Some day in the middle of March I woke up at 2:00am and moved toward Jeremy. I wrapped myself around him and thought, “I’m going to miss him in my bed.”
But, first, last October I received one of those emails about cheap round trip flights. I looked at it and saw that Jeremy and I could fly to Napa, CA roundtrip each for a total of $120. We could change the date without penalty. We originally thought we would go early December or maybe for the New Year but as those months approached we kept pushing the date back. Until we finally decided we could go for our 6 year wedding anniversary in April.
I couldn’t have known how perfect this timing would be.
In early March I was standing at our counter peeling vegetables and grabbing at hope as the sun made its descent. Jeremy came home and threw on his apron to help stir the veggies I was scattering into a saute pan. He was quiet and I knew he was trying to gently approach me with news I would not like.
“It looks like I will have to deploy for about three months.”
His assumption soon became a reality and before we knew it we were making plans for him to leave a few days after our anniversary for three months. This timing could not be worse. I was hustling to get a new Compassion Blog Trip under way and I was also still working on my book. We had loads of summer plans. Our lease was almost up and we were trying to figure out if we should stay or move…
I will never understand God’s timing. But I will always trust God. Because I have tasted. I have seen.
So our trip to Napa became an anniversary trip as well as a goodbye trip. I thought Napa would be fun but nothing to call home about. We’ve been all over the world together so I thought this would be one of those casual, quick experiences. But God surprised us with so much joy and so much love and so much fun.
Jeremy planned the whole trip. He had to help me pack because I had no details. “Do I need to bring a nice dress? Or just jeans and t-shirts? Heels? Or are flats ok?” Every morning of the trip I would wake-up and he presented me with the itinerary. This is especially unique because I am usually the trip planner. For most of our other trips I planned our days, not because Jeremy couldn’t or didn’t want to but because I knew exactly what to do and what to book and where we needed to make reservations.
Jeremy did not just find fun wineries for us to visit. He found places and events that were unique to my personality. The first day we went to a winery that had a kite flying event during lunch. Your ticket got you glasses of wine, a kite to fly, AND A HOT DOG! There was a hot dog stand and I nearly lost it. I love hot dogs. I have been judged for this. But this is who I am. So we ate our gourmet hotdogs and grabbed a glass of wine and a kite. We hiked to the top of the vineyard and overlooking gorgeous landscape we let our kites take flight.
Jeremy and I were actually the only ones there without kids. Although, Jeremy called ahead to make sure this was not just for children to which a response came, “Oh no, sir. We have couples without children come all the time! It’s for everyone of all ages.”
Jeremy’s kite happened to have the American flag on it. Right as his kite took to the sky a strong wind blew through and his kite literally took down all the kites of the children. The parents looked back at us and we all had a good laugh. We put his kite to the side and flew mine. As Jeremy helped me get my kite into the sky I felt wonder shoot back through me.
The trip had so many “Bri” things scheduled I could hardly believe it. There was the popcorn and wine tasting (I basically want to eat popcorn every night. Jeremy knows how strong the addiction is). Then there was a sensory food pairing. There was a restaurant that serves the best oysters (another deep love).
Jeremy would march me right up to the counters of the different places he picked and watched me as I talked to the chef or the server or the wine maker. I’d talk with the people standing next to me, behind me, in front of me…
Some people feel the pleasure of God when they run, or when they play music, or when they write…I most feel the pleasure of God when I am talking to, eating with, walking with His people. All of them. Everywhere.
If I ever questioned if Jeremy really knew me, or if he really sees me, this trip put an end to that. He tailor made a trip with me and all my joys in mind. He not only communicated to me, through this trip, how much he delights in me but he reminded me how much God delights in me.
Celebrating six years felt big. Our first year of marriage was some kind of amazing euphoria and I could not believe love and life could be so explosive (both for the good and bad). The other years were filled with moving three different states and five different homes. These years were filled with learning each other, and then realizing we misunderstood parts of each other – so we had to unlearn and then relearn each other. Every time we settled into a new home, we kind of had to resettle into each other too.
We came home from Napa and while I unpacked my bags, Jeremy began packing for his deployment.
When I tell my military friends that Jeremy is gone, the response is always the same, “Three months? Oh, that is not so bad. It will go by so quick.”
When I tell my civilian friends that Jeremy is gone I always get the same response, “THREE MONTHS?!!! That. Is. Awful. Are you going to be ok? What are you going to do?”
To be honest, I need to hear both responses. I need the calming reassurance that it is not so bad and I also need the room to feel the deep sorrow of being separated from Jeremy for 90 days.
I’m doing mostly ok. I keep myself distracted and busy. My sister is visiting! I have great friends in Hermosa! I keep turning to God with all my emotions and He keeps reminding me that He is here. That He sees. That He is good.
I am so grateful for a God who moves me out of my comfort zone so I can see more of Him. I’m so grateful for the Holy Spirit who reminds me to honor this journey God has for me. Not just the amazing parts of the journey, but the difficult parts too.