Life as a military family is different. We have certain fears we must work through when our loved ones are deployed. There’s uncertainty during the time of separation. Will he (she) come back alive? What will life look like when my better half is home again, ready to be re-woven into the fabric of our family?
Military families face obstacles the civilian population doesn’t always understand. Especially for those families who live far from extended family, holidays can be lonely days. Our children sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to one of their parents being gone. The security they’ve felt dissipates like the dust whipped up at the ascent of a jet. Kids have a way of acting out their insecurities—sometimes in volatile, hurtful ways.
And for the spouse who’s been deployed? Sometimes, there’s a tearing in the soul, feeling the need to be spouse and parent, yet needing to fulfill the calling of the job they’re tasked to carry out. The distance between family members taxes relationships and heart connections. Many military personnel chose their profession, but it’s still hard, sometimes, to ignore the feeling of being torn between honor to country and honor to family.
Lord, as military families walk through this Christmas season, tie hearts together. Give our active duty military men and women a sense of Your presence, comfort in the truth that You’re watching over those they love most in this world. For those men and women who risk their lives to provide our nation with the freedom to live life, to celebrate Christmas without fear of death or injury . . . who step into danger so civilians don’t have to, we lift them up to You. Please keep them safe, give them wisdom in the ways they carry out their jobs. Be their protector.
Go before the spouses and the children left behind, Father. Fill the empty spaces in their hearts during their time of separation from their loved one. Bring alongside them friends, family to ease the burden of being mother and father, caring for the emotional well-being of children. Move on others’ hearts to invite them into the celebrating in this season. Comfort them when loneliness and the missing presses heavy upon them. Give them Your peace, Your joy, Lord.
Give these families chances to connect with each other. Strengthen the family bonds. Most of all, Lord, let each of these families know Your presence, Your peace. Be a protector for those who are defending our freedoms in dangerous situations. Give them wisdom as they do their jobs. May they know Your love, especially during times of separation.
For the children missing a parent during this Christmas season, please comfort them as they deal with the insecurity of that deployed parent. Ease the fear of the unknowns. Lord, give them Your joy during this season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Father, fill their days with reasons to smile.
Today’s contribution comes from Jeanne Takenaka. Jeanne writes contemporary fiction that deals with real life issues with a heart to draw women closer to God and to those around them. She is wife to one amazing man who is her real life hero, and mother to two exuberant boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own. She loves being God’s girl always learning about His grace, hanging out with friends and enjoying a great cup of coffee. She and her family live near the mountains of Colorado. You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook and on Twitter.
Join us this season as we pray through Advent together. I have some beautiful guest posts and there’s space for your voice, too. I hope you join us – either by contributing or on your own.