First with Military Children

Seeing difficult  journeys through a child’s eyes–that’s the focus of our writing, speaking and traveling. Now,  at Hope Matters Productions, we’re dedicating the 1st of the month to our nation’s Little Patriots. Each article is our way of saying “thank you” to military children serving alongside their military parent!

“Yellow Parachute”

Skydiving is on my wish list. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. Too often, adults grow out of their wish lists. Life’s hard knocks teach us about fear and that often changes our wish list.

Just think about it!

  1. Jump out of airplane with parachute packed behind you.
  2. No ground in sight, nowhere to go but down…fast and furious.
  3. Pull ripcord to acquire instant wings.
  4. Fast descent turns into soaring occasion.

With the ground in distant view, a peaceful silence fills the airspace. A journey of dreadful fear becomes a journey of fulfilled wishes. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by those who’ve been brave enough to skydive. They describe the distance between jumping out of a plane and reaching the ground as: “time standing still.” Without the ground in sight, it must be quite a frightening time span!

Those images of skydiving make me think of moms and dads deploying. There are thousands of children waiting for their parent to hit familiar ground—home base. Counting down Sundays on the calendar and keeping busy help pass the time, but they don’t change the fact that deployments are long. They’re like the ride after the rip cord is pulled. No matter what you do, you can’t speed it up—you just have to go through it, a moment at a time.

While we can’t change some things we go through in life, we can decide how we go through them. We can go with fear and worry, or we can go with faith. You can’t see the ground when you jump out of an airplane, but you have faith that it’s there. Faith means believing what you can’t see.

Counting down the days, making cards, writing letters, decorating mailboxes with yellow ribbons, and praying for a deployed parent are all hopeful ideas. Even though time won’t move any faster, those hopeful reminders make it easier to bear. Spending the months of deployment in hopeful anticipation, rather than fearful doubting makes a family resilient—like the strength of a parachute carrying you to safe ground.

What’s in your “yellow parachute?” Encircle your family with faith. Make a wish list that you never grow out of. Wait with hope—because hope matters!

Maryann Makekau © 2011

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