I feel like before I became a police wife, I didn’t really know much about the world.
I thought because I worked in a domestic violence shelter I really had a handle on the worst things in life. I felt like I understood it and was prepared for the emotional toll it would take. And even though my husband does his best not to tell me the worst stuff he sees, he’s also better able to separate himself from the emotions – so he doesn’t always realize the stories he tells me are things I didn’t want to know.
And sometimes after hearing these stories, I can’t help but wonder: why did that have to happen?
Hey there, it’s me.
I see you over there. I know you’re feeling broken down, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Sometimes this life is just way harder than you imagined, am I right?
Sure, at first it seemed a little exciting – after all, admit it: uniforms are super sexy. And you’re so proud to have a husband who’s a real-life superhero. But after the excitement wears off, it’s just flat out tough.
After all, when you said “I do” to your husband, you might not have realized he’d have another wife – one that’s much needier, that calls him at all hours of the night. One to whom he responds, every single time. It’s hard to feel treasured as a wife when there’s something else that always comes first.
And that other wife? She can be a real wench, right? She sends your husband home tired, frustrated, worn out, even traumatized at times. You can’t ever really tell what his response is going to be after a long shift, whether he’s going to shut you out and refuse to talk, or whether he’s going to need to feel close to you (even if he still doesn’t want to talk.)
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Mormon. I don’t normally talk much about it, simply because it’s not usually that relevant to what I’m writing about.
Every six months, the church has a conference where we get to listen to the prophet and apostles speak. It’s an edifying experience every time and somehow, whatever issue I’ve been wrestling with at the time, I’ll have new insight on the issue after watching.
There was one conference, however, where one of the messages made my heart drop.
It was David O. McKay speaking, and he talked about the importance of controlling your thoughts.
“Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny,” he said.
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When my husband was in the academy, he struggled a lot. Even though he had always wanted to be a police officer, it was tough. He had moments of doubt in his own abilities, and he had moments where he had to ask God whether he really was where he was supposed to be.
To encourage him, I bought him a small set of scriptures (similar to this) and highlighted any that I thought would help him with a blue highlighter. I figured he could read them at the academy, then when he had his own car he could easily store them away since they were so compact.
It surprised me that there were so many verses that seemed to apply directly to law enforcement, and as I went through the pages and searched for them, I found more and more. This project was inspiring for me, and has been helpful for him.
About a month ago, things were looking really lousy around the Elwood home.
It was like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We were sick, A was going through a sleep regression, J had lost his job (more on that at another time), our car was acting up, and so on, and so forth.
The whole time, I couldn’t stop myself from asking: God, where the heck are you?
I know that the holidays are typically associated with happiness and love, but the truth is, that’s not always the case. Whether you’re facing financial issues, conflicts with family or friends (especially after an election year), a death in the family, or any other hardship, you might just not be feeling all that jolly this year.
And heck, while we’re talking about hard things, maybe it’s all the crappy stuff about cops in the news that’s getting you down.
Whatever it is, I get it. It’s sucky to be in a season where you want so badly to be happy and you’re just… not.
I received a message from a fan a few weeks ago. She said she was feeling a little disheartened because all the information she was finding on police relationships was geared toward married couples, and she and her boyfriend are (obviously) not married.
She talked about feeling left out around law enforcement wives. How she felt looked down upon, and generally felt those around her didn’t understand her struggles.
Theodore Roosevelt is often quoted as saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This is so true, and such an important concept to keep in mind in the age we live in.
After all, we can easily tune into other people’s lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can more easily and directly compare our lives to others than ever before, and it’s making us sadder and lonelier than ever. So much for social media, right?
I have a big announcement to make: I’m now going to be contributing to My Joy-Filled Life once per month! My Joy-Filled Life is a blog that is centered around homeschooling, but even if you’re not a homeschooling mom, I think those of you who are moms will really enjoy it. They post lots of fun activities for kids, recipes, homemaking tips, and articles that will encourage you when you’re feeling low.
If you enjoyed my previous general motherhood, homemaking, and/or encouragement topics, you’ll love the posts I contribute over there. Whenever one of my posts goes live, I’ll be sure to let you guys know so that you won’t miss it! If you’d like to know in advance when I’ll be posting, I’m scheduled to contribute a post the first Friday of each month.
The post that was published today is one that I was inspired to write after gardening recently. I realized that a lot of our literal planting season mirrored some lessons I needed to learn from the metaphorical planting season our lives are in.
While I see a lot of our “plants” beginning to grow, I know from recent first-hand experience how hard it is to plug away without seeing results. I wanted to share my experience to hopefully encourage those of you who are also in such a season.
Funny enough, I’d been thinking about these lessons but hadn’t considered writing a post on them until I was asked to be a regular contributor to MJFL. As soon as I got the email saying that I’d been chosen, I got to work writing it and managed to have the article finished within a day or two! I just love when inspiration strikes like that.
Anyway, if you’d like to check out my post, here’s the link: When You’re In The Planting Season
I hope you enjoy it!