February 27, 2012

Prayer Brigade

*Disclaimer - I am a Christian, more specifically Catholic. I have my beliefs, and I am a strong believer. That does not mean that I subscribe to all the ideals of the church, or that I push my beliefs onto others. This is simply my point of view. Religion can be touchy subject as we all have our own ideas about God, and faith, or lack there of. I am not writing this to change minds, preach, or impose on anyone. I am writing this to explain how I get through the day and what gives me strength.

I've always had a complicated relationship with God. There were times when I was younger that He was not an important or active part of my life. There was a time when I did not believe at all. As I grow older my faith in God has played an active role. It's amazing how when you feel you have nothing left you can always turn to your faith.

I find myself praying every day about one thing or another. Usually I pray for strength, peace, or the courage to be better. I pray that by His grace my husband comes back to me. I pray for my brother who died 5 years ago, and who's death is a large reason why I have the faith I have.

Religion and faith has always been present in my life, even when my own faith was floundering. Both of my grandmothers were very devout believers. They both prayed to God, and to the Holy Virgin a lot. Both always, always had their prayers answered. Both of my parents grew up in very active catholic families. My father's oldest sister was a nun, he was an alter boy. My mother's father was a member of the Knights of Columbus and buried with his saber. The religion of my family has been passed on to me, but I was also given the freedom to form my own opinions, and my own beliefs.

When I learned of my husband's coming deployment I called my mother and asked her to pray. I called my mother in law and asked her to pray. I know that both mothers have passed my request on. I know that in my church back home, and my husband's church, the congregations often pray for his safe return. Every member of my family and my husband's family are praying for him, for me, and for our children. I truly believe in the power of prayer, and I affectionately refer to it as "The Prayer Brigade" when my husband is away. This gives me some comfort. I can feel the support and love of our family and friends stretching across the Pacific.

One of my girlfriends, and fellow Army wife here on Okinawa once said "You have to give it to God." At the time, I thought I can't just do that. But lately I've been absorbing the meaning of those words. I don't have any choice but to give it to God. The wives of the men in my husband's unit lean on each other. We are always there for one another. But many nights when my children are safely tucked in and I'm alone in our bed my mind doesn't just shut off. My thoughts inevitably turn to my husband. My fear and worry comes to the surface and I cry from the depths of my soul. I let out everything I've been keeping locked inside. Through it all I have no choice but to pray. I don't have the strength to go this alone, and in those moments of sorrow there is nothing else. My husband is not here to hold me and tell me it's going to be ok. I don't have him to lean on. I have no choice but to lean on God and hope that He will see us through. I have no choice but to believe that God is on our side and will return my husband safely to his family. I know that I am not alone. The Prayer Brigade is on it.

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