Sunday, March 21, 2010

Through Faith I Walk

So it appears that I've been complaining a lot about my marriage...well, more so about my decision to get married to my husband. When I think back to the moment that I saw Rob, I was immediately attracted to him. He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen...strong jawline with great cheeks. I thought he was funny and confident. Those first few days spent getting to know each other was fun. I enjoyed that time; however, my intuition was telling me that something was wrong. 

I am a big believer in intuition and for the most part have followed it; however, I was enjoying myself so throughly and wanted to believe that everything was alright, that I chose to ignore it. It did keep nagging at me right up until he told me all about himself. In that moment, after I had allowed myself to fall in love with him, my worse fears were realized. Nevertheless, I did not start listening. I continued to follow my heart and pushed forward with the relationship. Throughout our entire relationship, I held onto my hope, desire, and need for a loving relationship. I continued to have doubt, which I would pass off as my insecurities trying to overtake me.

Now I look at where I am and wonder why I never decided to listen to my intuition? I married a man who is really the complete opposite of me. We are not friends really, don't have much in common to talk about, don't have the same faith, and have yet to master the ability to communicate in a helpful manner or at all. LOL...what were we thinking?! Well, we were thinking that we loved each other and we both want this relationship. Now don't get me wrong here. We are not at each other's throats and anything close to that. We love each other and do enjoy each other's company; we just spend a lot of time sitting together without much to say.

Many of people believe that intuition is one of God's ways to speak to us and guide us. I, honestly, am of this belief too. So why, knowing that God wants only the best for me, did I continue to ignore His direction? Because I was afraid that He was going to tell me to wait! Afraid that I was still going to be alone! Afraid that I would never find that special someone, so I went with what was right in front of me and boy, have I paid for it. So many trials...fights...crying...yet, we always manage to come back together.

These thoughts have really been consuming my mind lately. Why am I with a man that has two children and an ex wife? Why am I with someone that I don't enjoy talking to? Why am I with someone who believes that science is god? How is it possible that I got so far from all that I wanted? Then I realize that I blame myself. I am angry at myself more than I very was at Rob. I felt that I did myself an injustice. With that I have guilt, something that I inherited from my Catholic father. Then I ask myself, why are all these thoughts coming to the forefront now? Well, for one...I am on this journey to find myself and two...I'm doing almost daily Bible study. I have my devotionals and am truly sinking deeper and deeper into the Word. As I do, I learn more and more about God, myself, and my relationship with others...especially my husband.

Now after weeks spend on these concerns, doubts, and would be mistakes, I am finding some peace this morning...more so as I started putting this post together. Something that has made its way from the back of my mind is the simple truth that God has a plan for me and it is in His control.

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)

"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely." Psalm 139:1-4 (TNIV)

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16 (TNIV)

Perhaps if I quit thinking about the past and all that I don't have, I will see all the He has before me. The Lord does not give us anything that we can't handle and everything that come our way is to shape us into the person that He intended us to be. God knew that I would marry Rob. He knew the trials and tribulations that both Rob and I would be faced with in this marriage. He has a purpose for us to be together. 

Even throughout all the fears and doubts that I've had over the last few weeks, I never thought of ending it. Just walking away. Instead, I have been consumed with the what ifs...what if I can't handle not having my husband be my best friend....what if we can't learn to communicate...what if we can't learn to appreciate each other and handle one another with patience and kindness. I want our marriage to succeed and us to triumph.

And as obvious as it is now, it wasn't last night...we have to seek God and pray for each of these things to have them in our marriage. Putting my trust in Him and He will provide. He will give me the strength to continue and find those things that are missing in our Him. God has provided me the opportunity to learn patience, kindness, and His unconditional love. Plus the opportunity to share His love with a nonbeliever. I can't think of more precious blessings that He could give. In this marriage, He will force me to deny my "fleshy" life and walk in faith. That's cool...not easy...but I'm thankful for this opportunity.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Does He or Doesn't He


Tomorrow is my 28th birthday! Not really a milestone, but 28 is almost 30. LOL..but I'm not worried. The big 30 isn't scary to me. I'm hoping the closer that I get to it the more grown up I'll feel.

