The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.
- Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
During our son’s time in the military, I had to fight against isolating myself. It was a battle that I didn’t always finish well.
One particular day, I found myself flipping through the television channels and happened on a wildlife show, something I love to watch. Growing up, National Geographic magazines dotted the landscape of my parents’ home. The animals I liked best were the big cats, especially lions and tigers.
The footage I saw was shot from a helicopter, and the narrator informed us we were watching a tiger hunting. I watched as she approached a herd of grazing deer and crouched in the grass, with only the tip of her tail twitching in the wind.
Without apparent reason, she suddenly charged at the herd, scattering the grazing animals before her. Most took off in the same direction, but one stumbled slightly and veered to the left of the main herd. The tiger singled him out in an instant, immediately coming between him and the group. The frantic deer began to run from the tiger, but the outcome was inevitable. Without the strength of the herd, he was no match for the tiger’s strength and cunning.
I flipped off the television and considered what I’d just witnessed. Earlier that morning I’d read this passage in I Peter and it nagged at me now. Was I like that deer, cut off, vulnerable to Satan’s attack?
Ever since Jimmy had left on deployment, I’d spent more and more time at home. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’d let the thought creep in that I shouldn’t be enjoying life while he was suffering the hardships of war. That withdrawal had cut me off from my support system of friends and family. It had made me vulnerable to the feelings of fear and bitterness.
I knew it was time to rejoin the world. Sitting around feeling sorry for myself and worrying about Jimmy wasn’t going to help anyone.
Is it time for you to regain your place in the world?
Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. Look for her two newest books for military families debuting in 2014: While My Son Serves and While My Husband Serves. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.