We left our wedding reception that night, proudly displaying a banner that represented just that.
October 7, 2016, was another one of my favorite days. William Fine was “finelly” home from his first deployment to Honduras. We were finally a ‘normal’ married couple (again)… and we were finally saying goodbye to long distance (again)!
We left the airport that night, proudly displaying that same banner… the one we never expected we would need so soon.
After our honeymoon, we flew back into Atlanta to begin our next adventure: moving me to Saint Louis.
It was an emotional and exhausting day as we pulled out of my parents driveway in Georgia, with all of my belongings, and made the long trek to
William’s our home together.
It was pushing midnight when we arrived. We were exhausted from a long day of traveling but the excitement seemed to keep us going. William opened the door and to my surprise I saw a beautiful “Welcome Home” banner in the middle of our decorated and lit up home. (Thanks to sweet friends, Christian & Katie). I couldn’t believe how much thought William had put into my “homecoming”, especially with all the planning time the wedding and honeymoon had consumed.
It was pushing midnight when William landed back in Saint Louis from Honduras.
It had been an emotional and exhausting day… for both of us. Traveling and anticipation, for him. Preparation and anticipation, for me. But once again, the excitement kept us going.
We pulled out of the airport, with 6 months of his belongings in the trunk, and made the much shorter trek to
my our home together.
I opened the door and got the chance to greet William with that same “Welcome Home” banner in the middle of our lit up home.
The tables had turned.
I spent his first week back trying to make sure he didn’t feel like he was living in my space, just as he had done for me a year and a half ago.
I made reservations at trendy restaurants and planned nightly date-nights, just as he had done for me a year and a half ago.
I got excited to introduce him to friends of mine he didn’t yet know, just as he had done for me a year and a half ago.
I tried to gently correct him when he was driving the wrong direction, just as he had done for me a year and half ago.
I found myself getting to work a little late and driving home a little faster, just as he had done for me a year and half ago.
It was such a unique swapping of shoes. For me to get to experience, in some ways, how he felt after we got married. And for him to know, in some ways, how I felt when he got home from his deployment.
Sometimes it’s hard to see everything our spouses (or loved ones) do for us. The ways they intentionally love us. The ways they fight for us. The ways they try to make us smile.
But then sometimes God puts you on the other side. And you find out just how lucky you really are.
Our tables had turned….
And I’m so grateful to have had this guy’s gentle and understanding example to follow.
I just hope I welcomed him home half as well as he had welcomed me.