shipping out.

The possibility of this has lurked in the back of my mind for the past four years. In this life, it’s not a matter of if but when. It’s the words that take your breath away, no matter how much you prepare yourself to hear them, no matter how often you remind yourself that this is what you both signed up for.

My husband is getting deployed.

Deep breath.

My husband is getting deployed.  The more I say it, the easier it becomes.  Well, maybe not easier.  It’s more like my voice doesn’t shake as much and my eyes don’t well up with tears.

It took a few days for it to fully sink in and for me to really comprehend what was happening.  My husband is getting deployed.

For Ben, this opportunity has made the trials and challenges of the past four years worth it. This is what he has worked so hard for – to wear the uniform, to serve his country, to use all of his training and preparation in real-life situations. It’s the fulfillment of a dream.

For me, it’s so very bittersweet. When he received the news about his position, he was overjoyed, the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time.  The good wife part of me is so glad that he’s achieved his goal, that he’s doing work he loves and believes in, and that he’s pursuing things that bring him joy and a sense of purpose and fulfillment. The not-so-good wife part of me is so sad and scared that he’s leaving. For a year. I fear for his protection and safety. I fear for the strain and stress of being miles apart for that length of time. And I fear for my strength and sanity while he’s gone. He’s my best friend. I’m going to miss having him around. But there’s no sense on dwelling on the difficulty and the unknown. The best thing I can do is love him, support him, and encourage him, to celebrate with him as he prepares for this journey, and to not let fear overcome my strength.

He’ll be a Mission Commander on the ground in the Middle East working with all branches of the U.S. military.  His role is one of leadership and strategy – he won’t necessarily be on the front lines, but he’ll be working with people who are. It’s one of those jobs where I’ll never know exactly where he is or all that he’s doing, but thankfully we will be able to communicate somewhat regularly, so that makes it a little easier for this girl to handle.

I’m grateful to know I won’t be facing this alone. It’s just the next challenge, a new opportunity to grow and learn and increase my strength. Ben and I are so fortunate to have faithful friends and family who show us such great love and encouragement. We’ll both need you during this journey.

In a few short days, our summer turned into a crazy whirlwind of travel and preparation for Ben’s deployment. We decided to move so that I could be closer to my community of friends, closer to work, and have a short enough commute that I can visit Nimitz at lunchtime while Ben is away.  We’ve been fortunate to be able to visit many of our family and friends. I’m so grateful that we’ve had time to prepare for this adventure. It’s been a bittersweet summer, as Ben’s departure date looms in my mind, but I’m committed to enjoying each moment and treasuring each day, making the most of the time we do have together. Deployments are a good reminder that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that loved ones are meant to be cherished, not taken for granted.

I can’t help but be proud of my beloved Benjamin. So much love and admiration for this handsome man.

photo[1]

Hey there, Lieutenant.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “shipping out.

  1. Dear friend – I am praying for you and Ben as you enter yet another new season. I pray… that the Lord brings strength and courage to each of you… that the Lord surrounds each of you with his love through friends and family… that the Lord makes himself known in new and amazing ways. Love you friend!

  2. Betty Iben

    You are so poetic in your writings and beautiful in heart! Know that there will be many prayers coming your way, for your peace and understanding and for Ben’s safety and encouragement during this time. It is an honor to serve our Country. Thank you Ben for your service! God Bless you both! Love, Betty

  3. Hi Sweetie. You are amazing. I’m so happy for Ben, knowing how hard he has worked for this opportunity, and I’m proud of you for being the supportive wife he needs. That said, I want you to take care of YOU. You are so loved! I’ll be visiting before you know it, so have Nimitz warm up a spot for me on the guest bed!! Love you:)

  4. Jackie Brewer

    I am so proud if Ben. And Kristen. Looks like I have been out of the loop on all of your adventures. May God bless your marriage with grace and love as you rejoin. Kristen, it is a joy to read your writings. Thank you for sharing. Hugs and love to you both.

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