Wednesday afternoon, Jon and I were enjoying a leisurely lunch in our front room. He often comes home for lunch, but I hadn't expected it that day- what a welcomed surprise!
Then, it came. I don't even know how he told me, what he said- looking back, I remember the words "home for Christmas" and "bad news" mumbled together with something about August... he looked at me with that "I-have-something-to-tell-you-that-you-won't-like" look.
"I'm deploying in March."
"March 09?" I asked- this was a bit earlier than anticipated, but not much.
(Possibly February. We'll see.)
I stared at him in shock. And not the good kind of shock that I experienced when he told me we were going to Leonard Wood. But you know- I immediately had peace.
I started crying, and he asked me what I was thinking-
"It's only 6 months," I said. "You're leaving in 2008 AND coming home in 2008? I can handle that!"
Believe me, I'm far from happy about this. I have experienced several waves of emotion over the past few days, and I'm sure they will only grow more intense. But really, right now, it's okay. Most of my friends are going through 15-month deployments right now, and Soph will still only be 8 or 9 months old when he gets back. Plus, he will more than likely be in a much safer place this time than last. How could I complain about that?
There is a battalion whose chaplain had to come home for medical reasons, so Jon is replacing him- hence the abbreviated tour. Jon excels at battalion ministry (well, he excels at most things he does, but he misses being in a battalion), and we are both excited about the opportunities this will bring.
People have asked if this is "for real"- the Army has changed its mind regarding Jon so much that y'all are learning not to trust it! :-) In my experience, Uncle Sam will retract good news- rarely bad. So, yep, this is pretty "for real."
Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for this next leg of our journey...