Wednesday, April 02, 2008

this is a big deal, folks

I purchased this sticker at Ft. Stewart right after Andrew deployed and brought it to Oregon with me. We bought our Murano a year ago and I plastered the driver's window with it the day the car became mine. (Much to the chagrin of Jarrod, who considers any sticky vehicle adornment a direct insult to the vehicle, the maker, and human decency, in general. As do I. Except for in this case.)

Well, Andrew's no longer in Iraq. I know! He's not there. He's coming home to me. So today is the day of freedom! Hip-Hip-Hooray!


Cathy said...

Your love for Andrew and the excitement that you just can't contain any longer is so precious!
So cool that your parents are coming too!!

Carolyn said...

So excited for you guys!

Andrew Kangas said...

Congrats you guys! This is so awesome.

God's going to bless your perseverance.

Kristen said...

I am so happy for you Cassidy! And welcome home Andrew. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Andrew! I'm so happy for you Casa-Lene your soldier is finally with you. And, one more reason to be pleased, I did not know that Jarrod felt the same exact way I do about bumper stickers. Ha!
Aunt Becky

Anonymous said...

Dear Andrew & Cassidy,

Here I am again - just a small voice in a choir. But, as the day has finally come for you to be reunited, I wanted to let you know what it has meant to be able to share in this journey with you from afar.

It is Darren again - the youth pastor from Ontario Canada.

God has a plan. And we are all a part of that plan. Often, we dont know what our part is and even more often, it is someone else who points out how we fit into that plan.

Personally, I believe that as instruments of His plan, we are not "single purpose" and that each of us plays a role throughout all their lives.

In this past year, as I mentioned earlier, I came across your postings quite by accident. As a project with our youth congregation, we were looking for ways that God touches our lives. To think that across the universe that is the internet, and of all the stories that we 'could have' come across - it would be yours.

Yes - there is no denying that God gave the two of you strength, courage, determination and wisdom to endure new love, seperation, anxiety, anticipation and finally a return. Sounds like a familiar story doesnt it? The story of His son on earth. The story of the life of a human being from arrival on earth to returning to His kingdom.

But, in all of this, He gave something else. He gave the two of you to all of us.

Cassidy - through your written words, your actions and your photographs, you have brought adults here to tears. You have brought smiles. And, you have brought joy. You reminded so many of us that patience really is a virtue. You have shown us that despite anguish, we will all survive. We call upon our family and our friends to support us and keep us. And, in the end, the journey is rewarded.

Andrew - welcome home. Envy is a sin. But, I wish I had the words of a scholar or the inspiration of a poet to tell you what your example has done for some impressionably young men with whom I work.

The stories of your courtship to Cassidy and the courtesy you showed to her family through that courtship. The stories of your struggles and your achievements. The story of the indescribable tear between your young love of your bride and the honour of duty to your country. The terrible mix of excitement at deployment versus the anguish of leaving your loved ones at home. The work that you have done, in the places you have done it. The stories and images of your constant devotion to your love at home - with flowers, telephone calls, shared prayer over the telephone. And finally your return.

Yes Andrew - I have had the priveledge to watch these boys I work with learn from your example. They have learned how to be loving men and have seen by example that you CAN be a 'tough guy' and still love completely and wholly. Funny isn't is... you never know when you might end up being a role model. There is one chap in particular who was walking a path of self destruction. Each week, he would ask if there was news about you. And each week, I was glad to see him return to us at Church. I believe Andrew, as surely as I sit at my computer here now, that you without even knowing it, have saved the life of a young man.

As I close out this second and last entry into your private lives, I am reminded again that God has a plan. And, it would appear that in His plan, the two of you, your families and your friends have all played your parts in inspiring others, demonstrating love, showing courage, and living as God wishes us to live.

No, no - you are not on a pedestal. None of us are. But, there is certainly nothing wrong with saying Thank-You and letting you know why the thanks are there.

In fact, you may have even made my life just a little easier. I essentially took the past year off and let the Harper's and the Brock's do all the preaching. :)

Congratulations Cassidy on having your loving husband back at your side. Among the many great things to come - surely one of the greatest is being able to attend Church services with your best friend at your side.

And Andrew - I cannot put into words the thanks I wish to extend to you. Your example is an inspiration to many. Your parents must be truly proud to call you son.

I, and our congregation wish you both much happiness and success.

Our closing prayer this past Sunday:

Dear Lord, Thank-you for keeping our eyes open this week. By keeping our eyes open, we saw new life with Mr. & Mrs. Erb's new baby. We saw Josh overcome his fears. We saw Katherine succeed at lacrosse even though it was tough. We saw Andrew go home safely and back to his family. We saw that each day brings not only challenge but opportunity. And we saw Mr. Edgar cry! By keeping our eyes open Lord, we also saw that not everyone goes home. We pray for the Candella family, that they find comfort knowing that their father is at peace. We pray for the Street family and their son and solider who wont return home. Lord, thank-you for keeping our eyes open this week and showing us that life will always have hills and valleys - but that Your love will always be with us. Amen

Andrew, Cassidy - may the Love and peace of the Lord always be with you.

We will never meet but you will always be a part of my life.


Rosanna said...

^ Wow.

Cass, Andrew... you may never know just how much you've impacted people's lives. But isn't it awesome that the Lord allowed you to see this particular instance of impact? "You shall know them by their fruits".

I love you guys so much! Welcome home, Andrew!!

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