Alex, my first born, has been back in Iraq for almost a month now. There has been very little communication from him - just a couple of sparse emails. I'm chalking it up to sporadic internet service, although it is just as likely that he has a heavy workload and writing to mom isn't top on his priority list.
I'll hold on to my fantasy, thank you anyway.
People ask me how I'm doing. Sometimes that catches me by surprise. I'm doing fine! He's the one living in the desert in 120 degree heat, eating army food, working 12-18 hour days. I think about him often and worry about the fact that it is so hot there and wonder if he is drinking enough fluids and getting enough sleep. I'm proud of him for serving his country and sacrificing comfort and convenience and security for something greater than himself. I pray for him and for his safety, health, and spiritual and emotional strength. I wonder who his friends are and how he spends his days.
But occasionally something breaks through the veneer of calm. A news report of a missile strike or IED explosion near Baghdad. A tv reality show of surprise reunions of troops with their loved ones. A song on the country radio station about a soldier who doesn't come home. A soldier we know making the ultimate sacrifice and losing his life over there.
That's when I think about the fact that he is living in a war zone, where there are people who want to do him harm.; that he wears body armor and carries a weapon with him everywhere he goes. And my heart starts to race, my hands start to tremble, and I sometimes burst into tears. And I realize that maybe, underneath, I'm not as okay as I think.
I know that God is sovereign. I know that we are all here temporarily, and that my son has a room in a heavenly mansion awaiting him someday, as a child of the King. But I am his mama and I have hopes and dreams for him, and I want to have him here where I can hug his neck.
Boy oh boy. God has some work to do in me yet.