Welcome to Hearts Deployed

Welcome to Hearts Deployed, a blog for the loved ones of Service Members in a combat zone. Please feel free to leave a comment or request and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. Our hope is to encourage, support and inform you as much as we are able. We’ll be on a journey together.

Guest bloggers who have been down this road before will be around, too. People who understand where you are and who really ‘get it.’ There will be a resource list and links to other websites, articles, and information.

Please join the journey. We have  a lot of ground to cover, and we can do it together!

Posted in Army 101, Battle mind, Deployment Cycle, Encouragement, Family preparation, Fasting Friday, Information, Prayer, Protection, PTSD, R&R, Rattled, Soldier's Stories | Leave a comment

Wounded in Combat: Finding the Way Through

     It has been more than two years since I last posted. We’ve come through the white water of my son’s medical evacuation from Afghanistan, his resultant surgery, and a long recuperation. Two intercontinental moves, transition out of the Service, a painfully slow connection with the VA, and a final step into civilian life has brought us to this place. There has been a lot of waiting and wrestling in between, but God’s grace and faithfulness has been evident through it all.

     When I use words like God’s faithfulness and grace I don’t mean it as a trite phrase that masks denial or as empty religious clap-trap. I mean it as evidence of the relationship we can have with a God who is as close as our breath, who answers when we call, who walks with us every step of the way.

     It never means that bad things won’t happen, or if they do it is because we are unloved or unworthy. The harshness of a fallen world impacts us all.

     It does mean God is with us through everything, that He is trustworthy, and that He will give us the strength, direction, grace, and peace we need when we need it.

     All we have to do is ask.

     And keep on asking, keep on choosing to trust, keep on reminding ourselves of the promises available in the Word of God. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

     But remaining in this place of emotional provision doesn’t just happen. It requires an intentional, daily focus.

     It also requires a determination to KEEP MOVING FORWARD, and that comes with its own challenges. It means letting go of what hinders us from forward motion. All the wind in the world won’t move our sailing ship forward if the anchor is still out.

     Our anchors might be the ‘what ifs,’ the blaming, the anger, the death of dreams, or (fill in the blank). When we recognize things that keep our emotional and spiritual lives hindered, it might be time to pull up those anchors so we can move ahead again. 

      That choice can allow the forgiveness, or at least the decision to be willing to forgive, that allows God to begin working the reality in our hearts. That can be a battle all its own.

     Who was responsible for my son’s injury? The Afghan people? The poor command decision? That list could become endless, and the bitterness that trails behind that kind of thinking brings death to our souls.

      But this battle for our very hearts is worth the fight to win, this battle in our inner self. It creates a forward motion all its own and it carries eternal consequences. The prize that makes it all worth it? The peace that passes all understanding.

     My son has returned to the same dangerous place but in a different capacity, having shed the responsibilities an EOD team leader carries. This deployment is more bearable for us all because of that, and we are thankful.  We, as a family, have made the decision to keep moving forward and we are better because of it. We will all live to fight another day, in the way each of us is called to. For me it is on my knees.

     Is there something you face that keeps you from moving forward? If you need a sounding board, we at Hearts Deployed are here. You can reach me at kris@heartsdeployed.com. 

God bless and keep you, God make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.

In His love,

Kris

 

 

 

 

 

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Art Therapy: It’s Hopes and Triumphs

This link was sent to me by an art teacher who has a huge heart for our military. Wonderful information, and a great hope for healing.

http://www.arttherapy.org/upload/file/RMveteransPTSD.pdf

Standing with you.

~Kris

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Thankfulness: The wisdom of a 108 year old woman survivor of a Nazi concentration camp – YouTube

 

 

Anthony Robbins interviewing 108 year old woman survivor of a Nazi concentration camp – YouTube.

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When where you are is waiting…

When you are in the place where all you can do is wait, when you have no news for days or weeks, when CNN shouts and newspapers broil, know this:

God is where you cannot be, with your loved one. He is tracking every step, every turn, every heartbeat. And He loves them more than you do.

He is your place of rest. When you lie down at night, put your Bible–His love letters to us–on your chest and know that He who watches over your loved one neither slumbers nor sleeps. He will be the night guard.

He will carry your anguish and concern. Pour it out to Him. Turn the angst into prayer. Pray as hundreds of generations have–through Psalms that put words to our fear, our anger, our frustration, and our loneliness.

Call your friends for prayer. They will understand and support. Reach out and allow them a part in the great mystery and joy of community. Let them help bear the burdens you carry. They will.

Walking with you,

Kris

 

 

 

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A question asked by Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman of keen perception and leadership. Her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was president of the United States through much of the Great Depression and World War II. Many historians give her credit for her quiet, behind the scenes leadership of our nation during her husband’s illness.

As the battles raged in Europe, she penned these lines:

Lest I keep my complacent way,

I must remember

Somewhere out there

A person died for me today.

As long as there must be war,

I ask and I must answer:

Was I worth dying for? ~

Eleanor Roosevelt

The quote above tells us of her heart for those who served in battle, and for her sense of personal responsibility for their sacrifice. Both my parents served in World War II–my mother as an A&P mechanic at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, VA, and my father as a tail gunner in a B-26. My sister served as an Army nurse during the Vietnam war. Prompted by a cousin’s service as a Green Beret, I organized my grade school to send cookies and letters to the soldiers being sent into that country.

