What Helped Me During Our First Deployment

In 2016, my family faced our very first deployment.  It was probably the hardest thing I have ever faced, especially with a 7-month-old and having to move in with family.  I felt as though God had me encounter such an event for many reasons, but beforehand I had no idea what I would be getting taught.  My daughter had an entire 5 month season of teething, clinginess, and just growth spurts.  I felt completely abandoned, lonely, and stressed out all the time, so what do you think I did?  I joined a Crossfit gym to keep my health and fitness in check.

I rarely talked to my husband, which I was completely okay with because I knew this was something he was called to do for the Kingdom.  When I did talk to my husband, I would talk with him about my fitness and my business, which was exciting because every day I was learning something new.  He would then tell me about his day and how he was enjoying himself in other countries.  Most people would begin to think that being apart probably could hurt your marriage, but on the contrary, it allowed me to cherish him more.

Many of my friends are onto a new chapter in their life as being the wife of a deployed spouse and so many emotions and questions will be asked.  Is he thinking of me too?  Is he ok?  When will I hear from him?  Does he know I am going crazy with these kids?  Honestly, I thought about all these too, but I realized that his calling was to go and protect myself and Americans.  I begin to feel proud of my husband, proud of him for everything that he is doing.  It was an incredible feeling to know he is protecting our country, and of course made me just want to kiss him :)

Are you facing struggles or feeling lonely during this deployment? I completely understand and have been in your shoes.  There are some things I did to help me, especially the first two weeks:

1. Stay busy.  Super cliché I know, but it seriously made my time go a little faster because I had my business and was focused on getting healthy.  Idle minds are the devil's playground and I believe staying busy, picking up a hobby will help you overcome those slow times.

2. Connect with positive friends.  I will always say that if you are around negative people, you will be negative and bitter.  Find people who are going through the same thing as you, especially groups on Facebook, and are also positive.  People who want to help you in your marriage and help you stay positive.  Do things with them, a play date with kids, and game nights are the best.

3. Pray for your spouse.  Do you know that it is really hard for your spouse also not just you?  They have time to think when they finally lay down in their rack and also struggle like you.  When talking to my husband, he told me the only time he thought about me and our daughter was when he laid down.  Pray for them, for your marriage to be close together and also to be united even though you will be thousands of miles apart,

God is good.  He is amazing and He wants your marriage to flourish.  Don't let the enemy ever crush you or your relationship, defeat him on your knees.

For His Glory,
Liz Graham

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