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Why God Sent Me to Iraq

April 13, 2012

(On April 1st, 2008 I disembarked a C-130 and set foot in Iraq for a 10 month deploment with the 2/153rd Infantry Battalion, Arkansas Army National Guard. Militarily speaking, my tour was uneventful. But after some turmoil on the home front, I took to writing as a way to cope with those things that were beyond my control. I have two pieces that I wrote back then and I never really shared them with anyone outside of my close circle of family and friends.)

Why God Sent Me to Iraq,

I had answered my nations’ call. I had been bestowed with the honor to serve and defend my country. To do that which so few get the privilege. To make the world safer from those who seek to destroy it. To protect innocent lives from certain death. To liberate the oppressed. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I had a good marriage. I trusted my wife. She trusted me. We communicated. We were open with our feelings. We were strong. I was getting another opportunity to make my relationship stronger. Maybe someone else couldn’t do it, couldn’t handle it, and didn’t have a strong enough bond to handle the separation. I came so someone else’s little girl would not have to say goodbye to her daddy. I could make the sacrifice. I came so someone else didn’t have too. I came to take another’s place. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I had a job to do. I had soldiers to provide for. I had to ensure they were equipped with everything they needed to fulfill their mission. My Commander needed me, deserved to have me work for him, take care of his equipment, take care of his soldiers, give him the opportunity to concentrate on his job. I came so he could do his job better; to give him one less thing to worry about. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I now know the pain a parent lives with when separated from their children. I’ve come to realize how my parents feel not having me around; because that is the pain I feel being separated from my children. I appreciate my parent’s sacrifices more than I ever knew I could. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I have felt the agony of despair. I have had my world turned upside down. I have experienced true heartache. That many of the things I thought were true, had all been lies. I have been hurt by the person I held most dear. I have experienced helplessness; things happen that I have no way to change. I have had my life shaken to its very foundation. I have been completely broken. I have become completely dependent on God. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I have learned that I am surrounded by people who care about me. I have learned the value of friendship. That having one friend or worse yet having no friends is not how God intended my life to be, I can no longer try to do it all on my own, and to stop pushing everyone away. I have learned that I need people in my life and have come to cherish those friends. I need support, I need family, I need friends and I need people. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I have found my strength and voice. I have been instilled with confidence. I have let go of my fear. I am free to be who God wants me to be. I am no longer afraid to talk about God and share Jesus with those around me. I no longer fear what others think. How much more can they hurt me, which I haven’t already endured? I am no longer ashamed to share my feelings. I’ve have accepted Gods Grace. I have rekindled the fire I lost so many years ago. I have found out who I really am! Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

How many people will see my response to adversity, and be drawn into a relationship with Jesus? How many people have been inspired? How many spirits have been lifted up? How many soldiers have had a better day because I took care of their needs? How many people might have seen God’s love because I took the time to help them, made them feel important? How many hearts won’t be broken? How many men will reconsider how they treat the people they love? Seek out what is most important to them. How many relationships will be saved? How many will have their romances made stronger? How many lives will God be able to change because I let Him use me? Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

I will never know how many people God has been able to touch because of my pain and my circumstances. I only know that I will allow God to use me as he needs me, and to offer myself in His service. I have learned to see people as God needs me to see them, started to care about them as God wants me to care about them. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down is life for his friends” My life has been changed; I have learned to lay it down for Him. Maybe that’s why God sent me to Iraq.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 13, 2012 8:06 am

    A great post today! Especially speaks to some things I am going through at this time. Thanks!

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