Completed. Finished. Done.
Have you ever worked on a project wondering when you would be able to say those words? Whatever the length, a deployment can feel like it will never be completed, finished, done. Reintegration sometimes bring us to the question, “Are we finished yet?”
Nehemiah and his team of builders completed the work in record time—fifty-two days. Notice the perspective of Nehemiah, “… this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.” Nehemiah could not attribute the accomplishment to ordinary human effort. The timeframe was impressive, but the timeframe was not the point. God’s work on behalf of the people was the point. God was the one who stirred the hearts of people to work, to persevere and finally to prosper.
Nehemiah proclaimed that the wall was completed, but he did not mean the work was done. The same goes for family life. Reaching normalcy does not mean you quit. Keep reading in Nehemiah 6 and you will discover that the hostilities toward the returning Jews continued. Rebuilding the wall was not an end in itself, but it was a step toward continued positive reform for the returning nation.
No one has been able to set parameters and time limits for reintegration following deployment. The goal is to get back to a sense of normalcy. It may happen in fifty-two days—or not. The timeframe is not the goal.
Friend, I write these words to encourage you and remind you that we are people in process. We can never say, “We are done,” because we are always facing the next step in the process toward better and stronger. Isn’t that what we want for our relationships—with God, with family members, with ourselves?