On War and Weariness by Molly Huggins
I have a confession to make.
I am weary of war.
I feel vaguely traitorous to my fellow military wives in spilling my fatigue. But oh I am tired.
Our snapshot of Army life falls somewhere in the middle on the hardship scale.
Seven and a half years together. Three lived apart. Four pregnancies. Two miscarriages. The combat loss of a dear friend. Four deployments. One year apart from my sweet baby girl. New deployments looming.
You can read more of the beginning of our story at
My great-great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Recently, a stack of letters written by him to his family was found in a dusty attic in North Carolina.
In his last letter, thought to be written to his parents and penned six days prior to the end of the War, he wrote the following:
“I can hardly keep from shedding tears to think of giving up this plot of country after having defended it so long. So much blood has been shed in defending it. Our country is in deep mourning for the blood shed round this city. Is it all in vain?”
I have a visceral connection to the written word. To see these words scribbled hastily by moonlight in the mud and the rain by a man whose blood mixes in my veins. I was undone.
Because I ask the same question, weary of this war. Tears stream down my cheeks and I search in vain for an answer I don’t know. I won’t argue the morality or justice of the current conflict here. That is a journey each must take alone.
I’ll tell you what I do know.
Here, and now, we are committed. But truly, I take heart knowing that the Husband, a medevac pilot flying wounded warriors, carrying friend and enemy alike, serves in a capacity to save lives. That is comfort on ugly days. It is necessary in war to have such men serve.
I know that God directs our paths and the plans He has for us include good, not evil, and above all, hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
I know His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
I believe wholeheartedly that we have been obedient to the Lord in serving this country with honor. And even on days when our beloved country doesn’t seem very honorable, we take heart in serving a Heavenly Kingdom, His life and death at work in us, our hope in things unseen (2 Corinthians 4).
And so, I kiss the Husband long, squeeze his hand a little harder in church, wash his uniforms with care, update our wills, say quiet goodbyes, and live each moment knowing His grace is sufficient, shoring up my weary heart.
And when I watch on television two men jockeying for the position of Commander-in-Chief, seemingly full of sound and fury, signifying nothing … These men whose authority and power stream across airwaves, trickling down levels of bureaucracy and rank until it pools on two sheets of cheap paper ordering my husband off to war … These men whose knowledge includes nothing of time in uniform, whose goodbyes never carried the scent of sweat and blood, of sacrifice …
I retreat to the Word of truth and take comfort in the Sovereignty of God.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Romans 13:1).
These men, whom I selfishly disdain, are God-appointed, and still, I am a citizen of this beloved country. So I pray for their salvation. I plead for grace and wisdom – mine and theirs. And I vote. I seek out knowledge of the law under which I live and a government in which I serve. I vote my conscience, and yes, sometimes I even vote my fatigue.
Major Sullivan Ballou wrote a now famous final farewell letter to his wife Sarah a week before he died at the Battle of Bull Run. A portion of the letter reads,
“I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . . ” (pbs.org).
Yes, there are many days when I feel as though we strive in vain, but there is no contesting the debt we owe as citizens here.
And, when heaven and earth is laid before me, and I wrestle wearily with the things of men, my battered heart takes note of what my Heavenly citizenship entails.
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God” (1 Peter 2:13-16).
And, oh, friends, the freedom of serving the Architect of the very Universe-the Namer and Counter of stars-means I don’t need to know how or where, or even when the quiet comes.
“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).