Life is funny. I was just texting with one of my greatest friends about that. We were talking about how far we've come since college. She is pregnant with her first baby! She is having a girl and due in July. I couldn't be happier for her. I know that she will be a great mom and I am excited to meet the little one...whenever that is.

My birthday approaching and talking with her made me think about my future plans. I can honestly say that I expected to have at least one kiddo by now. In my life plan I was going to be married by 25 (didn't happen until 27) and start with the family by 27 (turning 28 with no projected outcome). It seems like everyday another friend is posting a picture of a pregnancy test and announcing the good news. I can't help but feel left out. I finally understand that damn clock and I find it frustrating. LOL. What is more frustrating than that is my desire to have one. There is a part of me that is ready...wanting to take that step and begin; however, there is also that part that is worried that I am not ready yet. Still too selfish with too much to do. Finish my masters, travel, etc.

That wasn't always the case and I believe that my uncertainty comes from my situation with my husband. I remember this conversation that we had when we were first getting to know each other. We were in Alabama, walking from the car to the restaurant and talking about kids. This is how the conversation went:

Me: How many kids do you want?
Him: 2, a boy and a girl
Me: oh, weird. You're probably the only guy I know who actually has that figured out.
(My thoughts: "perfect...this is definitely my future husband.")

At that time, I was excited about all the possibilities that our relationship held and children were a big part of that. I can say that I was truly happy at that moment.

Then fast forward to the fact that he already had two children...boy and a conversation in Tacoma at the Melting Pot about 3 months after we started living I don't remember the whole conversation, but we were once again talking about having children and he made a statement that has stuck with me. Probably because it was devastating to me...LOL. We were talking about having children and I'm sure that I was saying something about him waiting more children...bring up the conversation in Alabama. He said to me [paraphrasing] "well, I'm okay without having more children. I have fulfilled my need, but if you wanted to have children then I'd be will to." I think what made that statement so devastating was that while he wasn't saying that he didn't want anymore children, he was saying that his desire was filled. 

Step ahead to the last year and when we discuss it, he has it in his head that we won't be starting a family for 3-5 years. He wants us to be ready. 3-5 years!! Can you believe that...he wants me to wait another 3-5 years. When "they" decided to have "their" children, "they" planned it out. Each child...yet "they" talked about divorce about a year or so after the first one was born and were having problems up until about 6 months to a year before "they" DECIDED to have the second. "They" talked about divorce again before that child turned 1! That was the final talk because after that we met and so on. "They" waited until "they" were ready, but apparently not really. It's frustrating. 

I know bring children into this world is a big responsibility and can be a blessing to a marriage, but can also put a lot of strain on one. I understand that and I know we are not ready right now to have a baby. I would just like the opportunity to plan our family and life around us and not have to build off of his former one. He talks about how great it was that they planned it out and how he wouldn't change a thing and I am so glad it worked out for them that way. On the other hand, I feel like he might be trying to compensate for their issues by putting such a ridiculous timeline on us. But it also brings up fears that he really isn't sure about wanting anymore children, so he's putting it off. (**Note: during some of our recent talks this past year, he has assured me that he does, in fact, want children with me.) Not to mention, that while his need is met...mine isn't. So my clock is busy ticking away and he's perfectly fine because he no longer has that desire; therefore, waiting 3-5 years is nothing for him. You know...*sigh*

This is way we are not ready to have children yet and I believe that his statements and actions have caused me to be uncertain about what I want. I am worried that he really doesn't want more children and that it would be him just doing it to make me happy. Nice thought, but when I have children I want my husband to want them and not just go with it because I want them. He's always talking about what amazing children he already has and how great, special, etc they are...and I believe that if I told him that I didn't want to have children, he would be perfectly okay with that. He wouldn't push for us to display our love for each other through children. He really would be okay with it, which is bothersome for me. Again with the want thing.

