I had so many files in my container, that I had to buy a second container. I finally sat down the other night to sort through all of them and came across the last pieces of my ex that I have left (besides two owls my mom knitted for me to represent the two of us…I can’t throw that away because my mom worked so hard on them). They’re love letters, letters he wrote while gone for the first time at military training. Here’s a portion of one of them postmarked March 20th, 2013.
Every single day I think about you, every single day I think about coming home and being with you. It gets hard some days but at the end of it all I know the Lord has me here for a reason, and my spiritual growth has been a testament to that. You are truly a Godly, Christ-centered, patient, beautiful and one of a kind girlfriend. Your happiness is more important to me than you will ever know. I want you to be as happy, as joyful, as cheerful as you can be, to the best of the ability christ bestows upon me. I want you to know, your imagination cannot fathom how much I love you. How joyful you make me. I want you to know that no matter what happens, as long as you want me in your life, I will be there.
I read these and cried. I cried for a long time. As I was reading them I could see over time the PTSD kick in. No longer was I called, “Sweetheart” or “Babe”. It became, “Hi *first name*”. The letters were full of misery and bitterness. I can see through his writings that he thought coming home and seeing me would make everything better, but that wasn’t necessarily true. What he needed was counseling, which wasn’t what he pursued first coming home. In fact, he was in denial of it all. He stayed up late nights and drank with his new friends to make the misery go away. He slept for hours on end in the day and experienced a depression that no one could understand but himself.
I look back on the years spent going back and forth on deployments and departures and I’m amazed at how God kept us together the whole time, faithfully. He was good in that. He was good in demonstrating His faithfulness to us and for showing us what real love is. He showed us what to do, and what not to do. He showed us clearly when it was time to let go.
I look back and I see His goodness. I see His goodness in taking care of the both of us at exactly the right time. We both needed Him. We both still need Him and I pray that we both pursue God and are faithful in that till our last breath here on Earth.