MPW #4 Pray for Homecomings

I will never forget pulling in to port after a long deployment and seeing the throngs of people on the pier waiting to greet us. Family members cheered, sailors waved, and music played to welcome the ship back home. You've probably seen videos and pictures posted on the internet that show you the type of excitement other service branches have when they come home too, whether through airports, on flight lines, or the like. It is an exciting time!

Yet it is also a time of trial as husband and wife reunite and families are put back together. The spouse that was gone has to put himself back into the family and assume former roles. I say "himself" but it works for a woman deploying as well. The roles the deployed member plays must be assumed after deployment, but assuming them too quickly can have it's own set of problems.

In some families, the spouse that stays home with the kids simply survives, keeping the kids in line and getting them to school is about all that can be done. In those cases, a special patience is required. As the deployed spouse returns, and the husband and wife can move forward as a unit to get the family back on track, both will have to be careful not to blame the other for the predicament. Discipline may have faltered in these cases. The returning spouse will need to be gentle in reasserting his/her role.

Even in situations where everything seemed to push through the deployment without a hitch there are minefields awaiting the reunited couple. The couple will need to figure out how to do the money again, as an example. In my own case, it took no little amount of time to get one of my kids to even want to be in the same room as me, much less let me spend real time with her. It takes time and again, patience is required.

As you can see from this post, the minefields are numerous and the potential for an explosion of emotions is always near. We must pray for families as they reunite after a long deployment. We must pray that it remains a happy time of joyful reunion, not a stressful maze of emotions and actions.

As ships come home, as flight lines fill with returning planes, as airports swell with returning soldiers, we pray for the reunions that take place after the deployment. I pray that families understand the need for patience for both the service member and the spouse as they reassert their former roles. I pray for the children as they reunite as well and for the changes that they have gone through in the months since their parent left. I pray for joyful reunions that lean on you. 

In Christ's name,

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