I was approached a couple of months ago by someone in the grocery store when they asked what my blue star necklace meant. When I told her it was because my husband is in Afghanistan she replied, “I thought the war was over. I didn’t know we still had anyone over there.” I tried my best to explain that there was indeed still a war going on therefore justifying the amount of candy corn in my hands. I know she did not mean any harm but my heart was so heavy. My heart was heavy not only for all war wives who are fighting their own wars at home trying to keep the pieces together but also for the soldiers fighting. They should know they are being rooted for, prayed for, and recognized back home. So, I’ve been working on this for awhile and I’m finally just going to hit “publish”. Feel free to share…
Dear friends known and unknown,
Most of me wants to forget this year apart from my husband ever happened. But, I’m still living it and I can’t help but remember every minute, every day. But my friends, we need you to remember the war is happening too. As war wives, when our lay our heads1 down at night, our thoughts aren’t about our to-do list for tomorrow or the laundry we didn’t do. Those little things have been catipulted into perspective. Instead, our thoughts are consumed with our helpless and weary voice begging our God to protect our husbands. Any resemblance of composure I’ve maintained by the end of the day is drowned out by a cry to the angels surrounding my husband to not grow weary and continue to protect him as he goes on another mission or meets with another Afghan official or trains another local.
We remember every day, not just on 9/11 or Memorial Day. Please let it affect you the way it affects us. Please let the war into your dinner conversation as it is the elephant wedging its way into ours. For we know that the elephant is an invited guest in our home because of our voluntary service. But we pray that you invite that conversation into your homes because you are why we do this. We are your neighbors. We sit next to you in church. We stand behind you in the grocery line. We wave you in when you’re merging into traffic… most days. We are the ones who are probably laughing a little too loudly in the movie theatre because it feels so dang good to laugh. And we are probably the ones that look like we haven’t slept well in 9 months because my friend, we haven’t.
You will not hear me complain about our situation this year because it is our joy and ministry. But someone once told me the quickest way to lose a battle is to never admit you’re in one. I know I’m in one, my husband is in a real-life one, we are all in one. And we need our battle buddies. It might not be your family member over there, but it is your neighbor, your church member, your grocery store buddy, or your road companion. We are all living in this thing. Resist the urge to only tune into the part of the news about Tom and Katie or the exposed too-tas of Kate Middleton. But when the tiny bit of coverage comes on about Afghanistan, don’t turn your heads. It’s messy, it’s unpopular, but it is happening. We have to come together as a family, and as battle buddies.
Love to you,
Martha, a war wife