When my son was assigned to Korea, for the life of me, I couldn't pray for God's will to be done.
Posted in , Jun 30, 2015
Today’s guest blogger is military mom Tammy Van Gils who writes about struggling with God's will when her son was deployed to Korea.
Every day American military personnel leave their homes, families and our country to serve somewhere in the world. I didn't grow up in a military family or marry a service person, so I couldn't begin to imagine how difficult preparing for that departure must be until my son joined the U.S Air Force in 2003. Five years later he received orders in 2008 to serve a year in Korea. And my quandary began.
At first, I joked that I wouldn’t sign his permission slip to go. Korea's on the other side of the world. I never thought I'd have to add 14 hours to my time zone to figure out what time his clock reflected.
I started praying, "Lord, please take this cup away. Have these orders rescinded. Have the mission over there come to a stop before he has to report. Help me to win the lottery, and maybe I can buy out the remainder of his military contract. I don't care how, Lord. Just take this cup away."
I learned early in life to always pray, "according to Your will, Lord."
But for the life of me, I couldn't pray that for my son's upcoming assignment. I tried over and over but just couldn't. Tears flowed. And again I'd be begging for Him to take this cup away. I asked my close friends to pray for me to accept His will.
And then as his departure drew close, I became disappointed that God didn't intervene. Hadn't He heard my prayers? Doesn't He know the despair of my heart? No acceptance on my part. No peace.
The night before he left was the hardest. His father and I had heavy hearts trying to imagine how his family felt. I placed a single night light in his old bedroom window and prayed. Hard. "Lord, take care of him and his family. Keep him safe. You know, Korea is a long way from his home."
I still could not pray "according to Your will, Lord." No peace, just tears.
Over the next few days, my prayers changed until…
"I do trust you, Lord. I know Your timing is perfect. I know Your grace and mercy are endless. I know You love me. I remember Your faithfulness to my family in the past. I believe in You and …Your perfect will. Have Your way in our lives, Lord. Not my will, but according to Your will."
Peace rose within me like steam from hot, yeast rolls. His fragrant peace. Perfect and on time.
Gratefully, my son returned home. And later when deployment loomed again, I prayed for that cup to pass too. Thankfully, I could pray for God's will to be done.
There are times in life when the only way to manage is through prayer. Openly bearing your soul to the One and Only who can truly understand the depth of love for a son or daughter.
After all, He's the one who loves deeper, wider and higher.