Well, here we are, two weeks into our first real deployment. Week one was really hard. But week two was better. There have been a lot of tears from these three over missing Daddy, wanting to know when he is coming back, and just a lot of emotions for us all. By far the hardest part for me has been seeing my babies' broken hearts, holding them in the day and night crying and calling for Daddy. My own heart broke even more with that. And yet, we are surprisingly good. Tears bring healing and often emotional relief and peace comes even to these tiny hearts when we pray for it.
And through all the tears and the broken hearts, we have had, and will continue to have, some wonderful teaching moments about what is truly happening while Daddy is on his "special assignment". One of the bible verses that Cole memorized this year is Mark 16:15 " Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone". What a perfect verse for us to lean on in these months. Cole and I had a long talk about this verse. That THIS is what Dad is doing on his assignment and why he had to go. That Dad was called to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a privilege Brenner has to go to a dark place where God is hated and he gets to bring comfort, counsel, truth, compassion and kindness to those serving and maybe even those who live in the area. We talked about how we all need to have a heart for others and boldness in Christ and it was God's prompting that led us to full time Chaplain ministry. And while for the last 15 months that meant applying Mark 16:15 to the base 6 miles away, the next 7 means applying it to a different part of the world that desperately needs the peace, love and mercy of Jesus.
I miss so many teaching moments in my kids' lives, I am sure of it. With busyness or selfishness, I know that I have not seen or not taken advantage of a moment to further explain something important. But what an awesome 7 months I can have with the kids, encouraging them in their prayers for Dad and his ministry, for peace and the protection of life in the middle east, for wisdom for our nation's leaders. Months where they can look back and remember that Dad was a part of something for our country and for our God that he was called to do, but that really we are ALL called to do these things where he has called us as followers of Christ. I have a challenge now in front of me to be sure that we are living out that same verse to the best that we can.