Tuesday, July 20, 2010, was monumental in my life…. I didn’t feel well most of the day, and was actually laying on the couch half asleep when Chris came through the door at a few minutes past 3 in the afternoon. His first words were, “How are you?” which is not completely unlike him, but they’re also not usually his first words after a long day at the office. And then he sat down on the couch and just looked at me. Immediately I knew there was a reason I didn’t feel well most of the day.
When he said, “I may be deploying,” my whole world shattered. Now, let me explain to you that I can and have and will survive deployments. He first deployed 20 days after we were married, leaving me in a land of strangers and even stranger customs. He deployed 3 weeks before his daughter was born and missed the next 6 months of her life. Been there, done that – and I know I’ll do it at least 2 more times before retirement. In 13 years of this active duty Marine’s career, he has seen 8 deployments, most of which were combat, and some of which were “don’t ask, I can’t tell” situations.
But, we were moved here just about a year ago specifically to diversify his career and become non-deployable for 3 years. A “B Billet” (a secondary MOS) is what it’s called and they’re quite common for careerists to serve, but this is the first time Chris has found himself actually being forced to do something other than Grunt work. And, for the most part, we were happy to move and become non-deployable.
So, suddenly my whole word spun around and almost crashed to the ground. Immediately I did the only thing I’ve ever known to do – ask for prayer. I posted on Facebook, “Oh, Marine Corps, how I love thee … let me count the ways. Yep, I ran out of reasons already. On pins and needles for the next 24 hours. Prayers are much appreciated.” And, wow – we were BOMBARDED with people who were concerned and must have immediately dropped to their knees, pulled out their pipes, etc. Thanks to each and every one of you whispered this small request to the Creator of the Universe. What happened next was the monumental part.
I walked out the front door and this little guy wouldn’t leave our front porch. I *never* see butterflies of any sort here. But, he fluttered around a bit from bush to bush, landed on the porch a few times, the door a couple of times after that, and then floated off down the street almost a block. (Chris watched this with me.) And then, he came back. And didn’t leave. I saw him every time I stepped outside for the rest of that night, and even the next morning. I just had to take this picture because I felt a stirring that he was a promise and a reminder of a Creator who loves me enough to make sure I know that I’m surrounded, protected, loved, and never alone.
The next day, by about 11:00, we were informed that Chris would not be taking this deployment, and the relief was immense. My frustrations with the situation still exist, but at least I know my husband will actually get his 3 non-deployable years – years that he has earned through a career of hard service.
And the butterfly left shortly thereafter, but that beautiful promise and reminder will always stick with me. Thank you to those in my life who continually help remind me of the same thing – you all, much like the butterfly, are God-sends.