My Soldier Son is HOME safely from the front.

During most of his nine month deployment I was in pretty good shape. I knew he was called to be a soldier, and infantryman, and I knew he was safest in the center of God’s will, regardless of how dangerous that appeared to me or any one else.

Yes, I missed him! At one point I did not hear from him for months on end. (But he blessed me with a 4:30 AM phone call on my birthday! 4:30 because I was in California and he has about to head out on a mission for several days.) He routinely gave his men priority of computer and phone use. He could not talk about what he was doing anyway….. That was the hardest part. Not being connected to him.

When I lived in Africa, in the 80’s, pre-computer days, and I had no telephone access, my mom told me sometimes it felt was like I was dead. When I moved back to the USA to stay, she cried! Yes, she cried, as she used her hands to make finger counting motions showing me she was so joyful she would not have to count time zones any more! Now I understand what she felt.

I did not need to count fingers for Alex. I have an app on my phone that told me his timezone! But I did the same thing my mom did when my friend asked me the morning of Alex’s arrival to the house: “Are you ready for Alex to come home?” I thought honestly for a moment, then I cried. I released sobs from a place deep inside of me I did not know was there.

I did my best to do most of my crying before he arrived home. He is not a fan of his mother crying. I saw him drive around the bend toward the house from my kitchen window. I met him in the driveway after he pulled in. He happily received my momma bear hug, and graciously received my tears. I know he does not fully get it, but he knows I love him TONS!

He came in and took a look around at the changes I have made in his absence. There have been several. I followed him around like a puppy wagging her tail. We talked for hours. I fixed him his favorite meal and I heard a few of the tales I could not hear while he was there. For example, his vehicle rolled over and IED that exploded! I Thank God he was in a vehicle designed to take the blast! No one was hurt, though the vehicle needed some repairs….

I guess that is the sort of thing I was releasing when I knew I could hug him and look into his eyes again. Relief! Also, a release of emotions I did not deal with while he was in Afghanistan.

My son is home. He is safe. I can touch him to prove it. My tail is still wagging=}

In HIS grip,


What might you be compartmentalizing? Or choosing to not face & process? Why? Is it too scary? Or maybe just not the right time? I pray you give yourself grace to listen to God’s tender leading.

Andrea (Madden) Van Boven : I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

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