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Finding a Thankful Attitude During Deployment

Finding gratitude in difficult situations

Gratitude during deployment

Here we are again in the wonderful month of November when all hearts and minds turn to gratitude and thanksgiving. Truthfully though, being thankful can be hard.

It was for me when our son was deployed during the holidays. Knowing he was half a world away in a potentially dangerous and uncomfortable situation left me feeling anything but thankful. I was frustrated, scared and grumpy. I didn’t even want to try being thankful. All I wanted was my son back home, safe and sound. 

When I finally took my feelings to God, He didn’t condemn me as I half expected. Instead, He led me to people and reminded me of things that helped change my perspective. As a result, I was able to view our situation from a different—more thankful—angle. Here are three things I realized:

1.  My son was following the path he’d chosen and was excelling in it. Yes, deployments are difficult, but they’re also huge growth experiences for our military personnel.

2.  I had it easy compared to military moms in past conflicts. Communication with our military members now is so much easier. We have the ability to speak to them on the phone, over the Internet and even communicate through social media.

3.  My faith grew. I don’t know about you, but I seldom enjoy the growth process. Stretching my faith during deployments was uncomfortable, but also an incredible blessing.

Through those difficult times, I learned that it is indeed possible to always give thanks—even when we don’t initially feel like it.

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (1 Chronicles 16:34, NASB)

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