Punch in the stomach #1

Yesterday Aaron got his written orders. Afghanistan in February. It’s official.

This post title will probably be one of many for me as the reality of this whole process comes in waves. I was getting kids up from their naps yesterday afternoon when he told me he got orders and started doing all his medical work-ups. Immunizations for typhoid, anthrax, ppd, and other stuff. Last night his arm about fell off in pain. For those of you that don’t immunize your kids (not judging, just sayin…), they’ll get every possible kind of immunization if they serve in the US military. Yes, we do immunize our kids. That’s another story.

So I got off the phone with him and felt the first punch in the stomach. He is leaving. He is going far away for a long time. My very best friend is going to live on the other side of the world for 13 months. ugh.

I was journalling this morning at a little cafe as tears rolled down my cheeks (as my eyes are welling up now) thinking about this. I realize he doesn’t leave for 6 months and we have lots of time until this really hits, but the punch in the stomach is real. I’m not ultimately sad that it’s going to be hard to be a single parent…to clean and parent and cook and discipline and potty train and bathe and change diapers and love and travel and read books and shop and wrestle and do everything else parents do. I am sad today to think of living a year without my best friend. The person I get excited to see drive up in the driveway…the person Sam runs to when he comes home…the person that holds Gwen and tells her she’s beautiful…the person that makes me laugh and enjoys life with me…the person I argue with and want to punch sometimes…the person who is committed to me and our family. I’m sad Sam and Gwen won’t have their daddy around every day.

I am reminded that this journey is difficult like so many others’ hard roads…divorce, sickness, grief, depression…and that many people have roads harder than mine.

But this is our journey and I want to embrace it well and not let the PITS (punch in the stomach) knock me down to where I lose hope in getting up.  I know it will be hard. I know I will see God in new ways…if I choose to. I know Satan will attack us a lot…he will whisper lies, shoot arrows of fear, try to steal our hope and joy, tell us we’re alone, tell us we can’t do this, tell me Sam and Gwen won’t know their daddy, tell me our needs will be met outside of Jesus, tell me I shouldn’t cry and be sad, haunt us in our dreams, and many other things I don’t even know.

BUT: Jesus is mine. Jesus fights for me. For Aaron. For Sam. For Gwen. He brings freedom. He is joy. He is peace. He is here. His Spirit lives in me. He is this and more.

To the next sucker PITS, you might knock the wind out of me, but I’m gonna get up. Just watch.



5 thoughts on “Punch in the stomach #1

  1. Praying for you Hollie. You’re an amazing woman. I so wish I lived closer to you. You know I’d be there (with my kids in tow) to hang with you guys while Aaron is away. If you feel like taking a trip to the East Coast (ha!), know that you are more than welcome to come and stay with us and see the sights. We love you and your sweet family!

  2. I truly wish I could say that deployments get easier each time but I think they get harder. Your post is filled with real emotions and wisdom, a gift from God. And Jesus will continue to be your rock through this stage in the journey. He is always protecting, always providing and always loving. His hand is on this plan and every PITS that comes along!

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