I’ve written a personal blog post at least 20 times in the past 4 months. I just never hit publish. I’m not sure if I have “writer’s block” or if God was still speaking to me.. but I’ve had a lot to learn the past 11 months since Steven came home. For those who followed my journey while Steven was deployed and met Chloe for the first time, thank you. I have kept quiet during a lot of these life changes recently. I have learned so much about myself.
The main thing I have learned is that God speaks to us in all circumstances. It’s just a matter of us listening.
It is easy to listen to God when you’re home alone and it’s just you, your pregnant belly, and your sleeping toddler. Deployments were great times for me to grow close to God. They were ideal times. My focus was truly on getting through the deployment. Yes, there were lonely times, but there were times of victorious triumph that I got through a whole day by myself with raising these babies on my own. And God was there and I was available to listen, desperate, and ready.
There are many resources that encourage you while your spouse is deployed, but people don’t really talk about the adjustment period when your husband returns from deployment.
Steven adjusted quite well. He was ready to help. He helped with bath time, story time, cereal at 4am time, etc. But I realized that it was more of an adjustment for me.
If you’re use to doing everything on your own, it’s a hard transition when your spouse is ready to help you with everything.
You’re probably thinking, “well that’s an awesome thing! What a blessing!”
Yes it is a blessing. But for some reason I changed into a different person. I went from strong, independent, the mom who took initiative, to…. lazy, tired, and because of those things, I felt like I lost a piece of myself.
It took a whole 10 months to adjust. Let me tell you, there were some dark moments in my life. Steven came home when Chloe was 3 months, we barely had time for ourselves or each other, our children barely slept, we were moving, we moved, took us 6 months to settle in our new home, we got pregnant with our third (talk about first trimester sickness!), making new friends when we were use to having a close community after living in NC for nearly 4 years, then to experience the transition itself from having one child to two… and now soon to be three.
(Just a glimpse in our hectic days)
(Or a glimpse in our tired mornings)
When we moved into our home in DC. It was quite the adventure to organize…. so glad that it’s over!
Grace had one of her nightmares, so Steven went to comfort her… and fell asleep.
I’m not writing this blog post to complain about my life, cause I know how abundantly blessed I am (And I love my two girls so incredibly much). And I have had many “good days” in the past 10 months… but I would say the hard, discouraging, and endless days/nights outweighed the good days. But I’ve come to write this because one thing was clear in my life the past 11 months. I am far from perfect. I am far from having it all together. It came to a point where I dreamt of having days to myself, with a cup of coffee, a good book, and a pottery barn picture perfect house to come to. (I know most Mommies have those days!)
But God wants us to know, even when our “security” “our rock” come home from deployment, doesn’t mean we stop learning to rest in Him.
God has changed my heart, it has taken 10 months, but he has changed me. It was painful going through this change. And it was slow. But I’ve learned that wherever we go, no matter what life circumstance we are in, we will struggle. This world is filled with pain, imperfections, disappointments, discouragement, but if we never trip and fall… reach a point where we realize we NEED GOD we won’t recognize the crystal clear fact that we just can’t do it on our own. That if we did do it on our own, we would miss out on His gifts, blessings, peace, and all those beautiful moments of joy.
I’m here teary eyed because I realize that what I went through the past 10 months was not for nothing. It took months for me to realize I was not alone. God knew what I would be experiencing. He knew the challenges I would face, the struggle I would feel of disappointment and utter failures in myself… but God wants us to know that we are HIS children, His beautiful children that He loves dearly. His mercies are new each and everyday.. He hands us grace when we fail. But each day we are closer in knowing, understanding, believing, and living out that our identity is in Christ alone. Our identity is not in how the world perceives us, our mistakes, our worldly achievements, how well our toddler behaves, or how perfect our babies sleep, or how often we make our husbands a homemade dinner (ha! I am thankful for a husband who loves to cook when I can’t stand to look at raw meat!). He gives us clarity that we can rest in Him.
So after all the days where I’d wake up to a messy kitchen, a cranky toddler, a sleepless baby, or regret in not “doing my best,” I’ve learned that each day is a gift. A gift to learn that God gives us rest to all those who are weary. That he gives us opportunities to see Him in everything. In all the hard moments, the discouraging moments, that when we focus on Him, when we face all daily trials with our eyes focused and FIXED on Him, every moment is a teachable moment. A moment to be taught that we NEED him, our souls and hearts yearn for Him, and that we need to be obedient to Him. And when we are obedient to Him, when we choose patience and compassion over anger and selfishness, our hearts are changed and we are filled with His peace and joy.
May you be encouraged that today is mercies are new. Matthew 7:7- “”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 11:27-29 : “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.…
And if you were wondering, our babies are finally sleeping through the night 🙂