Monday, August 10, 2009

Tender Mercies

Last Saturday, instead of enjoying some much needed extra sleep, we left our house at 4 am, so we could be in Birmingham, AL by 10 am. Why, do you ask, would we load our two babies in the car, so early on a Saturday, and drive so far, to Birmingham? Because my husband is about to leave for his first deployment, and we really wanted a chance to visit the temple before he left. To quote President Hinckley, our former prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,

"Every man or woman who goes to the temple in a spirit of sincerity and faith leaves the house of the Lord a better man or woman. There is need for constant improvement in all of our lives. There is need occasionally to leave the noise and the tumult of the world and step within the walls of a sacred house of God, there to feel His spirit in an environment of holiness and peace"
("Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 53

If anyone needed the blessings that come from visiting the temple, I did. I'm about to enter a new phase in my life, one that I've been dreading. In order to stay happy, I need to get used to my husband being gone. This isn't just his first deployment, it's the begining of a regular schedule, requiring him to be away 2 out of every 5 months, for the next few years. Never have I felt so much inward and emotional turmoil, stress and worry. How will I make it on my own? How will I handle feeling lonely? How do I not worry about what my husband is doing, or question if he's safe? Will we be safe while he's gone? Will I be strong enough to take care of the girls completely on my own, with no one to share the emotional and phsical burdens? How will our marriage survive the distance and time apart? How will we change? Will I be ok with those unavoidable changes, and will they be for the better?

When we entered the temple together, exhausted as we both were from the trip, all of those questions faded away, and I felt flooded with peace. While our temporal concerns didn't go away, I felt more capable of dealing with them. I am still worried, and am not happy for the day he has to leave. I know however, that we'll get through it. God is at the head of our family, and he will not leave us comfortless. I am now able to view the future with acceptance and hope, rather than fear and dread.

As if to prove he is there and mindful of us, Heavenly Father showed us several personal tender mercies through that visit.

1. Our great friends, Brent and Katie, watched our girls in the nearby church while my husband and I went in the temple. They kept them happy and comfortable while we were away. We couldn't have made that trip without them.
2. Both girls, who don't nap well outside of their own beds, slept for over an hour without trouble on the floor of the church nursery room.
3. In our rush to begin the long drive home, we accidently left Anny's Minnie Mouse doll at the church. That little Minnie is very special to her, and we were so sad to lose it. However to summarize an amazing string of events, we were able to contact a lady from Birmingham, a sweet and wonderful woman who teaches Sunday School to the 3 year olds in that building, who found Anny's Minnie, and mailed it back to us right away.

Heavenly Father is mindful of us. The blessings that come from the temple are not only eternal, but immediate and personal too.


  1. What a great post Liz. I'm so glad you got to go the Temple with Scott.
    It won't be easy but after this first deployment you might realize that's it's not too bad and that you are stronger and more capable than you think.
    I'll keep you and Scott in my prayers.

  2. What a wonderful place the temple is. I don't know how I would make it through the hard times without the temple. I'll pray for your family during these times of change, challenges and growth.

  3. Glad you guys enjoyed your rejuvenating trip. You will find incredible strength and peace that you never imagined when you have faith and trust during these deployments. I know I have already. You are not alone!

  4. Hang in there Liz! I am sure you have a great group of friends down there in Florida what will help out with the girls. And besides, Columbus isn't that far. You could always come for a visit and stay in our extra room!!!

  5. One day at a time girl. It will be hard, but we are here for you. I'm just around the corner and you are ALWAYS welcome!

  6. So glad your trip went so well and you were able to feel the peace you needed.

  7. I am so glad we got to attend the temple with you. We had a very peaceful time as well. I love spending time with your kids. Little do you know how much that helped me and Brent cope with our own kids being away for the summer.

    As for Scott's delpoyment I can't say that I can relate to your situation. However, I am always here for you to vent with, or leave the kids with so you can have some alone time. Need a coke? I'm your girl. Wanna come to dinner for a change of scenery? I'm here for ya. Love ya girl. Love Scott, Anny and Riley.

  8. Liz, Your concerns are normal and understandable. On the bright side you are smart, know your resources, are a fighter, are hard-working, have the gospel, and have been dedicated to your marriage thus far. Those are the things that create a protective factor in deployments. You are miles ahead of other people! The heart-wrenching piece is the absence of a man you love, who you are used to supporting you. I'm sure Scott still will, however your resources will be the physically help you need, whatever ones you have. What I have gathered from counseling other couples, is that they group and become stronger if you have that mind-set, and you become more prepared as the deployments repeat. There are fun ways to keep in touch, including dates online, where couples eat dinner, and surf the internet for fun things, or share music etc. I'm sure you know some fun things to do already. My heart goes out!
    I have a favor. What is your address and phone number. I have the government security form and I have to identify people that I went to school with and stuff. If you could provide me with your info that would awesome! If you can email it to me at soon, that would be wonderful! Thanks!

  9. Liz, Now that I've been to the Temple I understand the peace that you can experience there. Remember that I'm a phone call away if you need a babysitter or a friend.

  10. I have the chills from reading your post. I have had every one of those feelings of having Zach leave. But as you have already found out, it will bring blessings in other ways. I have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father and my children then when he was gone. I felt at peace and knew I was taken care of. You are also taken care of. It will be hard some days, but remember that you can always ask for help and HE will always help you. Good luck. Let me know if you need anything or anyone to talk to!!