My Life as a Red Herring (Day 18) “Free Burdens”

Have you ever spent time away from a loved one? I don’t necessarily mean leaving the house you grew up in for the first time when you went off to college. More like, you got a job somewhere and your wife and kids stayed to get things ready for your move, or your husband, wife, or parent is part of the armed forces and with it comes the high entrustment of being away for long periods of time to serve.

I’ve just spent what felt like 3 years, when it was only 3 weeks, away from my family getting us ready to live in a new state in a new stage of our lives. I have a visceral feel for Einstein’s theory of relativity, time really does move incredibly slow when you are missing pieces of your heart. I ached to hold chubby arms, I ached to smell the head of my oldest son and then kiss him, I ached to kiss my wife on the cheek before I left for work. I ached for my family.

I hope Jesus doesn’t ask me to do this again…be away from my family for this long. I am thoroughly amazed at the men and women of the armed forces that do this for months on end. I’ve heard that in the slow moments of serving our country they are able to hold on to their families as vision for why they do what they do and I feel so honored to be served by such selfless people. It feels a little weird saying any of this because I can’t say that I’m the most patriotic of people. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my country, I’ve just felt convicted over these last few weeks about how much I’ve taken living here, in the United States, for granted. I know this was something paid for, my freedom. I know it isn’t free and I know someone quite possibly died for my place, my opportunities, my legal rights and privileges. I have been given unbelievable opportunity at a cost, of which I cannot calculate.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never done this, and I’m not confident any actual people in the armed forces read my rants but,

 

Thank you. Thank you for the ways you sacrifice knowing and unknowing. Thanking for putting up with and serving through a culture that at the best of times waits for a holiday to say thanks and at the very worst tells you that you are wrong in your choice to serve. You matter! What you do is a massive entrustment and few people have the ability to do it. Thank you for serving. Thank you for leading. I pray for you, and your safety. I pray that your families are loved, honored, and respected while you are away. I pray that you know you are loved, if not by the people you see, but at least by the brothers and sisters you serve next to, and at the end of the day there is a Heavenly Father madly in love with you and He understands EVERYTHING you are going through. Every decision or indecision. Every thought, and every moment great and small. Your Heavenly Father is a good dad and proud of you whatever your choices. I am honored to have many family members who have been or are still part of the armed forces and I am grateful and proud to call them my family.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

You matter more than you know!