My husband always says, “My wife has experienced more deployments than most people I know.” That’s because he counts his two to Iraq and our son’s, (one to Iraq, one to Afghanistan), as ALL MINE.
So I’m excited to welcome Edie Melson as she describes her devotional for military families–this would make a great gift for them as Memorial Day approaches.
Here is the link for preorder. The price is reduced and you receive a free ebook with an additional 15 prayers.
Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.
In this book you’ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. They’re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.
As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, Edie Melson lived this book before she wrote it. Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out to others facing the same struggles. She’s the Military Family Blogger for Guideposts.org, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker. Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.
Blooming in Adversity
I’ve come to realize that the seeds of faith begin their journey to the light, in the dark. As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, I’ve been through the painful process of blooming in adversity.
Neither I nor my husband come from a military family, so our son’s decision to enlist straight after high school caught us off guard. We weren’t ashamed or disappointed in him, although we were worried about where this decision could take him. But we could see his sincere desire to follow God’s leading and knew that wherever this road led, God would see him through.
But as he got ready to leave for his first deployment in Iraq, all those thoughts of faith and how God would take care of him fled. I found myself engulfed in a terror so deep it colored every corner of my world a murky gray.
Throughout the last couple days, I was overcome with fear and uncertainty. As we sat down to eat, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the last time I’d share a meal with him. As he posed for a picture with his brothers, in the back of my mind was the fear that this would be the last picture I’d ever have of him. All through that time, the what-ifs continued to crowd out the faith I thought I had.
Then he was gone—half a world away—fighting an enemy whose main focus was on killing him. It was during those deployments that I learned about darkness of the heart. I wanted to protect him, I ached to shield him from what I knew he was experiencing, but I couldn’t. So I did the one thing I could do. It became my course of last resort because I was at the end of my own strength.
And I prayed.
And I prayed some more.
I learned to take my overwhelming fear to the only One who could protect him. And I left my son in God’s hands. The prayers weren’t pretty. Often times they weren’t even words. They truly were the groanings we read about in Romans 8:26-27.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was like a seed, planted deep in the ground, surrounded by darkness, by rough, rocky soil, pressing in on all sides crushing the life from me. But through that incredible pressure, the shell of my own strength fell away, and I slowly began to push toward the light that I knew lay just beyond the darkness.
And my last resort became my strength, the first place I turned. Instead of praying in desperation, I began to pray in confidence. When the fears threatened to overwhelm me, I learned to lean into God, instead of turning in on myself.
The final harvest of that time of darkness is coming to fruition May 12, just after Mother’s Day. It’s a book of prayers for those with loved ones in the military, While My Soldier Serves. How I longed for just such a book during that dark time. Now God has taken my time of darkness and is shining it as a light for those who are also facing the incredible stress of having a loved one at war.
I can say with confidence, never doubt that God will bring a harvest of joy, no matter how dark the days you’re facing now.
I’d love to know how you get through the dark times and find a way to bloom. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Edie promises to send a book to one fortunate commentator when they arrive, so please leave your e-mail address. Thanks for stopping by!
My childlike faith kept me secure while my fighter pilot father deployed to Vietnam, but sending a son to Iraq was a different story. I told the Lord over and over again, “I dedicated this child to You. He is in Your hands.” That prayer always brought me peace.
Linda, that’s a beautiful prayer! Thank you for sharing your heart, Blessings, E
So glad you shared this. Those were hard days for me, too, but you’re right, that peace that passes understanding DOES come!
I preordered the book, so I don’t need to be entered in the drawing, but I have to thank Edie and all those who send their loved ones off to fight for the freedom I enjoy. Without your support and prayers, our warriors couldn’t do their job. I’m praying protection over your son, Edie.
Ane, thank you so much for your support and encouragement! Jimmy is out of the service now, although not without a price. He came out with disabilities from injuries he sustained while serving. But he has an amazing wife, miraculous service dog and is about to graduate from college. We are truly blessed!
Good morning, Ane. Those prayers mean SO MUCH – glad you came by.
Edie, as someone who served overseas, although never seeing a shot fired in anger, I recognize the value of prayers–yours and so many others. Thanks for sharing your journey in this book.
Richard, were you w/the military? A medic? Have you written about your experiences?
Thanks for stopping in.
Richard, thank you for your service! Which branch of the military were you in? I’m excited to have the opportunity to include others in praying for our military through this book. Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E
I thank you for writing this book. It will be a resource I can and will use for friends and family with deploying husbands, sons, daughters, and close relatives. We had three sons, none of which went off to war. Our oldest son was killed in a construction accident at the age of 19. My husband and I understand the devastation of loss. You write about things with which we have not experienced. I thank you for providing an appropriate avenue of comfort which I can gift in confidence.
Kathy, I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. I appreciate your confidence in this book and your encouragement! Thank you for stopping by, Blessings, E
Our grandson, father of two, in Special Forces is facing his first deployment to Iraq in late May. Of course we are full of angst and I will preorder a copy for my daughter. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thanks so much, Carol and Kathy, for taking the time to stop by. We’re all in different places, but anything we can do to help these families has to potential to make a difference.
Carol, I’m adding your grandson to my personal prayer list. Be sure to thank him—and his family—for their service! Blessings, E
What a heartfelt grace – filled reminder to each of us to take those huge burdens to God in prayer. Thank you so much for your labor of truth!
Karen, I appreciate you taking the time to visit us!
My brother was in college at the time if the grades weren’t up you would soon be off. He was tired of the pressure and enlisted in the army. My parents didn’t understand the pressures. After basic he went to Vietnam. He shared through letters. Then he reuped for another tour so he could get out early.
The second tour was much more difficult. Prayers and letters and care pkg were all one could do. He didn’t share much when he came home but needed time to be alone. Our parents couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t try and get a job. He finished college and went on. He still hasn’t shared his experiences with his immediate family and probably won’t. Re-entry into society is difficult for many. Prayers need to continue for all of those who serve while serving as well as when they come home. It’s difficult, more so for some than others. Re-entry difficulties depend on where they were stationed.
That Vietnam time was SO tough for soldiers. My husband makes it a point to seek out people who have a Vietnam sticker on their vehicle and thank them, b/c so few of them received any thanks, and maybe the opposite, at the time. Thanks for the reminder, Mary.
Mary, you are so right. The return is sometimes even more traumatic than the deployments. Thank you for sharing your own experience! Blessings, E
Gail, You are so right about the Vietnam vets who came home after their stint was up. I wrote to two different guys who were over there and they said that really helped them to stay connected. But I remember classmates who came home from Nam and were shunned as they walked down the street.
That is SO sad, and I imagine that memory haunts those vets to this day, Karen.
Forgot to say I don’t need to be in drawing. Others need the book as I am not going through that as they are.