For this I have Jesus
(Written on the day my daughter left for her deployment)
My daughter just left for her deployment to Afghanistan. This morning and now this afternoon my mind goes back to a summer day sixteen years ago when she left for Air Force Boot Camp. She was so excited. I kept thinking, “She thinks she’s going to church camp. She has no idea what she’s in for.”
We went into the office where she was to check in. She said to the recruitment officer, “Is anyone sitting in the front seat yet?” She could hardly tell me bye. I watched her climb into the van that was going to take her to this new life of hers. I drove off and started crying. My little girl was moving forward and I knew life would never be the same. She was growing up and I was left behind. All those years of teaching and mothering her were over. Now she was off on her own. It seemed like my heart was going to break that day. All I could do was turn her over the Lord and trust her to Him.
Now today she is headed for Afghanistan. We’ve talked a lot in the last few weeks so today not many words needed to be said. Between us was a quiet mature mother daughter love. Oh there are things I wanted to say but I knew if I did I'd break down. Besides she asked me to French braid her hair and if I started crying my eyes would blur and I wouldn't be able to get the braids divided evenly. It’s a small mother kind of a thing I could do for her today.
As she left she hugged me and said, “Thanks mom for coming here. I love you.” She is so grown up now with a husband and three wonderful boys. She knows what she’s doing now. She is dependable and depended upon in her position in the Air Force. She has her orders and she will do a good job. She is a strong and mature young woman. But no mom wants to think of her daughter serving in the military in a foreign country enmeshed in conflict.
So this afternoon I sit in her house with tears streaming down my face yet again, I rest assured that she is safe in the arms of Christ. I tell myself she will be fine. I can help by living here in her house and helping my son in-law take care of her sons.
My job is to be a calm and loving grandmother. I’ll show the boys the yellow ribbon tied to the tree out front and use it to remind them that their mom will come back. I’ll walk the little one around the house and talk about the pictures of him and his mom. These will serves as a daily reminder of how much his mom loves him. I’ll keep the two older boys busy and enjoy their companionship. We’ll have fun and hopefully the time will pass quickly and she’ll be home before we know it.
I will constantly pray Psalm 91 over her and over others that I know who are serving our country.
Life is good when you walk in the shadow of the Almighty.