honey?" He looked up, red-faced and tear streaked, "It's Daddy. I miss my Daddy! I want my Daddy to come home!" I took him in my arms and held him...feeling his weeping, wet with his tears and I cried with him. He was beginning to let go. Three months of waiting for this moment, and it had finally come. I thanked God and cried.
We sat there for a long while, holding each other, crying, while the other children watched in amazement and silence. It was hard, but good. Since then, Joel has been different. He still deals with the hurt, he still aches, he stills acts out! But, he has opened himself up to let me close to him again. And I am so thankful for that. These are the scenes most people have no understanding about when a soldier leaves. Not from fault of their own, but just the fact that until you walk in these shoes, it is hard to know. Life is like that. I hope this helps me to be a little more insightful of the pain of others. It is so easy to "appear" to be put together on the outside. It is so much harder to be "real." Joel was "real" to me that day...and he is teaching me so much.

3 comments:

Mrs. Trixi said...

First of all, thank you for coming by my blog.
You are right, we have so much in common. I feel for your children and their heartbreak. We have a lot of weepy moments around here, as well. You are further into your deployment and can probably see the end clearer. My husband will not return until next April and today it seems like forever away. I will be so glad to get to a better spot in this. Thank you again for your encouragement. Like you we are really leaning on Jesus right now.

Lois said...

Wow, the army really has LOOOONNNNG deployments. When those heart strings stretch to the other side of the world, is hard for little guys to understand that for daddies, out of sight is NOT out of mind. Do you have access to video cam where Joel can see his daddy and talk to him?

I really feel for you, Bondservant, you have your own missing him to work through, plus you have to be comforting mother and disciplining father all rolled into one. I was reading Deut. the other day, going into Joshua, and the words "be strong and courageous" was repeated about 6 times! So that is my prayer for you in your battle.

By the way, your children are absolutely gorgeous. They dress like young ladies and gentlemen. So nice to see.

In Him,
Lois

His bondservant said...

Thank you Lois for your kind words. It is indeed hard. We do not have a video cam, but my husband is able to call regularly and talks with the children often. Thank you mostly for your prayers. I truly know it is the faithful prayer of the saints that lift me up during these times that keeps me going. God is indeed faithful. I may not always understand His ways, but I trust that what He does He will work out for our good. Sometimes going through the fires of that...I am not strong like Joshua encouraged the Israelites to be. But, I keep remembering that when I am weak, He is strong!