Today is Veterans Day. We at Hartline would like to thank those of you that have served, and are serving our country in the armed forces, protecting our freedoms. We appreciate your sacrifice.
Though there is now email and Skype, much improving the ability of families to stay in touch, the toll military service exacts on our families and their marriages is astounding.
As a way to keep these men, women and their families in mind, we offer this guest post by Eddie Melson.
“So here is what I say to you. Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9
I’m a doer.
If I see something that needs fixing, I’m the one rolling up her sleeves to make it happen. I don’t like sitting around waiting. Our oldest son’s decision to go straight from high school graduation to Marine Corps boot camp and then on to Iraq as a frontline infantry Marine changed all that.
I went from being an active, involved mom—on hand when my son needed me—to feeling utterly helpless. After he enlisted, events came at us at the speed of light, and we didn’t even have the ability to get out of the way. All too soon, I watched as my eighteen-year-old son left for parts unknown, knowing that every day he spent there, his life was at risk.
I didn’t cope well with this state of helplessness. But life with a loved one in the military is categorized by waiting. It was during those dark times that I found myself repeating one thing over and over. But all I can do is pray.
At that time, prayer was my court of last resort. It was the place I turned when I ran out of things to do.
Our son’s deployments taught me that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Prayer is NOT an afterthought activity—it’s our first line of defense.
God showed me that prayer is powerfully active. He never intended it as a last resort. As I was forced to spend more time pouring my fears and stresses out to Him, He showed me the peace that can only come from an active relationship with him. More than that, He showed me how my prayers could affect my Marine Corps son.
As I sat at home, praying, God showed me how He was a God of action. He took those prayers and moved in powerful ways. He provided my son with protection, comrades to keep him from loneliness, and the wisdom and spiritual insight to anticipate and avoid danger.
Even though my son is now out of the military and once again home safe, I no longer refer to prayer as an afterthought. No matter the situation, it’s the first thing on my to-do list.
As the mother of a former frontline infantry Marine, Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out to others facing the same struggles. She writes from a place of victory and currently has two books for military families: Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and WhileMy Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military, Worthy Inspired. She's the Military Family Blogger for Guideposts.org, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker. Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.