I want to tell you a little about my wife, my Angel. You see, she would never tell you these things about herself but “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” Prov. 31:28, and who am I to ignore a Biblical command?
She left her desires for college to marry an Army bum at 19. She bore our first daughter at 20. Not 13 months later 9/11 happened and she encouraged me to follow my heart, to extend my active duty obligation to fight those who had attacked us. And that has been the pattern of our life. After I went to the Guard and spent a couple of years at different jobs she encouraged me again to go back on Active Duty, to follow my heart to lead troops in combat. At every turn she sacrificed herself and her dreams to allow me to follow mine. And all the while she was pushing me to be all I could possibly be, she took on more and more herself.
4 children she has borne. 2 girls (12 and 5) and 2 boys (7 and 9). Not just borne them and led them to Christ, but she homeschools all 4 of them every day. As if being an Army Wife and homeschooling mother wasn’t enough, in the last 3 churches we have attended she has led the music. She has worked hard to develop not only her musical talent, but her leadership ability. To bring together diverse people with a multitude of musical talents and levels of ability in a way that does not distract but enhances the worship of God is her true Gift and the one thing that really vies for premier place with me in her heart. Oh, and if being an Army Wife and homeschooling mother and worship leader wasn’t enough, she has a huge heart for volunteering. Family Readiness Group, yep, and she has the awards and medals to prove it; post volunteer of the month multiple times, Member of the Order of Joan D’Arc, board member for Protestant Women of the Chapel, area director for Home School Association for Military Families and others even I have lost track of. Oh, and did I mention, while being an Army Wife, homeschooling mother, praise leader, volunteer and wife of a too often deployed husband, she has just about gotten that college degree? Yep, 2 academic and 1 graduation class away, she will be done before I can get home on R&R. Oh, and she is a Mary Kay consultant.
But those things aren’t what is best about her. Her absolute best attribute is how she is a friend. She has a heart for people, because of her own wounds she takes time to make each and every person she meets feel important and welcome. She has created a home that is inviting and open, even if it gets a bit untidy from time to time! She loves freely.
All of this comes at a cost. The hardest is, I think, having me away. This is our third year long deployment and the roughest by far. I’m actually in less danger than ever, this hardly counts as a combat deployment by my standards, but we have blossomed as a couple so much in recent years that the separation is much more than either of us wants. Truly two have become one and it is no longer tolerable to be away. But, she soldiers on. She may cry a bit. She may even wail a bit. But that is just her way of letting God know what is on her heart. Soon enough she picks up the pieces of her heart, tucks them away for me and moves out, like a soldier steeling herself for the battle and then moving out and drawing fire. In fact, in her weakness is her strength. All those abilities, all that heart are God’s gift to the world, and especially me, through her. It is by His strength…and her will to allow and seek Him…that she thrives as a Desert Rose. Truly she is a special gem that He crafted lovingly to perfectly fit me.
I am so truly thankful. So many men cannot trust their wives, or cannot, or will not, bring them into the deepest recesses of their soul. Always there must be a bit hidden out, kept secret. I am so thankful to have moved beyond that with her. I truly know her whole self lives to thrust me forward, and I truly know she knows I live for the same, to propel her as far and as high as she can possibly reach. I am blessed, far more richly than I could ever deserve.
Truly, my Angel, savior of my soul and builder of all that I have or ever will accomplish.