As we continue our Rays in the Storm series, I am glad to be welcoming my friend Christy Mobley back to the blog. Christy’s heart for hospitality and encouragement have blessed me more times than I can count, and her loving spirit shines through in her writing. What I love about her style is her ability to cut through any pretense and fluff and get straight to the heart of the matter. I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome as she shares a very personal story with us today.
When Hope Makes Us Brave
In my 33 years of married life my husband and I have lost a baby, both my parents, too many precious friends to count, numerous pets and a job position that changed the trajectory of our lives. In each instance there was hope, because God is hope and He has always been in our midst.
When Abby asked me to write on the subject of loss, I had many choices but when it came time to putting words on paper the decision fell hard.
Today, my thoughts turn to someone I didn’t know personally but whose testimony God used to bring me peace of mind and awake a gift I didn’t know I had.
On August 6, 2011 my husband and I waited in a condo near the military base where my son was to arrive home the next day from a tour of duty in Iraq. Our nerves were already on pins and needles when the program we were watching was interrupted for a special news report.
A Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan killing 22 Navy Seals, 3 Air Force special ops. and everyone else on board.
Our son was already in route home but my heart ached for those families who wouldn’t see their solider boy’s homecoming.
In the days that followed personal stories about this group of the fallen brave started popping up all over the news. This was a historical event as it would mark the first time in U.S. history that the world would get a glimpse into the personal lives of these mysterious, superhuman, covert warriors, always kept in the shadows and known to us only as Navy Seals.
On our trek from Hurlburt Field back to Tampa, I heard a story on the radio of one such super hero, Aaron Vaughn, told by his grandmother to a Fox News reporter.
After a few minutes of questions about why her grandson became a Seal and what he was like as a child, the reporter came to a couple of questions that struck a nerve and pierced my heart.
“Did Aaron ever say he was afraid to die? Was he ever scared he would be killed on a mission?”
This sweet-tempered woman answered with a gentle but firm, “No.” And then with conviction in her voice went on to tell the reporter, her grandson knew there was a risk of death with every mission, and his bravery came from his hope.
He knew where he was going when he died.
I was always the mom who sweated it out every day her son was overseas, and spent sleepless nights praying for his safety.
But, my son knows where he is going when he dies.
Vaughn’s hope made me brave.
During the seven hour car ride home, his story stirred sweet memories of the last few moments with my dad as he passed from this life to the next.
My dad knew where he was going as he died.
Vaughn’s story brought me peace.
When I arrived back in Tampa, my heart still full with bittersweet emotion, I penned my first and favorite blog post, Another Homecoming—a tribute to my father, a World War 2 veteran, and all the brave men and women who defend our country.
I had never been interested in writing, blogging or stringing two sentences together for an email, but Aaron Vaughn’s hope gave breath to a gift.
Through one person’s testimony of faith in Jesus and life eternal, God enveloped millions of listeners with his grace,
including this one.
God does indeed work in mysterious ways…all of which I’m thankful.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into the living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 NIV
Christy is a girly girl who chases tennis balls for recreation and at the end of the day does her best thinking in the tub.
She’s also a wife, mother, mother-in-law, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. Her passion is to encourage women to move forward and press on, seeking God in the midst of life’s struggles.