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Introduction

The Lord bless you my daughter … (Ruth 3:10).

Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter… (Ruth 3:11).

I had been tossing around the idea of this book for nine months or so. It became clear to me that this would be something I wanted to do when I was faced with the reality that a very special man in my life had been called to serve his country. My husband, who had proudly served in the United States Army for nine years, was now on orders to face his very first deployment in Iraq.

I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through his mind as he prepared to leave a brand-new bride, who was expecting their first child, to travel around the globe and fight for the enduring freedom of the world; yet I clearly remember what was going through mine. And so began the budding development of this book. I realized that I had just joined a very large and often humbly silent group of spouses and loved ones left behind to continue with their lives with an essential piece of that life missing.

My hopes with this book are not to provide any new profound answers as to what it takes to make this easier. Unfortunately, I don’t really have those. My intention is simply to provide understanding and support. My desire is simply to touch the hearts and souls of family members and loved ones everywhere who have had to face the reality of saying goodbye to someone they love. My desire is to offer a different perspective, for not only do I understand how it feels to be the one, who is left behind, but I too am a soldier, and I am clearly able to grasp the call to duty, the love of country, and the freedoms we defend.

At the end of each chapter, beginning with chapter 2, there are two areas dedicated to my readers. One is designed as a journal entry. I am giving you the first line of the journal entry in hopes that I may inspire some thoughts and ideas for you. Oftentimes for many people there is healing and understanding when they are able to see their thoughts and feelings on paper. This can also be used as a point of reference throughout the book as you go back and see where you were and take pride in where you’re going on this emotional and life-changing journey.

I’ve also included the points to ponder section. This is an area of the book solely dedicated to encouragement and understanding for you, the reader. It’s a reflection of the things I faced in that chapter and the summary to it all. I hope that it gives you a better perspective on things as you may see them from an entirely different approach.

My goal is that these two sections help to make this book not only a comfort, but also a tool for those faced with the responsibility and gift of loving someone who has been called to greatness and service.

My personal approach to this entire experience has been to rely on the strengths of the Lord I serve and the scriptures that I believe he uses to communicate with me. At the beginning of each chapter I offer the words of wisdom from a pretty verifiable source through scripture to serve as my guide as I journey through one of the most difficult, life changing, trying, and yet gratifying times in my life. Welcome to my journey.