65: A Warm Embrace

65: A Warm Embrace

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

A Warm Embrace

By Deanna Broome

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

~Psalm 139:9-10

The house was quiet, too quiet. I shut the door behind me and walked upstairs. With every step, I felt heavier, sadder, and more alone. The long-awaited deployment was here, and the countdown began today. Two hundred and ten days without my husband. I felt the full weight of being both Mom and Dad on my shoulders. I knew my middle-school twin sons needed me to be strong, but inside I was ready to crumble. I decided that the tears would have to come later. For now, I had the morning school routine to focus on.

Waking the boys, I felt so sad for them. They had said goodbye to their dad the night before. It was always difficult to watch those last hugs and pep talk from Joe. They were older now with this deployment, and he reminded them to “help Mom out.” Both Connor and Hunter masked their sadness and told him, “Yes, sir.” I knew their hearts were hurting as much as mine. As they woke up and silently dressed, I tried to keep the conversation light. I made breakfast and put on Christian music, which always lifted my spirit. I choked back my tears. My sons gathered their backpacks and headed out the door. Somehow, I just knew those backpacks were a lot lighter than the burden they bore in their sad hearts.

Standing in my kitchen, the tears came and wouldn’t stop. I felt so incredibly lonely and needed a hug from my husband. Suddenly, I heard a tender voice deep in my soul. The Lord told me, “Deanna, put your arms around yourself right now.” I took my arms and wrapped them around me. Then His voice came again: “This is what I am doing while Joe is away. I am holding you.” At that moment, I knew Jesus was right there with me, embracing a brokenhearted woman. The sadness left me, and I never felt so loved. I clung to His warm embrace over and over again throughout the deployment. It made me stronger and beautifully connected to the One and Only who gives us peace.

Hugs mean something different to me now. When my husband is away for long durations, I know Jesus is ready to wrap me in His arms. He also taught me to never take for granted the hug of my precious husband because he is a gift showing how much God loves me.

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