My 90 days here at Ft Jackson are almost done. Just a couple days and I’ll get to be home. It has been a long summer, and I’ve enjoyed my time here. Some days have been hard, trying to wrap my head around this type of ministry. It’s physically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging. But I’ve gotten thru it and I’ve learned some things that will help me out in my civilian ministry as well.
Being here has taken on its own normalcy, though. I’ve been here just long enough that the day in/ day out has taken on the seemingly commonplace. I expect things to occur that I never would have thought of as normal. I expect to hear bugles at certain times of the day. I expect to salute and be saluted. I expect to say “hooah” any time I agree. My internal clock is set to run on Army Training time.
Heather and the girls are now down with me for this final week. They came down on Friday and will be here thru my graduation this coming Friday. Heather and I had a conversation about me coming home the other night. I heard the bugle call at night and I mentioned that I would miss hearing those bugles. We started talking and I mentioned how weird it would be for me to be home, that this had become normal. I mentioned how much I was looking forward to being home.
Heather went a different way. She mentioned how hard it would be for her to readjust to me being home. She was used to parenting alone. She was glad I’d be back to be a part of it, to be another voice, but it would be an adjustment for her, as well.
Getting back to normal sounds so nice. But to get back there, we both would have to readjust from what had become normal. It’s like a bone being broken to be reset so it can heal properly. The scar will remain, and we’ll have to get used to how it’s effected by the weather, but hopefully this time apart has made us stronger. I’m certain it has.
I would never compare my time in FT Jackson to a time of being deployed, but it has had its moments. This feeling of readjustment can’t be too far off, though. I can’t wait to be back home, to have some things return to the way they were, but it never really is going to. This training has helped me to be a better chaplain, and it will no doubt have a positive impact on me in my ministry. Hopefully, its helped me to be a better husband and father than I was. Mission First, Family Always.