So here I sit, going back and forth, about my future family. I know I have my insecurities about myself and my relationship and this could be less of a deal than I am making it. With each new pregnancy post though, I can't help but feel that I am missing out on something and that way our relationship started took something else away from me...something that I didn't realize until now...something very special.

ETA: While in the shower this thought hit me...Rob always tells people that we want children but not for a few years (told his boss just yesterday actually) and I find myself saying that we plan on having children when we're ready...then I actually look for things that I can do and we can do to be ready whether it takes us 6 months, 1 year, or 3 years...that's the difference in our thinking. I'm always looking for ways to make it happen because it is something that I want. A goal. A desire.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is that you God?

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
James 1:2-4

So as most of you know, I hate being a patrol officer. Spending 8 hours a day in a car is not fun...nothing like a road trip with friends. I drive in squares, use a 1/4 of a tank of gas, and get nowhere. If you include the crazy work hours, I would say that this job is sucking the happiness right out of me. I'm pretty sure Rob would tell you the same thing. Poor guy, he puts up with some much of my anxiety and depression brought on by this place that I'm at.

Back in February, I took a week off to figure out what I really needed. I spent that week putting in two resumes a day...10 that week. Rob and I agreed that it was time that I move on and regardless of the pay, if I was happy it would be worth it and the budget will be reworked. I committed it to prayer and left it at that; but, I had this unsettling feeling that God wasn't going to let me leave the police department. Whatever "work" I was suppose to do here was not finished. It was an awful feeling, bringing me to tears several times. How could He not see that I was so unhappy doing this job? Why would He not provide me with something else?

During that time I kept coming across different scriptures during my daily readings in Proverbs, Psalms, and James. The story about trials and tribulations being a river you have to cross in your boat. It's not easy to make it to the other side, but you have to stay in the boat! On the other side is a person with stronger faith. You can't leave the boat and with each trial you become more and more like the person God had in mind. So many of the scriptures and devotionals were talking about doing a great job at work for God and how God will reward those who do a good work. These all sound wonderful, but what if you truly are miserable at your job? Does that give you a pass? Will He provide you with something else?

With each of these scriptures running through my mind, I became more and more unsettled. I was fearful that I was going to have to stay in patrol. My flesh was fighting it even though I knew that if it was God's plan for me to stay there and complete His work that it was a good thing. God's plans are always for the best. I would tell myself that over and over. During one of my runs, I was listening to a Podcast from Joyce Meyer and I ended up crying full of frustration and hurt that God wanted me to stay was I was. I told Him that I was going to do His will even if it killed me, but I reminded Him (in case God could forget) that I had asked for a new job and deep in my heart I needed it. I said out loud that He had promised if I asked in His name, He would do it (paraphrased of course).

I continued working and that's when I took my week off in February. I thought that surely if I applied to all of those jobs, God would find one that suited me and His purpose. Rob and I made the decision that regardless of me having another job, I was going to resign either the 31st or the 4th of April. I'm even supposed to be following up with a HR manager at this company to work on setting up an interview. Everything is good right?

I still have this nagging "check" telling me that God isn't giving me the go ahead. Then on Friday of last week, I checked my work email and there was a vacancy in the Crime Prevention Unit! Monday through Friday, 8-4:30...perfect hours for my schooling and body clock. Paperwork, working with citizens in Neighborhood watch, civic leagues, etc. This would be perfect for me!! I would get to stay in the police department, still doing law enforcement (which still interests me), keeping my pay, and normal work hours. And it hit me...was this God's way of answering my prayers? Was this His go ahead?

I am excited about this opportunity; however, there is one small problem. To transfer, you have to have 2 years on the force as a sworn officer. I'm 9 months short of that. I will be with the department 2 years in July, but I wasn't sworn in until December. I now have to convince my LT to let me put in for it. He will have to agree to sign off on it for me to be eligible. I'll be meeting with him today and I have caught myself doubting it will work and questioning what will happen then, but then a thought pushes it back. If this is God's plan then who will be able to stop it? No one. If God wants me in this position, then surely the LT will say yes and sign off on it. If not, then maybe it's not God's plan after all or maybe He has a different way of going about arranging it. Who knows...and if it turns out to not workout, I always have my job interview with "Company A" to work toward.

