Have you ever experienced gratitude so profound that you vowed to never complain about anything ever again? Maybe a prayer answered, maybe a cancer scare that turned out fine? Well four years ago, I hugged my son Benjamin upon his return from Afghanistan. I hugged him, and all was right in the world. Just because I have sixteen of them doesn't mean I love them any less, and those months of his deployment...let's just say I'm glad they're in the past. I didn't exactly live in utter dread, but thoughts did cross my mind when the phone rang, and I was always truly happy to hear his voice, and him say he was fine, although I'm sure he never told me the half of it.
When a soldier comes home from a wartime deployment, there is a certain amount of guilt, because of those who didn't return. I remember being very aware of how lucky we were, and feeling some of that guilt myself, and compassion for the parents who lost their soldiers. These soldiers feel guilty for surviving when some didn't, they feel like they didn't see anything compared to some, and if they have no outward wounds then heck, they have nothing to complain about.
When Samuel joined the Army, it was like, "Oh no, here we go again...". His ASFAB scores were good, really good, he could have chosen some nifty career options, but no, he was infantry all the way, all he ever wanted to do. So when he was asked to join the Honor Guard, it was an answer to prayer...because the Old Guard generally do not deploy. So Sam has had his share of trials in his Army life, but ahhh....no PTSD for him.
Anyway..the thankfulness we feel when our prayers are answered tends to fade and disappear as life goes on...so when I saw these pictures this fine morning, and recalled the pure joy of hugging Ben, I decided to just be thankful today.
Yeah, Sunny peed on the floor. Yeah, one of my teenagers was snippy. Yeah, Paul had to wake up at 5-something to take an international call for work and accidentally unplugged the fan, which may not have fully awakened me if he hadn't said, "Sorry!", as he plugged it back in.
So my thankfulness isn't because life is smooth sailing. (You should have seen the stacks of dishes in the sink this morning! And the crumbled leaves and dirt the dogs brought in!)
As I head in for my sonogram today, I aim to hang on to that gratitude. I am aware that I am an easily shaken person, I have so many fears, but to have faith that God plans all things for our best, and resting in that, is not compatible with living in anxiety. So that's my fight for today...to be at rest.
Hebrews 2:14 - 16....
"Insamuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham."
Have a really good day!!!