by Terri Owens Blanchard
The letter did not say that my husband’s request for retirement from the Army was approved. Instead it read, “You are ordered to report for mobilization…for combat support…for 400 days. Purpose: Iraqi Freedom.” As my heart dropped to my stomach, I thought, “Oh no, this cannot happen.” I just couldn’t bear my husband leaving me for 400 days to go to a war zone! I begged God to please make a way for him to get out of the deployment. I pleaded to God not to send my husband away. I wanted my husband home. Somewhere amidst all my begging and pleading though, God showed me that this was not about what I wanted but was about what He wanted. God had a purpose and a plan and I was going to learn it.
As I was crying out to God one day, He reminded me of when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before He was to go to the cross. “He went a little farther and bowed His face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39 NLT). I sat silently as these words penetrated my heart. I was being asked to “go a little farther,” to a place of surrender. To completely surrender my wants to the Father’s plan.
Well, the day finally came to say good bye to my husband. I cried so hard. I felt like I was dying inside. I cried, cried, and cried some more. For days and weeks I cried. Interrupting my pity party, there was a women’s conference at church. I went and it seemed that she was there just to speak to me (of course I cried through this, too). Everything she said encouraged me to seek to know God on a deeper level, “to go a little farther.” So I did. For an entire year I sought to know Him more. By the time my husband came home (hallelujah!!) God had changed me. I was a new woman! Had my husband stayed home, I don’t believe those changes would have happened.
The truth I learned about Good Friday is that sometimes God has a greater purpose and plan for us on the other side of our suffering. I learned this by looking at what Jesus went through. From the Garden where Jesus surrendered, to Golgotha where He suffered, to the Grave where He sacrificed His life, to the surprise of His resurrection on that “Glorious Day,” it was all to give us the Gift of Salvation.
So, the next time it feels like Friday, just remember…Sunday is coming!!!
“Glorious Day” by Casting Crowns
Terri Owens Blanchard is a wife, mother, and Mimi to her precious granddaughter. She is a Mary Kay Consultant, a small group leader to the Military Wives group, and an assistant small group coach. She loves to shop, travel, and shop as she travels! She also enjoys spending time with family, friends and her crazy pets.