So here I sit...sick with a head cold...and praying for courage and the right words to convince my LT about this new job opportunity. Sometimes I really wish that there was a definitely was to know if the path that I'm looking to go down is God's or my a big sign that reads, "This way". That would be nice.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Path Taken

These past few weeks have had me thinking a lot about the bonds between people. Everyone in your life you have some sort of bond with or they wouldn't be in your life, right? Makes sense to me. Well, what got me thinking about this is the bond between Rob and I. Husband and wife bonds are more unique than any other. The bond is love, but not friendship love or family love. It's the not love that you have for your best friends or your parents, sisters, babies, etc.; even though it is a very similar love. It's a special love that joins two people together including friendship love and family love all in one. Now the bond between husband and wife is strong. Built on trials, adventures, and lazy Saturdays. This bond starts from the very first date and strengthens with each passing day, fact learned, and fight forgiven. This bond is stronger and more important than all others. It's the first bond in a family. Husband and wife. 

Now what happens when that bond isn't foster as it should? What happens when during the bonding moments something dramatic interrupts the connection? What happens to a couple when their bond is not woven together as it should be, but rather has loops throughout their rope?

Rob and I never had the opportunity to create a bond forged by dates and normal fights. When our coupledom started, we were already fighting the biggest battle a relationship could ever have. It was an awful situation and one that I should have walked away from. Any bond that had formed was ravaged and destroyed by his lies, yet, I fought for it. Why? Because of love? Because of fear of being alone? Because of fear of being wrong? All three I would say. 

So our bond in the beginning...the most important part...was destroyed by selfishness. Yet we started again...however, it was never the same. That selfishness had destroyed everything. But we both fought for our love. Fought for what we both wanted building and destroying and starting over. Finally, building had started and was moving forward...making memories and taking small steps. Slowly building that bond. Then the moment of truth came...make the commitment or separate. We all know what happened.

Now here is the funny part. I've seen people come into my husband's life, friends he's had for years, and I see the bond between them. I see the strength that was forged through war and courage. Through a love of something that they believe in. Then I look at the bond between him and his ex-wife forged by their children. Finally, I look at ours and wonder to myself if it's as strong as these others. I ask this because deep down I have doubts. Doubts that I made the right decision. Doubts that he is who I am truly supposed to be with. 

Now I don't doubt that I love him, because I do. I don't love the fact that he has been married before. I don't love that he has children. Mostly, I don't love that I will never be the most important person in his my husband. Not at the beginning, not right after marriage, not right now, not ever. I found myself thinking about this every now and again. Why would I put myself in a situation that I didn't want? What was I thinking? How would my life be different if I had made a different choice? Would I still be alone? Would I ever find someone to love me? 

Then I find myself plotting. Plotting to find that love and connection that we should have. I tell myself, "once we get to the point where we are ready for children, then we will have that connection. I will be the mother of his children. We will have that bond. That sacred bond that he shares with his ex, except ours will be better and stronger because we are married." Crazy, right?

I know that most of these thoughts and feelings are brought on by my own insecurities and exasperated by my search for who I am. When you don't have a full grip on who you are, it's hard to know where you fit in everyone's life. But should that feeling cross a bond as special and unique as a husband and wife? I don't know, but I do know that the more I discover about myself, the more I see areas in Rob that I don't appreciate. He'll tell me about my feelings and thoughts and actions and how they are wrong. He makes me feel uncomfortable with being myself at times. I know that I don't like that. It all comes back to me questioning if I made my choices for the right reasons. I hate feeling like the third wheel in my own marriage. I hate that I will never be the most important person to my husband ever. I hate that I feel like I'm competing for love and attention when my stepchildren are around. I hate that they are not mine and his. I hate that he has a sacred bond with another woman that we don't have. I hate that this whole other world existed before us.