My service now is a bit different. I’m a mother of a deployed Soldier, and a volunteer chaplain. Last year I went into Afghanistan with a community development organization. These kind of works are what will allow any strides we make on behalf of that nation and the peace of the world to remain constant. Without their work all our Service Members and their families sacrifices could amount to little.

This is the front on which I choose to serve. And here are some of the reasons why.

Orphans need families

A generation needs education

Girls, too!

Widows need help and hope

A war-weary land needs joy

Want to help?

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Monday Manna: Our God is a God who saves…

As we enter a new week, remember that the Word of God is a sword, a weapon that strengthens and protects those in danger. Lets sing over our soldiers and declare His Word over them!

Our God is a God who saves:

from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death…

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,

sing praise to the LORD,

to him who rides the ancient skies above,

who thunders with mighty voice.

Proclaim the power of God

whose majesty is over Israel,

whose power is in the skies.

You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary;

the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

Ps. 68:20, 32-35

May your hearts be blessed this week as well. Rest in Him, be busy with the tasks He places in front of you, and find the strength you need in His love letters to you, His Word.

In Him,

Kris

A word from Queen Elizabeth II

A word from Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

 

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Prayer and Fasting Friday: He trains my hands for war…

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,

who trains my hands for war,

my fingers for battle.

He is my loving God and my fortress,

my stronghold and my deliverer,

my shield, in whom I take refuge,

who subdues peoples under me…

Reach down your hand from on high;

deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters,

from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies

whose right hands are deceitful.

Psalm 144: 1-2, 7-8

Lord, we thank you for keeping our Service Members safe. We ask that their training serve them well and without mistake. We pray that they respond automatically and with the courage that comes from being other centered and trusting in you whatever comes.

Be their stronghold and their refuge. Hide them from the enemy’s sight, give them cover when they need it. Give them restful and restorative sleep. Keep them healthy as they go about their routines. Guide their thoughts and attitudes that their hearts remain balanced in the midst of war.

We thank you for experiences of your faithfulness, especially when things are hard. Cover and protect our troops throughout their deployments, and prepare their hearts for their return to those who love them.

Lord, protect the innocent in the nations where they serve. Give our troops the balance they need and the discernment that will protect them. Give them favor with village elders and those who have information that will help them be effective.

May those who bring chaos and oppression have no place to rest. Deliver the people from their tormentors, and protect those who go to help in these treacherous times and places.

We thank you for reports of mortars and rpg’s that don’t explode. We pray for continued evidence of your miraculous escapes from death.

For those who are injured we pray comfort, healing, and strength as they recuperate. Keep their families strong and supportive, and let them know that you are the one who answers when we call.

For those of us who wait, help us be faithful in prayer. Show us how to war on our knees against the spiritual wickedness in high places. We thank you, Lord of Hosts, for being with us during the long days and nights of separation. Help us be faithful in our call.

In Jesus’ matchless name. Amen.

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Monday Manna: Encouragement for the Coming Week

God’s Word is what sustains me. Sticky notes with invaluable reminders of God’s love and faithfulness are plastered on the bathroom mirror, the dashboard of the car, the refrigerator and the door frame. New verses are printed on the whiteboard at work, a ready reminder throughout the day.

The more I see, the deeper it goes. It builds courage, love, faith, forgiveness, and peace. The attributes of God’s character havbecome mine as I submit to the silent witness of His love letters to us.

Those reminders give God something to work with as He draws me closer and teaches me more about Himself.

As we walk through this week together, may your trust in God grow. He knows the future, He is the one in whom we can rest, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, whaever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things…And the god of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9


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Prayer and Fasting Friday: On Purpose

We come to you, Lord, this day, on purpose. We come with fears and requests for protection for our loved ones in harm’s way. We ask for protection for our families. We ask that you hold us all in integrity, keep us close to one another across the distance. Keep us close to you, because you are what holds us together.

Protect our service members, Lord. Surround them with your impenetrable might. Give them direction, guide each step, and bring them home safe and sound. Keep them in your love and purpose. Bring them the information they need to do their jobs, and give them a heart for the people they serve.

Help us at home. Bring peace to our hearts and the hearts of our children. We give our imaginings to you, Lord, Author and Finisher of our faith. We choose to trust you for all we need, and thank you that you are with us and will never leave us or forsake us.

In Jesus’ mighty name we pray.

Amen.

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Prayer and Fasting Friday: Those who are with us are more…

Elisha was a man whose experience with God gave him peace and direction when he was surrounded by an enemy army. This story can be found in 2 Kings 6:8-23. It was written as a reminder to trust God for strategies and strength in dangerous situations.

Beginning at 2 Kings 6:13 in the NIV:

“Go, find out where he [Elisha] is,” the [enemy] king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet [Elisha] answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, “Strike these people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked…”

Lord, may we and our service members know that “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Open the eyes of our loved ones to the ‘chariots of fire’ that surround them. Give them strategies and weapons more powerful than the weapons of this world.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 2 Cor. 10:4 KJV

Pull down the strongholds, Lord, of oppression and violence, so Your Kingdom of peace may come to the war torn peoples of the world. Protect our loved ones and the innocent in the land. Protect those who want to be left alone to live their lives in peace, the women and children, the elderly and infirm. May they know You as Savior and Deliverer. Amen.

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