My best friend and hero has always been my husband — an amazing, selfless man who has served our country for 16 years.
But my battle buddies in this military life are the women who have held my hand — and my head up — through much of it. The ones I’ve speed dated and stalked and thanked God for along the way.
Sisters like my friend Kiersten.
I met Kiersten when my husband and I were stationed in Washington. After one double date with her husband — a man she’d been married to for 10 years but still kissed like he’d proposed yesterday — I convinced my husband to buy a house less than a mile down the street.
As our soldiers deployed together throughout the next three years, that mile was well worn by the potluck trips and playdates Kiersten organized to keep our attitude positive on the homefront. And sometimes, it was seasoned with tears.
The day after our husbands deployed the second time, we found ourselves pregnant together — I with our second, Kiersten with their fourth. But at eight weeks of pregnancy, my body went into labor and I delivered our precious angel 32 weeks too early.
It was Kiersten, while my husband was at war, who showed up at my doorstep at 9 p.m. the night I miscarried our second child.
It was Kiersten who gingerly removed that baby from the toilet and placed him in a tiny make-shift box.
And it was Kiersten who arrived with flowers and silent comfort to help me bury that baby the very next day.
When the rugged hand of the man I loved was busy serving others abroad, God provided the hand of a selfless woman who refused to let go — not in death, and not even in life.
Because it was Kiersten who, exactly one year to the month later, rushed me to the hospital when my water broke the day before my husband returned from Deployment No. 4.
It was Kiersten who held my hand through a 15-minute, fast-and-furious delivery.
And it was Kiersten who held the tiny hands of our precious second son as she cut his umbilical cord and placed his hands in mine.
In a perfect circle only God could complete, the same hands that comforted me in death were also the ones that delivered to me new life.
My sweet soldier’s hands haven’t always been physically available; but God’s, through the precious touch of Kiersten and many other military sisters, always are.
To read this modified devotional in full and others like it, check out Jocelyn Green’s “Stories of Faith and Courage from the Homefront.”