One thing that I do know...I will not be making the same mistake twice. I will follow my instinct regardless. I will not quiet my voice because of fear. I am here. Married to my husband whom I do love and whom I do want to have my own children with. I am here. Pushing to find myself and to know myself. I am here. Determined to create a bond between husband and wife that is stronger than any title, based on the love shown to me by God. Loving my husband to the best of my ability and making our life the best that it can be. 

Did I make a mistake by staying with Rob? Did I make a mistake by marrying a man who has two children from another woman? Did I make a mistake by putting myself in a situation where I would not be most important? I will never know, because those are the choices that I made and I am here now. Regardless of what could have been, this is what is and I am going to make the most of it. I will never doubt my "checks" again and that's how I am going to live my life. I am going to love myself, my husband, and our relationship for what it is, knowing that the Lord will bless it with happiness and love...regardless of anything else. I am right where I am supposed to be. A wrong turn or not. I just wish it wasn't so hard sometimes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm awful at this. The thought to write in my blog hits me regularly...about once a day actually...yet, I never make the time to put those thoughts done. It is frustrating and disappointing. I find myself blaming my work schedule...when I'm on days I'm exhausted (very true) and when I'm on evenings I have 3 hours a day to accomplish everything that I have to before going off to work (also true). Yet, I always find time to do other things in that time. Things that are still important to get done, like my Bible study or exercise. Here's how a normal "day shift" day works out...

0430: Get up
0510: Leave for work
0600-1430: around in a car looking for law breakers...
1430-1500: Get off work and drive home

Then hope to be in bed before 2300 hrs and actually sleep. When we first switch over to days, I'll spend the first 2 days trying to adjust my sleep schedule. Getting to bed between 11 and 1am...spending the entire night tossing and turning from the expectation of the alarm. Wednesday I'm so exhausted I'm in bed by 1930 at the lastest. Then my Thursday and Friday are more even spread.

Between the time that I get home from work and got to bed I just veg out. My mental state is pretty much non-existant, more so on my Monday and Tuesday. This drain on my energy doesn't just effect my blogging, I often don't get my Bible Study or run in either. So okay, when I'm on day shift I don't get a chance to blog...but I still have my weekends!! Nonetheless, I don't make it a priority.

Now nights usually works like this:

0800: Get up
0900-1200: Bible Study, Run, Shower, Errands, Chores etc.
12:00-1300: Get Ready for work, pack lunch, make lunch, leave for work
1400:-2230: Work...see above
2230-2300: Drive home
2300-Midnight: Visit my husband
Midnight: Bed

Now if I have court that morning than I don't have time to do anything besides get up and go to court where I sit until I'm done then go straight to work. Without those days though, I how about 3-4 hours to get things done, however, I just never seem to have the time to get it all in there. Nonetheless, I don't make it a priority.

*sigh* Here is how I see my life with a new job schedule that doesn't change every other week and doesn't require me to work on my days off.

0600: Get up
0610-0640: Run
0645-0745: Shower/Dress/Breakfast
0745: Leave for work
0800-1700: an office with people who are not trying to kill me or anyone else.
1700-1715: Drive home
1800: Dinner
1845-2030: Free time
2030-2100: Get ready for bed
2100-2200: Bible Study
2200-2230: Bedtime

Now I keep going back and forth about the running and the Bible Study. I'm not sure if I would prefer to do the running after work and do my Bible Study in the morning to start the day or as I have it above. I enjoy starting my day off with the B, however, I also enjoy the run; but, I am not going to get up at a ridiculously early time to get it all in.

In this dream job fantasy, I have time to blog and do all the things that I want and need to do. In those hours of free time I can read or write or watch TV with the husband...the possibilities are endless. When that happens I'm going to stop making excuses for not writing and just write. When that happens I'm going to be all the things that I see myself being. Actually when that happens the Second Coming will probably be here. :o)

Either way, I hate that I don't make the time to write as often as I think about it. But I like that I just wrote a whole post on not liking it, yet still managing to make excuses that sound good enough to be okay with. LOL.