I realize that military spouses are not a monolithic group of folks. We come from all walks of lives, have different religious affiliations and hold varying political opinions. However, I have heard from a lot of you who consider your faith to be an essential part of your lives, especially during deployments, so some of you may be interested in this story:
This morning, I received an email from someone who pointed me to a new, "special-edition" Bible "Finding Hope Beyond the Battle," which combines biblical scripture with true stories from military spouses.
A lot of military spouses in Colorado Springs know this as gospel truth: It's not easy being left behind when a partner is deployed. When a family crisis arises, when a child gets sick, when the unexpected happens, it all falls on the person who stays at home. To help the people on the homefront cope, the Colorado Springs-based International Bible Society has come out with a special-edition Bible, "Finding Hope Beyond the Battle," which will be released next week. Besides the regular scriptures, the Bible includes the stories of 12 women and one man whose spouses are in the military. They write about their trust and faith in God, deployments, moves, marital stress, illness, fear and anger. Citations to biblical passages accompany each story. More than 55,000 of the Bibles (the NIV translation) will be distributed to chaplains in the military services, National Guard and reserves for distribution to family support groups. Individuals can also purchase it directly from the International Bible Society for $3.99 at ibsdirect.com or by calling 1-800-524-1588. "The idea is that service members might be in a physical battle far away, but the spouses and families left at home are fighting another kind of battle - raising kids, dealing with finances, being both mother and father," says retired Army Col. Chuck Adams, who is now the International Bible Society's director of military ministry. Contributing editor Cindy Brown, whose husband is with U.S. Northern Command, used her military friendships to find spouses to tell their stories. The authors are identified only by first names, so they "could pour their hearts out," she says. The stories include one woman's breast cancer fight, another's miscarriage, a dad who has to be "Mr. Mom" and a woman who, after her husband was killed in Iraq, eventually married another soldier.
Interesting. I'm going to order one of these and check it out. I'll write about it after I read the featured milspouse stories.
I know that many churches have military ministries, or at least a team of folks who are designated to look after their military members. My old church established a contact number that military spouses with deployed husbands/wives could call if they needed someone to fix a running toilet, cut the grass, shovel snow, watch the kids, etc.. It was great to know that such a resource was available, even though I didn't use it when that nasty creature came calling.