Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (02/28/19)
TITLE: Gia and G.I. Joe
By Joanney Uthe
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But, in reality, it is. Life as a military spouse is never easy. She witnessed it often with friends on base, especially those whose spouses were deployed. Wives and kids make huge sacrifices, as well as the soldiers. Gia was thankful for the support of the other military wives, and to be able to support them.
Gia smiled as her phone buzzed. Right on time. Anxious joy overwhelmed her as she answered Joe’s call. “Hello, Honey.”
“Hi, Gorgeous. We are moving out in the morning and I can’t give any details, so I’m glad I can keep our phone date. How are things on the homefront?”
“Pretty good, other than missing you. Went to a play with some of the other wives last weekend. I enjoyed it, but not one you would have gone to.”
“Yeah, Smithy’s wife told him all about it. I probably would have gone only to be with you.”
“I won’t make you do that. That's the other wives are for.”
“I won't tell them you’re using them like that,” Joe chuckled
“We had fun. Oh, your truck registration is due this month. I worked it into the budget, and wrote it on my calendar to pay it on payday.”
“Thanks. So, what are you sacrificing to put it in the budget?”
“Nothing. I have been picking up a few sub jobs at the kids’ school, so there is a little extra this month anyway. Guess God opened that opportunity when we needed it.”
“He has a way of doing that. How are the kids?”
They talked for a few minutes about their offspring and their schedules, and about other business things that had come up since their last conversation.
“I really wish I could be there to help you navigate all of that. My time on the phone is almost up. Please pray for us the next few days especially. I wish I could tell you more, but we could use the prayers.”
“You know I will. I’ve adopted 1 Samuel 12:23 as my verse for this deployment: ‘As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.’”
“And you live the second part of the verse as well, ‘And I will teach you the way that is good and right.’ I needed that encouragement, Gia. Thanks. I love you, but I have to go.”
“I love you too, Joe.”
Gia cherished every minute of their conversation. She knew divorce rates were high among military families, especially those experiencing deployment. But deployment had actually strengthened their marriage. They had learned to communicate in the preparations: the establishing Power of Attorney and planning for situations no couple wants to think about. Sometimes, like today, their limited time to talk meant they could only say what needed to be communicated. Other times, they were able to joke and share details of how they were feeling and what was happening in their lives, as much as national security would allow.
Emailing gifs and memes that expressed their shared sense of humor added spice to their relationship. Pictures and letters sent snail mail gave them something to hold during the lonely times.
But Gia knew the true secret to their relationship was God. He was the glue that held them together. A mentor had once told her that you cannot stay mad at someone and pray for them at the same time. Her commitment to pray for her husband, his unit, and her country were key to their success. She felt closer to Joe as she lifted him up in prayer to the only One who could relieve her fears and protect him. She felt God’s peace as she poured out her heart during the lonely nights and the worry-filled days.
Deployment may increase the divorce rate, but for Gia and Joe, absence had made the heart grow fonder. Or at least taught them the tools to defy the statistic.
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