How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us

Inside: Since becoming a solo mam seven months ago, my faith has been put to the ultimate test. How do you choose joy in deployment during this season?

Welcome Paige to the blog. I met Paige through my church here in Wisconsin! She’s full of strength and courage. I’m so glad she said yes to writing a blog post!

How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us. #HeartBreak Holiday. Surviving deployment at Christmas when you're a wife with kids. Encouragement, preparation, and tips for spouses for dealing with the pain of deployment using Scripture and Bible verses. Prayers for the pain. #HeartBreakHoliday #militarylife #military #Holidays

 

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, the holidays were the most magical times of the year! I will forever cherish my snow-laden memories of large family gatherings, traditions, food and of course, Santa Clause.

Oh, how I long to give my children those same cheerful holiday memories as I experienced growing up, but our childhoods couldn’t be ANY more different!

Military Life

We are a military family. My husband Chris is a Sergeant in the United States Army. There haven’t been snowmen to build or hills to sled. No family reunions to gather at and even our friends become scarce as they become busy with their own families during the holiday season.

We are stationed hundreds of miles away from any family (or snow for that matter). I remain hopeful each year, but still, the feeling of loneliness mixed with nostalgia and sadness linger throughout the holiday season.

This year is especially heavy in our hearts, as our soldier will be spending Christmas halfway around the world.

A deployed loved one, and being so far away from our extended family makes the empty spots in our hearts feel a little bit deeper. In our home, our motto has become You choose your own attitude and we have chosen JOY.

The Season God has Me in

The season of life we’re in right now can be very exhausting, lonely and overwhelming. On days I find myself less than content with where I am at, God reminds me that I’m exactly where HE desires me to be.

My ministry is to raise up these little disciples of His….and be joyful while doing his work! (Psalm 100:2)

God has been so faithful in shaping my heart!

Since becoming a solo mama and a corporate widow seven months ago, my faith has been put to the ultimate test. I have been relying on God more and trusting Him in areas I once refused to surrender control. I am daily given lessons about contentment, patience, joy and forgiveness. There is no limit to His grace.

How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us. #HeartBreak Holiday. Surviving deployment at Christmas when you're a wife with kids. Encouragement, preparation, and tips for spouses for dealing with the pain of deployment using Scripture and Bible verses. Prayers for the pain. #HeartBreakHoliday #militarylife #military #Holidays

God Remains Faithful

To be quite honest, The earthly desires of my heart have been stealing my joy this holiday season. Instead of running to God, my longing heart has been turning to people and things for instant gratification. I want immediate relief for the voids in my life, but like all earthly things, all of these “quick fixes” have been temporary and leave me thirsting for more. ( Jeremiah 17:5-12, Colossians 3, Matthew 5:6)

Despite my wandering, God has been faithful to me. Every week I attend a women’s bible study. One particular day we were reading in Exodus about how God provided for the Israelites in the desert.

The Lord performed many miracles in Egypt and rescued his people out of slavery. The Israelites saw with their own eyes how he miraculously took away the plagues and parted the Red Sea so they could escape oppression. The Lord had been faithful to them and consistently provided for their needs, but as the Israelites came into the desert, they began grumbling!!

How quickly they forgot what God had already done for them!

They complained about being thirsty and the Lord provided water from a rock. Instead of being thankful for that miracle, they began complaining about being hungry. The Lord, who is a gracious and merciful Father, heard the Israelites complaining and manna and quail fell from heaven.

Am I an Israelite?

As I was reading I couldn’t help but think “how could these people be so ungrateful?! They had been in the midst of many miracles and the Lord had provided for them over and over, yet they were still unsatisfied.

In chapter 16:3, they even complained about being freed out of slavery! WHAT? It’s true, but as I began thinking about the areas in my life I have grumbling about, I began feeling less judgment towards the Israelites as I realized how much of an Israelite I was being.

How often I forget how faithful God has been to me.

How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us. #HeartBreak Holiday. Surviving deployment at Christmas when you're a wife with kids. Encouragement, preparation, and tips for spouses for dealing with the pain of deployment using Scripture and Bible verses. Prayers for the pain.

