Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Battlefield

     After receiving the phone call from Jeremiah that he had been hit by two IED's, my mind was in a bit of an unstable place.  I wanted to share what it was like to experience this but I also wanted to make sure it was okay with Jeremiah before I posted these stories for the world to see.  So, when I asked him if it was okay if I blogged about the happenings of the past few days he said it was fine and that if I wanted to write about what was going on with him I should also add to it a sniper tried to shoot him in the head.  Looking back, I realize this was a dumb question, but at the time I asked, "How did you know he was trying to shoot you in the head?"  He proceeded to tell me that he was the only one laying in thge middle of the road working on a bomb when a bullet landed right by his helmet.  He tells me things like this like they are no big deal, and strangely enough, my reaction is just the same.  At times, we try to make light of the situation, maybe even with a joke or two, just to keep our sanity, even though we both completely know the reality that we are facing day in and day out.  So, throughout the next couple days, I just kept praying for God to continue to give me His grace and strength, and without hesitation, that is exactly what He did.  A few days after the phone call, I was standing at the bathroom sink washing my face, getting ready for bed.  As I closed my eyes and splashed the warm water on my face, God filled my mind with a vision, not just a little fleeting thought, but a strong, beautiful image that I hope will be forever engraved into my mind. 
     The land was desolate, no grass, no buildings- just dry, dusty, rocky brown soil.  Jeremiah was in full uniform laying on the ground, in deep concentration, working on diffusing an IED.  He wasn't at all aware of what was going on around him.  The whole scene, even though it was in a desolate land, was filled with this warm, golden light.  While he was lying there, these huge angels with tan skin, strong arms and massive white feathery wings were in battle all around him.  Some had spears and were fighting an unseen enemy.  And in the midst of the battle, one of the angels lunged forward with an outstretched arm, to catch another angel which was falling backwards limp.  He had just taken a bullet to the chest. The image transformed from an action scene to a still picture, frozen in time.    
     I rinsed the soap from my face and grabbed the towl to dry.  Refreshed, not by the water, but by my loving Father God.  I am so grateful for His strength, and that He knows exactly what we need when we need it. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Are You Sitting Down?

     Jeremiah has been in Afghanistan for a couple of months now and life back here on the homefront has been nothing short of extremely busy.  I have been wanting to blog but there are so many things  I have to be careful of when my husband is deployed;  I would not want to accidentally say something about where he is or what he is doing, or where he is going that could potentially get him into trouble or lead him into harms way.  Since he has been gone, we have welcomed our second baby boy, Asher Jeremiah Cartwright, into the world, and my mom and I have started a new company called Trinkets.  We do trunk shows full of fun and trendy costume jewelry and other accessories.  I will write more about these happenings later, but for today, I will tell you about one conversation I will never forget.
     It was a warm Saturday morning and we had all just finished up breakfast on the back deck when the phone rang.  It was Jeremiah calling from Afghanistan.  It is always such a relief to hear his voice but this particular morning, there was something different about it.  Between trying to bounce Asher and keep him from crying in my arms and the static on the phone, I vaguely heard Jeremiah say, "Are you sitting down?"   I thought to myself, "Either he is going to tell me something really good or really bad,"  I just wasn't sure which it was going to be.  So, I sat down on the couch, still trying to calm Asher down when Jeremiah told me he had been blown up twice by two IED's that day.  My heart sank, and after thinking, "Okay, you're talking. This is a good thing."  My mind, in a matter of moments, raced through how my life may quickly be turned upside down.  I wondered if he had his hands and legs.  Would he be able to walk or would he be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, or was he calling me from a hospital bed, knowing he might not make it at all?  I quickly got up and trying to hold myself together took Asher to my mom so I could more easily focus on my conversation with Jeremiah.  Nervously, I asked him if he was okay, and thankfully, he said, "Yes.  I am having a little trouble with my vision, but the doctor said it should return to normal in a couple of days."  With my heart about to beat out of my chest, I felt the lump in my throat slowly begin to dissolve.  The IED threw him about 10 feet, but thankfully he was only left with temporary vision problems, a concussion, and an achy body.  I have known he has been in an "active" environment, but that was a little close for comfort. 
     As I got off the phone, I continued to replay the conversation over and over in my mind, recognizing just how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye.  I am so thankful for God's protection on Jeremiah's life.  I know that while he is fighting one battle over there, we will have a whole new set to battle when he comes home.  Fortunately we serve a God who loves us and doesn't leave us to fight the battles by ourselves.  As each day passes, I feel I have a little better understanding of God's grace, not just for my salvation, but His grace for my everyday life.