image via AP/Rahmat Gul
A year ago right now my husband was in Afghanistan and we were Skyping or talking to him on the phone from there several times a week. Checking the newswires for stories about anything going on there was a twice daily event, once in the morning and once before going to bed. Because of the twelve hour time difference, if there was any big daytime event happening there the news generally broke between ten and eleven at night our time. Not the best time of day to read scary news!
Now a year later, Afghanistan and news of the war there has slipped away from our daily conversations and my husband and I are not so up on what is happening there. Sometimes I read or hear things and have mixed emotions about telling him about them, knowing he may know the people and places vividly. I envisioned that we would stay as passionate about our commitment to awareness and those still serving there and suffering there, but in reality, life takes over and our energies have to go elsewhere.
That comes with mixed emotions and a little bit of perhaps poorly placed guilt. We cannot possibly continue to live in the heightened state of awareness and anxiety which we lived in while he was deployed. But it feels a little traitorous to move on with life and not agonize and pray every day for the safety of those deployed there and their families just like we did for our own service member and our own family. We've done war zone deployment, we know intimately how hard it is. Moving on and forward with our lives with those thoughts is difficult. How dare I not feel just as worried sick about others as I was about my own.
But somehow that is not possible and perhaps there is a time and a place, a season for everything. Maybe my season is not to agonize over Afghanistan and our deployed there right now. Their families perhaps have taken our spots in that realm. Maybe right now we are taking the spots of others who have moved on from reintegration, post deployment stress and all the transitions and uncertainty that come with that which we are currently experiencing. That is enough for our plates right now, I will say that.
Perhaps my place in all this now is to keep praying for our deployed service members and the people of Afghanistan and to keep praying for my family, all families and our country too. We served and learned great lessons and at times suffered greatly through our deployment. I know many others have before us. There is a kinship there and even if we are not all at the same heightened state of awareness and involvement. I do believe with all my heart, that we are all as one in the place of love and best wishes for our service members, their families and the freedom seeking people of Afghanistan.
We are here for you and for each other in whatever phase we may be, to bless with whatever experiences we may have to offer that may be helpful. We have not forgotten our deployed and their families, yet out of necessity we have moved to new phases. But we are always with you in spirit and in any other way we can step up to serve and offer a watchful, caring eye. I prayed for you today.