My heart has been less than thankful for my abundance of blessings, especially during the holidays when the challenges of being military family arise and choosing joy take extra effort.

Making the Best of this Season

During this season of Advent, we will make the very best out of where we’re at right now. Christmas shouldn’t need to be anything more than a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our salvation! Christmas is for Christ! We would be blessed to make the trip back to my snowy childhood home for the holidays, but we would be just as blessed to have a big birthday party for Jesus right here at home all while video messaging our soldier from abroad.

No matter where we are, what earthly things we have (or don’t have) we will always have satisfaction in the Lord.

In a life full of uncertainty and longing, what peace we have in Jesus! This is the truth I long for my children to know.

When their little hearts are missing their daddy and a tear or two may fall off big round cheeks on Christmas morning, what better gift could I give than to lead his littlest disciples to the joy and peace of His presence?

How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us. #HeartBreak Holiday. Surviving deployment at Christmas when you're a wife with kids. Encouragement, preparation, and tips for spouses for dealing with the pain of deployment using Scripture and Bible verses. Prayers for the pain.

 

May the peace of Christ be with you.

Merry Christmas, Y’all

Paige Hirsch

I’m a 24-year-old woman after God, a blessed military wife and a mother of GIRLS! My cup runneth over!

To read other posts in the Heartbreak Holiday series:
Dysfunctional Disaster Holiday 

It’s the Wonderful Time of the Year

 A Barren Womb at Christmas

Finding Joy in the NICU at Christmas

How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us

Joy In A Hot Christmas Mess

I Feel So Sad And Lonely This Holiday Season

The Empty Seat
I’m sharing this post at these places.

22 thoughts on “How to Choose Joy When Deployment Separates Us

  1. Paige- thank you again for sharing your struggles, your story and your faith! I pray for comfort and joy for you this Christmas!
    I’m so glad you wrote this post!
    Julie

  2. Julie, thank you so much for sharing Paige with us. I loved how honest and real she was in sharing her story. No sugar coating, simply ‘this is where I am’. God loves that kind of frankness and meets us right where we are so that He can do amazing things.
    Paige, I hope that you will find joy in the small things this Christmas season in spite of the loneliness that’s sure to come. Blessings to you and yours!

    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    1. Marva- I agree…I loved how real she was also! It’s a breath of fresh air when people can admit they struggle, it makes me feel connected in my own struggles instead of feeling like something is wrong with me.
      Julie

  3. Julie,
    I was linked up next to you yesterday at #FreshMarketFriday and then stuff happened and I had to leave my home office. Thanks for talking your friend Paige into posting. She did an awesome job!

    Paige,
    Thanks so much for sharing your heart. Your openness is refreshing because it didn’t just state the woes of your life, but the joys and the choice to live Joy in the midst of hardship. You’re a wise woman and God will honor this choice. Your children will be blessed because of it. Praying your Christmas is truly marked by JOY and His presence. Praying it’s filled with laughter and awe at God’s goodness and that your girls, and you, have fun!

    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

  4. Thank-you for being so honest and open Paige! Your job is sometimes overlooked but always indispensable! Thank-you for sacrificing for your husband and your children so he can serve our country. We are grateful for what you do! Bless you both during this holiday season.

  5. Such a transparent and real memo of grace, Paige. Sometimes we get so lost in the moment… we see only the looming tree right in front of us… that we fail to see the way He has painted our landscape full of a forest of blessings, a shelter of hope in our hard and dreary moments. I am so glad you reminded us to choose joy, today. Thanks for sharing Paige’s words at the #GraceMoments Link Up Julie!
    Blessings!
    Dawn

  6. Paige… I just happen to see this now, well written! You have gone from being our babysitter to a young mom and wife that has a great head on her shoulders. Your thirst for Jesus amazes me, that thirst will get you through this time in your life. He did not promise it would be easy but He will get you through it. I am so proud of you and I will always admire your strength and honesty!

  7. If there is a good relationship with the deployed soldier and he is not dead, the wife has way more than most marriages do.

  8. Pingback: 10 Tips to Lift Sadness and Loneliness this Season #HeartBreakHoliday

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