Monday, May 19, 2008

Our Visit with Jonathan

Just the facts....

We (Hal, DeeDee and Brantley) left immediately following the morning worship service to go to Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

About 5 miles from Camp Shelby, and immediately after talking to Jonathan - for him to let us know where to park and wait for him to be released - our car stopped. It just quit running! We were able to coast to a service road. After talking to Lee (our mechanic) he determined it was our timing belt.

Lee and Anita loaded Anita's Toyota Highlander on the tow truck - and began their journey to Hattiesburg. Thank the Lord that Lee is not only our mechanic - but Lee and Anita are WONDERFUL FRIENDS!

Then a wonderful Hattiesburg Police officer came to our rescue - and drove us to the base. (Note - Hal and DeeDee in the back seat - Brantley in the front seat) No, I did not take a picture of this... LOL. He even turned the lights on for a short time!

We arrived at the base before Jonathan was released... but we were not far from where he was unloading and he spotted us.

(He did not see us getting out of the police car though).

When we realized that it was him coming our way - I had to hurry to throw down all of my stuff in order to get the camera out - but I was able to capture the run to each other - and Brantley jumping into his arms!

What a precious moment!

Then after a few phone calls - Mark Windham's twin brother (who lives in Hattiesburg) - came to the base and let us use his car. What a special blessing to us! We were able to go out to eat (at Copeland's ummmm) and visit with Jonathan until Lee and Anita arrived.

We unloaded Anita's Highlander... drove to where the car was parked... Lee loaded the Camry on the tow truck and headed back to Alabama. We were able to stay and visit a little while longer before we drove back.

It was not as hard leaving him there this time. For we know that this time - he is home. He will be back in Alabama in a few days. The deployment is over. He is safe.

If I am able to figure out how to post a clip from my husband's message - I will do so soon. Which by the way - was a wonderful message to our graduating seniors - but also to all of us - about living a life that matters - and not wasting your life. So... go to the website and listen to it all... but for this particular blog... you really need to hear a clip. I will let you know if I am able to add it later. It is priceless considering our day!

But let me end by telling you all this: It was worth it all.

A broken down car
A blessed policeman who focused on serving
A friend coming to our aid and lending us his car

A wonderful friend/mechanic (and wife) who went far beyond the call of duty

Worth it all - to see our son.

To put our arms around him and get a wonderful hug.

To talk to him face to face.

To see him with Brantley.

To soak in the reality that our Loving Savior and Lord - protected our Son in the midst of war.


What a wonderful day! We are blessed beyond measure!

I still do not know how to load a video from youtube... so I will just end with this link.. go listen if you have time. It Has Always Been the Soldier.



Mitzi said...

Wow Wow Wow. I am now sitting here with tears streaming down my face. After reading Jonathon's blog to Brantley and then seeing and reading your blog, I could barely see through the tears of happiness for all of you. God is Good!

Krista said...

Wow! That is awesome! I love the pictures. Very emotional moment. What a wonderful blessing you received yesterday. God's provision in your time of need and seeing your son again! What a day! Drew asked me today if Jonafin was coming back home this week. Guess we were all ready. Jonafin is Drew's friend too!

Cindy G. said...

WOW!!! **sniffs and wipes tear** I know Brantley will have to step it up big time on the wedding day to look more beautiful to Jonathan than she did at the moment he saw her running toward him. WOW!!!

Jessica R. said...

I am soooo glad to know Jonathan is back on US soil. I love the picture of he and Brantley running toward each other. And I can't wait to see them get married...oh what a beautiful moment that will be! :) Thank you for sharing your day with us. Sometimes I feel so out of touch with the Calera world. I really appreciate the ministry you have through this blog. Love to you all!

Michelle C. said...

WOW- just like I pictured it to be. So happy for your family.

Melissa W. said...

I am so happy for your family! I love the pictures of Jonathan and Brantley running towards each other. I also love the smile on Jonathan's face when he is hugging you and Hal-pure joy of seeing those you love!

Melissa Windham

Anonymous said...

Did Hal say Crap!?

Chickie Momma said...

Aw shucks, my first visit to your page (from Amydeanne's WFW Post) and I end up blubbering in tears! What a precious, wonderful thing for your family to have your son back home! I'm happy for you all.

Blessedw4mom said...

Oh how i remember those feelings! I was a navy wife for 8 years. So proud of him and the job he did so well, but missed him like crazy while he was deployed.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!

Blessings ~ Heather @

Anonymous said...

That picture of Brantley running to him is the sweetest thing I've ever seen! It made me cry, and I don't really even know them! I am so glad for you guys that he's home.

Rena Gunther said...

I'm moved to tears! I'm visiting via your link on Lysa's blog.

A lump is in my throat. I'm so glad I found your blog!

While I cannot imagine the emotion you must've experienced while your son was gone, I am currently learning to be a "Military Mom" as my oldest daughter is in basic training for the National Guard.

If you happen to have a few bits of advice for this Mom, I would appreciate it. I imagine you have a busy schedule as a Preacher's wife. So, no pressure.

Blessed having stopped by!

Rena Gunther