War is a Part of Life

The deployment of Outreach Ministries blogger Edie Melson's son Jimmy

War is a part of life. As I write these words, my heart is heavy, but I cannot deny that truth. While many experience the physical side of war from a distance, others of us experience it on a more personal level–through loved ones deployed around the world.

I’ve been where you are. I know what it’s like to lie awake at night, fighting the fear that threatens to engulf our hearts. I’ve sent my son off to war twice, and I know the battles faced when a loved one deploys. Our son was in high school when he felt God’s call to serve in the military. While other kids were deciding which college to attend and what major to choose, he was choosing his specialty as a soldier.

I remember that graduate recognition Sunday. As each high school senior crossed the stage to receive a Bible, a picture flashed on the screen along with the college they’d attend in the fall and a favorite Bible verse. Instead of college, I watched through a haze of tears as United States Marine Corps flashed over his picture, along with Jeremiah 29:11. In my heart I had to ask God if his "best plans" really included time in war-ravaged Iraq.

Here at home we may not face a physical enemy, but we do face a spiritual one. His name is Fear, and he is a frightening adversary, but one we can conquer. I know because I have walked through that dark valley and God has brought us all triumphant out the other side. That triumph doesn’t always look like we think it should, but it’s there all the same. And looking back, I can assure you that yes, God did have his best planned for my son. I can assure you that he also has the best planned for your soldier.

I look forward to sharing your stories as we come together to support our soldiers while they serve.