"You have to let him go."
These were the words Nicole was dreading her whole married life. But sitting in the temple, she knew these words were an answer to her prayer about her husband: it was time for him to join the military.
At the time, Nicole's husband had finished his 10-year career as a police officer and was seriously considering joining the military as his next step. But Nicole wasn't so sure.
"Both policing and military have the same danger factor," Nicole explains in a This Is the Gospel episode. "Him being a cop, I knew day to day if he was okay. And being in the military on a deployment, I may not have that. It could be weeks; it could be days. I would never know and that was too much and I just couldn't handle that."
But those six words were about to change all that and bring her comfort throughout the coming years.
As with most military families, Nicole was about to experience the other side of the deployment—her own sacrifice for her country.
And Nicole's experience with her husband serving in the military began with a bang, literally.
"Within the first week of him leaving, our oldest daughter . . . had a really serious concussion," Nicole shares. "We were ice skating and she wanted one more lap and she wouldn't take no for an answer. And I said, 'Fine, just go.' And she came around too fast and she smashed off of the plexiglass right in front of me and I was having a meltdown. . . . She was in the ER and he [Nicole's husband] was saying, 'I can't talk, I can't talk.'"
But that wasn't Nicole's husband's last deployment, nor was it the last time she would feel alone during a crisis.
During these deployments, Nicole focused on surviving, moving forward as a family without the support of her partner.
"I had to rely a lot on the Lord," Nicole shares. "We did have good support in our ward, but a lot of it came from having to pray because sometimes it's at a time where there's nobody really around that I can get help from."
But as difficult as it was when her husband was deployed, Nicole found it was also difficult when he came home.
"No one really tells you what that's like," Nicole says. "Everyone just thinks, 'Oh it's so exciting! You haven't seen them for months; it's so great to have them!' But a lot of people don't tell you about the transition time. You go from hard to a different kind of hard."
Listen to the full podcast below or click here to read the rest of Nicole's story and how she and her family tackle the challenges of being a military family.