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Dear Luke

When my kids were small and I was feeling sad, they knew it. Unable to comprehend what I was going through because they were just kids and I was a grown-up going through grown-up things and not knowing what to say, they simply held my hand. It was enough.

I remembered that today when I read the post of a dear, life-long friend pleading for Facebook support and encouragement for her husband, a strong, brave, godly man whom my family and I respect and admire for many things AND his military service. According to her post, our friend is nearing the end of his long deployment and wearing thin, working sixteen-hour days and missing his family more than those of us who have never experienced long-term separation can possibly imagine.

When I read her post, my heart hurt because I knew that I should have done a better job all along of supporting him—and supporting her—with my words. It’s just that I never knew what to say. It sounds like a weak excuse, and it is. But, you see, he’s an American soldier doing brave and noble things, and I’m just a civilian with no military experience whatsoever. I have no frame of reference for what our friend and his family are going through, no informed opinion, no advice to offer, and so I’ve kept silent because I felt silly and small. That was wrong.

So, to Luke (and all of the other brave men and women fighting for our freedom), let me say that we love you. We admire you. We appreciate you. We miss you for your family and speak of you often. We are very proud to know you and call you our friend. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you are doing over there and for the sacrifice that you are making so we can live safe lives and worship as we please. We don’t take it for granted. We pray for you often, friend, and hold you in our hearts. We just hope that is enough!

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