Message Behind the Book
by Heather Gray
Faith, Hope, Love, & Deployment was born from what my husband and I considered necessity. We wanted something to keep communication open, draw us closer to the Lord and each other, and challenge us to dig into the Word…all while he was deployed. And I personally felt that handwritten letters were a lost art. I wanted the stack of letters from abroad, tied together with a ribbon like the treasure troves of past generations. Sadly, my husband was killed in action halfway through writing this book. I was left with few—but precious—letters, one of which I received on the day of his funeral. It was in response to a question posed on the topic of patriotism. He was asked to write a letter explaining why he was willing to lay his life on the line for his country. At a time when that very question swirled in my head, it was a balm to my aching heart to have it answered in his own handwriting. I knew then the value of what we had endeavored and vowed by the grace of God to finish what we had started.
It is my prayer that many military couples will benefit from Faith, Hope, Love, & Deployment. The book is broken down into forty devotions. Each one stands alone so couples won’t feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up with homework from week to week.
Each devotion has four components. Faith: Scripture memory verses for him and her (all verses are from the 2011 NIV translation unless otherwise noted). Hope: first-person narrative and insight from eleven years as a Christian military couple along with conversation starters and reflection questions that can be done all at once or daily. Love: a guided letter-writing assignment. Deployment: practical tips, resources, and encouragement for making the best of this time of separation.
One thing which helped me tremendously during my husband’s deployment was journal writing and I recommend other military couples do the same. In my book I also ask military couples to make lists, be intentionally observant, and record their findings, and to keep these notes together in one place. My hope is that when the deployment is over, the journal will provide couples with tangible evidence of how God worked in their lives and marriage during a difficult time. I guarantee couples will refer back to it as a reminder of his faithfulness.
My prayer is that couples will be as blessed in doing this together as my husband and I were in writing it. The most important thing is that couples keep communication open and be honest with one another throughout the process. This is likely to open doors to conversations they’ve wanted to have but perhaps never felt comfortable with or have not found the time to initiate. My prayer is that couples will embrace the opportunity to take their marriage and relationship with the Lord to a deeper level by engaging in all areas covered in the book.
And remember, “These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”
(1 Cor. 13:13).
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