Friday, January 28, 2005

And Now Back to Our Program

When we last heard from our hero in his on going military saga he was leaving Iraq to go on his "mid tour" leave. Did he get there? Did he have a good time? Did Squishy Santa make a guest appearance? Stay tuned for answers to these and other exciting questions as we return to "IRR Soldier part two: Back to Baghdad" (Ominous music plays while the part of IRR soldier, played by Val Kilmer, does cool spy looking things with high tech gadgets and neat looking weapons and the opening credits scroll by.)

Well, it's been 19 days since my last post. Right now I'm sitting on a King sized bed in a suite in an undisclosed hotel somewhere in Texas digesting my prime rib dinner from the hotel restaurant. I flew out of my home town at 6:30 this morning to catch a connecting flight in Dallas. For some reason not even known to the Army they gave us tickets that got us here a few hours after our connecting flight had already left. That's just good planning. So they put us up in a hotel for the night. This time they pay for it. Not me. This is probably the nicest hotel I've ever been in. When we went to check in all the other guys were going to the counter in pairs. A lot of them are from the same unit. I don't know any of them so I just went up by myself figuring they'd pair me up with some other unsuspecting sucker. Imagine my surprise when they asked me if I'd like to room alone. I didn't know that was an option but snatched up the chance before anyone was the wiser. And here I am now blogging on my free T1 connection compliments of the hotel.

When I got home for leave my wife met me at the airport and we drove to a cabin in the mountains for a few days. It was good to see just her. It made the transition back a little smoother. We had a great time. There was snow everywhere, and a herd of wild buffalo that would come to the fence line outside our porch to drink water every morning and evening. We went into the little town there a few times but mostly just hung out at the cabin watching movies and playing games. It was great. My Mother-in-law and CNH took turns watching our kids while we were gone. Our friends and family have come through with support in ways that I'll never be able to thank them for if I tried for the rest of my life.

The kids were great. I spent most of the time back playing with them and just hanging around the house. The first day back from the cabin was a Sunday. We went to church and that was the first interaction I had with anyone other than my wife. It was unexpectedly overwhelming. I don't think I realized how disconnected from people I had become. I'm around people in my job in the Army all day, but I guess you sort of put up a barrier because of all the death and violence around. That day at Church was really emotional. Everyone meant well and I really wanted to talk to all of them but I was so overwhelmed I couldn't. I was just stunned like I was watching it all unfold in a movie. That night and the next day were a little tough. All the family connections came flooding back mixed up with joy and frustration and anger all in this tight little ball of confusing emotion. I was overjoyed to be back with my family, sad for all the families who would never see their soldiers again, mad at the war for what it was doing to my family and other families. The whole time away so far had just been going from one day to another. Now I had a chance to sit back and reflect on it all. After those first few days I bounced back to normal and really enjoyed the time with my family.

This blog is my view of what's going on in my life right now and is subject to change as situations change. I'm mad at this war for separating Daddys from their little boys and girls. I'm mad that American Soldiers are dying and they aren't really sure why they're there. I'm mad because when I'm gone my 4 year old boy gets so angry and he doesn't even know why. I'm mad because I don't know if the Iraqis know what's going on and if they do if they even care. What if they don't want to be liberated. "Hello fairy princess I'm here to rescue you." "Rescue me from what, self proclaimed knight in shining armor?" "Why from your evil oppressor of course." "What evil oppressor?" "Oh silly princess, Just be quiet and let me rescue you." What if we're wasting lives there. I have no control over anything that's happening to me or my family. Have you ever been in a situation like that? I never had until now. I have absolutely no say in even the most minute details of our lives. Anything could happen and all I could do is sit there and watch, and deal with the outcome. But you know what, that's OK. I'm mad at the war right now but there is still a God that's much bigger than me calling the shots. This has been a very trying few weeks, probably the worst so far, probably the worst in my life, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control. I'm mad now but I'm not defeated. I have no control now, but He does. My thoughts are jumbled and disorganized and I don't know what to make of them, but his perfect plan is still in motion. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and quit believing there's a plan, but I know in the deepest fibers of my body that God is real. And at the end of processing that I find comfort in knowing this simple truth. God loves me and aches for me to love him back. He doesn't care how feeble my faith is. In fact I don't think his love for me even requires me to love him in return. My salvation depends on it, but he'd still love me even if I spit in his face. He'll always be there helping me take each step. When I'm strong He'll let me walk, and when I'm weak He'll carry me. When I fall He'll pick me up, dust me off, and point me in the right direction. I've spent a lot of my life walking. I've spent most of the last few months being carried.

Well, that's probably enough emotional regurgitation for one entry. I believe all the stuff about God in there, all the rest will probably change as we see how the war unfolds.

Feel free to comment. I talked to quite a few people back home that read the blog and I had no idea they ever even looked at it. Come on guys show me some love. Leave a comment every now and then.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I too have been through those feelings just as you have. The war didn't bring them on as your situation but the orphanage did. I can tell you the things I suffered there at the hands of people who were supposed to care for us. That's not what's important. The thing that is important is that God brought me out on the other side when I felt so helpless and it looked as if my life was doomed to never change. My life was not my own.I had no say in what happened to me or how it happened. God taught me to look up and to never stop praying and believing for in that one shining moment God comes through and all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. When you get dicouraged remember my life and rejoice your answer will come. God will see you through this valley in your life. It's only temporary. TM

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humm? Temporary-isn't there a song about that? : )
Sounds like you are going through a Joseph/Job moment. It is temporary, even when it doesn't seem to be.
Seems there could be tons of songs brimming to the surface in just that one blog.
I appreciate your David attitude. I say that because he often wrote about how his bones were being crushed and how his spirit was low but always moved to the place of placing glory and honor on his Heavenly Father. You are so much like that. God can handle your yelling at the situation and even at Him. Just always walk back to Him. Know you are not the only one that has felt this way nor will you be the last. I tear at the thought that you were going through all this and we didn't even know. How well you keep things hidden! I must say, I have welcomed that change in your wife. I have been able to experience a side of her she would not have shared with me if it weren't for this recall. I would have liked to have known without going through this but . . . it was not to be. I must say I truely enjoyed sharing the moments our families did when you were home. How good it was to have smiles and laughter turn to tears. Things just seemed perfect when you were home. I must confess I have been angry you had to go back. I am angry I can't seem to do more. I am angry the whole world isn't helping you and yours. I am broken hearted as you wait for your next adventure. Who am I to question? Just dust and spirit and soul. Good enough for God, I suppose. Thanks again for your friendship. You will never know how much it means to me and mine. CnH

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I know I didn't get to see you while you were home, since we live several states away, but I miss you now that you are gone again.

7:27 PM  

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