Allow me to introduce, Edie Melson. I know Edie as an amazing writer, a social media guru, a wonderful woman of faith, and a mother of one of our American Servicemen. If your son or daughter isn't serving ~ you may know someone who has a son/daughter putting their lives at risk for the rest of us. You may want this for yourself or you may want to look into getting the book below as a gift for those parents/grandparents.
As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, Edie Melson lived this book before she wrote it. Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out to others facing the same struggles. She's the Military Family Blogger for Guideposts.org, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker. Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.
Joy in Adversity
I’ve come to realize that the seeds of faith begin their journey to the light, in the dark. As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, I’ve been through the painful process of blooming in adversity.
Neither I nor my husband come from a military family, so our son’s decision to enlist straight after high school caught us off guard. We weren’t ashamed or disappointed in him, although we were worried about where this decision could take him. But we could see his sincere desire to follow God’s leading in his life and knew that where ever this road led, God would see him through.
But the week I said goodbye to him as he got ready to leave for his first deployment in Iraq, all those thoughts of faith and how God would take care of him fled. I found myself engulfed in a terror so deep it colored every corner of my world a murky gray.
Throughout the last couple days I had with him, I was overcome with fear and uncertainty. As we sat down to eat, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the last time I’d share a meal with him. As he posed for a picture with his brothers, in the back of my mind was the fear that this would be the last picture I’d ever have of him. All through that time, the what-ifs continued to crowd out the faith I thought I had.
Then he was gone—half a world away—fighting an enemy whose main focus was on killing him. It was during those deployments that I learned about darkness of the heart. I wanted to protect him, I ached to shield him from what I knew he was experiencing, but I couldn’t. So I did the one thing I could do. It became my course of last resort because I was at the end of my own strength.
And I prayed.
And I prayed some more.
I learned to take my overwhelming fear to the only One who could protect him. And I left my son in God’s hands. The prayers weren’t pretty. Often times they weren’t even words. They truly were the groanings we read about it Romans 8:26-27.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was like a seed, planted deep in the ground. I was surrounded by darkness, by rough, rocky soil, pressing in on all sides crushing the life from me. But through that incredible pressure, the shell of my own strength fell away, and I slowly began to push toward the light that I knew lay just beyond the darkness.
And my course of last resort became my strength, It became the first place I turned. Instead of praying in desperation, I began to pray in confidence. When the fears threatened to overwhelm me, I learned to lean into God, instead of turning in on myself.
The final harvest of that time of darkness is coming to fruition May 12, just after Mother’s Day. It’s a book of prayers for those with loved ones in the military, While My Soldier Serves. How I longed for just such a book during that dark time. Now God has taken my time of darkness and is shining it as a light for those who are also facing the incredible stress of having a loved one at war.
I can say with confidence, never doubt that God will bring a harvest of joy, no matter how dark the days you’re facing now.
I’d love to know how you get through the dark times and find a way to bloom. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
While My Soldier Serves
By Edie Melson
Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.
In this book you’ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. They’re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.
LINK TO AMAZON:http://www.amazon.com/While-
This is one of the most timely books I've ever featured here at Journeys To Joy. I'm in the process of writing a Wounded Warrior story after months of research and interviews with those living the WOUNDED WARRIOR LIFE.
Thank you, Edie for your article here, your candidness about your personal experience as a military mom, and for rearing your son to become one of our own AMERICAN HEROES.
I'm praying for God's richest blessings for you and your family!
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