on flying solo

These past few weeks have been yet the hardest of this deployment. Surgery, defiance, potty-training regression, no sleep, loneliness, doubt, lack of confidence, grief, and a need for more selflessness.

New phases with kids bring both delight and pull-my-hair out moments, in which I often let the hard overshadow the delightful. I’ve been trying so hard to not let the hard weigh down my soul, but it has. To be intentional, but I haven’t always been. To love the unlovable, but I have often walked away. To choose to see Jesus in this, but my eyes are blurry.

I recognize my faith is very weak in believing the Spirit will really guide me in how to fly solo…how to parent when no one else is around…how to love when my love bank screams insufficient funds…how to keep giving when I feel like I have nothing. This was appropriate to read today…

We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say, ‘I love.’ We must put that love into a living action. And how do we do that? By giving until it hurts.” ~Mother Teresa

It’s hard to love and keep loving the ones that breathe death (tonsillectomy patients have the worst breath. ever.), kick, hit, scream, whine, and don’t sleep much. I must admit I got out of bed after he asked me to lay down with him, since the smell almost made me puke. The breath of death, I tell you, has brought love limits. Sad, but true.

Another thing about flying solo is the thrill of the ‘freedom’ to make your own decisions after he leaves. Many wives whose husbands leave a lot for work love this added ‘bonus.’ I get to cook whatever I like, go where I want, not feel guilty for spending money, spend my evenings doing what I want, or even have girl nights. But the thrill of the freedom soon wears off and I long to have him back. I prefer the friendship, the teamwork, the companionship, the relational challenge, the honest accountability over the freedom. It’s exhausting to fly solo…no wonder birds can fly long distances when they share in the ease of the tail wind.

Silly me probably should have realized parenting would get harder…that I would feel a lot of insecurity because 1) I’ve never done this before 2) I’m not a boy, wasn’t raised with boys, and don’t always understand boys 3) I don’t want to screw my kids up {kinda inevitable to some degree} 4) my ever-so-steady sidekick can’t equally weigh in on decision 5) I care too much about what other people think 6) I often doubt I’m making the right decision when I’m in the moment.

I know the right answer is trusting the Spirit. Believe me…been chewing on this a lot. Memorizing Romans 8 has been beautifully hard.

This excerpt from this blog encouraged me today. Definitely speaks to where I am…or where I wish I wasn’t, but still am.

Jesus said this to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God. John 21:19

“How should we think about the unexpected and undesirable experiences that we encounter in life? Here’s how Scripture should inform our thinking: Every experience that we don’t want but can’t change has been assigned to us by God, ultimately that we might glorify God. Let’s stop for a moment and think about a particular situation that may be happening in our lives at present–something that we may not want, we don’t enjoy, but we can’t change. And then consider this: God in His good and wise providence specifically assigned this to you and me so that we might glorify Him. Now when we begin to look at our unwelcome experiences from this vantage point, it can bring about a heart change! Rather than begrudging it or even despairing over it, we can instead respond with faith and joy knowing full well that it is a divinely given opportunity to glorify God.”

I truly wanted to do more than just survive this year, but most days I feel I do just that. And I’m slowly accepting that it’s enough. Many parts of my heart and mind have been shelved for this time in life. However I do see selfishness chipping away. I am seeing gifts of mercy unfold daily (like not having to wait for hours on base for my prescription today). I am experiencing community like I never have before, because I have no other choice. I am choosing the believe Jesus in honored in the thankless moments of raising toddlers. This flying solo experience isn’t about me coming out of the deployment with it all together. That would be an ugly missed opportunity to point back to Jesus.

As for today, I’m trying the best I can and am banking on God’s grace to fill in the gaps. I’m pretty confident I’ll be limping across the finish line, but I will finish.

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3 thoughts on “on flying solo

  1. Hollie, as always, thank you for being so transparent so that we know how to better pray for you. You are an amazing woman. It’s so hard to parent little boys with two parents home, let alone one. You are a rock star, my friend. Take it hour by hour if you have to. I know you probably don’t have much time to be on the phone, but if you do, I would love to talk with you! I’ll send you my phone number or if you want to send me yours, maybe we could try to catch up on the phone sometime? Wish I was there to give you a big hug. But know that I’m praying for you!!

  2. I’m thinking of you, Hollie. You’re doing a great job! The mantra that always helped me through deployments was “This too shall pass.”

  3. That blog post was so helpful to me – much more than I can say. Some times in life are just for surviving 🙂 because you know better than anyone that only because of Jesus did you made it to the other side.

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