A week ago this time, my big brother, Jeremiah, was told that in approximately four days he would be deploying again...this time to Afghanistan. When my mom called me late last Monday night & told me, I was totally shocked, & then came the tears. Neither of Jeremiah's other two deployments had been easy, but for some reason this one hit me a lot harder. Probably because we were all taken SO off-guard, none of us had gotten to say goodbye, & in the middle of one of the busiest weeks of the semester, there was NO way I could take off of school to go down to Tennessee. Well, no way without God, & how easily I forget the amazing way the Lord works things out.
I knew my brother was just as surprised as we were at having to get all of his responsibilities in order with only 4 days until he was deployed. I was so discouraged & broken that I wouldn't be able to properly say goodbye to Jeremiah that I spent every break crying between each of my 5 classes on Tuesday. I just couldn't understand how this could be happening.
My brother called me at work Tuesday night & we just talked for a few minutes; he told me that this deployment would be shorter, only about 6 months, & that I shouldn't worry because he would be fine. He also told me that Ben & Rebecca (my sister & brother-in-law) were going to be coming down to see him before he left. I told him I would do anything to be able to come, but it just wasn't possible. He assured me that it was ok, but it didn't feel ok. After talking to him, I skyped with my older sister Amber; she urged me to try anything I could to find a way down there. I told her the same thing I told Jer; it just was not possible right now!
I had been gone all weekend on a ministry trip, and I was still behind in schoolwork from that. I was also scheduled to work 5 hours Thursday night & 8 hours Saturday afternoon. I had two tests, three quizzes, and two assignments due. I didn't have a car to get back to Chetek before my family would be leaving to see him. I also didn't have any personal cuts left for one of my classes, so that would have an effect on my GPA unless the academic committee granted me emergency cuts. I was also scheduled to perform a movement of a Beethoven sonata the following Monday & still had some memorization work to do....it just seemed impossible in my eyes!
After work I went back to my room & just started crying again in frustration. My roommate came over & told me to pray about it. I am ashamed to admit it, but I have to be honest; I really did not want to pray about it!! There was no way it was going to happen, & putting any hope in going just seemed pointless. So my wonderful roommate just prayed for me & the situation.
Well, Wednesday came &I received a text from my mom; she wanted to let me know that she would be going to Tennessee as well. That made me want to go even more, & something made me ask when they were leaving, which was 7:30 that night. Which meant if I were going to go with, I needed to find people to cover both work shifts, I needed to get extensions on assignments, re-schedules tests, AND find a car, all in-between my classes & before 3:30 to leave time for the 4 hour drive. Well, long story short--God worked it out!!
In the 5 hour period I had between when I decided to try to go & the time I actually left, the Lord had somehow secured a car for me, worked out my class & test schedule, found work replacements for me, & everything inbetween!!! He is SO good!
The drive back to Chetek was stressful, but I made it just in time to go directly from my car into the car we would be taking down to Tennessee. Ben drove through the night & we woke up in Kentucky (it was SO beautiful!) I hadn't been to Kentucky in several years & I absolutely love that area, so it was refreshing to be back =) After a few more driving hours, we met Jeremiah for breakfast & I got to surprise him!
It was SO nice to have a day together with Jeremiah, Ben, Becca, my little niece Tatym, & my Mom. There was also another surprise; my dad, who has been working out of state for the past 2 months, drove 32 hrs to be there & see Jer off, so that was great. I know it meant a lot to my brother to have him make the trip.
Please pray for Jeremiah & the rest of the troops as they are in harm's way. We have not heard anything since we said goodbye, & Jeremiah told us that there will most likely be very little communication throughout the deployment. The Lord has always protected him in his past 2 deployments & we trust Him in this one too.