A real friend sticks closer than a brother...............

Last year at this time, my second son Josh was serving in Afghanistan, 9 months into a very tough deployment. We (my prayer warrior girlfriends, & my family) spent a lot of time on our knees begging God to protect our boys as they fought an evil enemy. A closeness developed between so many.  We knew that in our helplessness, we could only depend on God’s plan and protection.

Something I never did realize was that during my son’s time stateside, he was building bonds with young men that will probably last a lifetime as well! You see, when you live together, sleep together, suffer together, have fun together, worry together, cry and laugh together, pray together and fight one another, you start to develop a bond. You learn to trust one another, to watch out for your brother. You learn that most of your brothers got your back when you’re not lookin. You learn that you really do love each other. And a lot of these guys  love each other. They were preparing for hell on earth before their deployment. And they faced this ugly reality with courage, faith, and family. I can never imagine having even a millionth of the courage that I see most of these young men display. I personally think they are book worthy- each young man has an amazing story to tell.

I have recently pulled out some old prayers from my journal during that difficult year, and I’ve been in awe at how God worked in all our lives. He was quite busy, but our needs and prayers are never too much for God to handle!. I was broken at the remembrance of those who died over there, those who were hurt, and for those who will never be the same. God is so reassuring that He is the great Healer, and I ask you to pray for all of our young men serving. Many may look ‘whole’, but inside they are hurting more than you can imagine. Looking over those entries I can see how God was not only here with me and my family, comforting us, and giving us courage and faith. He was right there with Josh, and all of his buddies- helping them fight a battle valiantly. You could never imagine what kind of heroes we have walking among us- they will never tell you.

I want to tell you, I want you to know how special each and every one of these boys are, how much so many people prayed for them and supported them through various projects and gifts! I wish I could tell you every amazing, impossible story that I’ve heard. I wish that you could see the amazing heroes that I see, with a life story behind every sweet face! I want you to know them all personally, and I want you to love them and pray for them constantly!

Our family feels a special connection with two very special young men who had our sons back in so many ways, they were like big brothers to him while he was on post, preparing for battle. And, when the dreaded day arrived, on the battlefield- they looked out for him, as he did for them. I am sure that many days Sam, Adam, and Josh were directed by the very hand of God, and saved each others lives, and the lives of many others.  There are many things that these young men will hold to the grave. No one else will hear the tales of bravery, fear, despair, grief, pride, and relief that they experienced moment to moment.

Please pray for our servicemen and women- they need it today, tomorrow, and always. Don’t stop praying for them. Even though my boy is home, there are so many who are not, and many who are going back yet again.

To Adam and  Sam - I love you boys- My kids have 2 extra brothers now, and I am so proud of you, and love you like my own. I am able to spend time with my son, because he has friends who love him like a brother.  I'm so thankful for Christ's example to us, for He is the ultimate friend who sticks closer than a brother.