Sunday, November 09, 2008

Veteran's Day Gift

Driving home the other night, I heard for the first time a song by country singer Carrie Underwood called Just a Dream. It's been playing over and over in my head ever since. It has been over 10 years since our time as an active duty military family, but the intensity of some of the feelings are as strong a decade later as they were the awkward first days I felt them. I remember well the teary good-byes of deployments, the anxious worry that accompanied an unexpected knock at the door and nightly news reports, and the sheer joy brought by--God-willing--the joyful reunions.

Bosnia 1995

It was in those moments as a very young bride and mother in my early 20s I came to learn a great deal about sacrifice--about the sacrifices of each soldier, each military family and the ultimate sacrifice that lurks in the recesses of each one of their minds. And with each safe return, I instinctively knew to thank God for the gift of my husband's safety. Looking back now, I see even greater was the gift of this sacrifice bestowed upon a young couple thousands of miles from home. Early on, we learned that our time together is a blessing--a gift whose duration only God knows. We learned together that much of what happens in our lives is out of our control, but in clinging to God we can find comfort and peace in no matter what. Now, a decade later, we can look at the military families struggling with the same struggles we once knew and realize there is still one more gift. The gift of remembrance. It enables us to be compassionate and empathetic towards others, but also--and in the life of a married couple, perhaps more importantly--to one another. Today, when we share some of The Captain's "army stories" with the arklings, the most important one we will share is the need for Christians to know God's perfect love casts out the fear which accompanies all sacrifice. So they will choose to step outside of themselves to act boldly and bravely and --with God's help--make sacrifices that might seem impossible to make.

I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. --Abraham Lincoln

4 comments:

Stina said...

That song sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. I can't even imagine.

Anne said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post honoring the sacrifice of so many. I plan to link it on my blog. It was just a mere 18 years when Mark was deployed for the Persian Gulf War and some days, it is just yesterday.

Remembering our troops,
Anne

Barb, sfo said...

I can't even bear to listen to that song.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, to all the veterans and active military, and their families, who might read this! We are very grateful.

Ericka said...

Amen Jane.
Thank you for this.