Good morning, Trench Dwellers!
For those who celebrated Easter, I hope it was a time of relaxation, family fun, and lots of sugar.
Did you get a chance to read Missy's stories from last week? She shared two stories of how she got through it all with faith, prayer, and strength. Read the stories on the blog or find links below. This week, we continue our series, Through It All, as Amelia (one of our editors) and her husband, Paul. share about his deployments to Iraq. They offer rarely spoken glimpses into the mindset of a soldier and the aftermath of when he comes home.
One of our main objectives at Stories from the Trenches is to connect you with others who are going through the same trench as you are—so that those a few steps ahead in the trench can offer encouragement, wisdom, and a helping hand. In our hope to further these connections, under each story, we offer a conversation prompt to help you engage with the author and with other readers. You are welcome to reply to that prompt or start your own discussion in the comments or the forums.
If you would like to share your own trench story, get started on the Submit a Story page, where we also list monthly topic suggestions. We have already planned for the coming summer months and would love for you to share!
Founder, Stories from the Trenches
In April 2012, on the day after Easter, I waddled pregnant with Eli into my OB's office. It was at this appointment when the words "something is wrong" were first uttered. Easter is when my internal countdown of his life to his death begins, so I'm pretty lackluster about Easter, candy, and traditions.
The ticking of the clock is so loud that I can't seem to make plans, so I'm sure grateful for friends and family who aren't lack—the ones who invite us over to hunt eggs and feed us deliciousness when I don't want to get out of bed, let alone cook. I'm grateful for friends and family who make the weekend fun for my girls even when I can't. I hope during your weekend celebrations that you too were shown love, hospitality, and grace.
A New Door of Compassion
Buddy, my shiny, eight-year-old black lab, looked up at me with big, puppy-dog eyes. I grabbed his soft fur and caressed his neck, as my hands stopped at a lump on his neck. My stomach fell ten feet below my toes. I knew this was not a good sign. When we arrived at the vet, I prepared myself for the words I knew I would hear.
Looking Back in the Mirror
I stared into a mirror smudged full of lipstick kisses and mascara blots, looking at the new me. The woman I had been, so sure of her image and beauty, suddenly seemed shockingly distant. Sharp, pointed strands of blonde hair landed alongside my jaw as I tried to apply extra mascara to make up for my lost sense of self. I sat. And stared. Thousands of thoughts whirled through my brain as I tried to make sense of this new life.