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Where "Okay" Is Enough

by Abby Kelly  
10/06/2014 / Marriage

"I have some news. I'll be deploying to Liberia in two-to-four weeks." That's how he dropped the biggest bombshell of my life.

It's not our first rodeo; my husband has deployed three times before. But this is the longest he's been home in between; I've gotten used to having him around. And we'd been told he wouldn't deploy while serving in this position. My heart shivered.

I hung up the phone and turned to my sister, eyes wide, heart still fluttering. I sat on the carpet in the center of her boxed up living room. Patrick's news effectively paused our systematic unpacking of her new house.

One week later

Dear Journal,

I just got home last night but early enough to enjoy the lingering evening hours with Patrick. He is exhausted right now too trying to finish up Air Assault School and prepare for eminent deployment, though we still don't have a date.

I go through waves of "okay" followed by waves of "what on earth am I without him?" In fact, the last night at my parents' house before I flew home I couldn't sleep at all. I cried for hours. I kept asking God, "What am I without him?"

I've spent the last 4-5 years investing in our marriage. I quit working outside the home so that I could be fully available to Patrick. God has blessed me with a job working at home, volunteer opportunities, plenty of quiet time with the Lord, friends etc. But I make all my decisions around when he's coming home at night, where he'll be or what he wants to do for the weekend, what he wants for dinner, if he needs laundry done, talking about his job, his career, our future. What do I do when he doesn't come home at night?

Finally, God answered me.

"Abby, I have a plan for you in the deployment as surely as I have a plan for him. Don't you know that my calling him to work in Liberia is intentional? The Army didn't arrange his future or yours--I did. I don't merely work things for good for one person. If this is for Patrick's good and my glory, it is for your good as well.

"The deployment is not merely about his work in Africa but about your work here and my work in you. I need this time alone with you to mold you as I desire to use you fully, to bless your marriageyes, I do that my way--not always in the traditional way. Do you believe that I can bless and increase your love in the context of separation? I meant to do this. It is no surprise to me as it is to you. It is absolutely my intentional will and good for you. Consider this time alone as your assignment from me. Fulfill your duty."

The next morning, I started to cry again when Mom dropped me off at the airport. It was amazing though, because her words to me echoed and confirmed what God had said the night before. So, for the moment...I'm resting in "okay".
What peace there is in knowing that God not only spun the world in the palms of His hands. He not only plotted history. He not only watches some of us and tends to the cares of certain ones. He is not consumed by the world's problems or distracted by poverty and war. He is intimately, tenderly aware of me. He Himself is my reward and good. He is my peace.

"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings," Psalm 17:8

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