To the Wife Who Didn’t Sign Up for This, Maybe “This” is Even Better
We are absolutely right – we did not plan for this life.
We were brought into it and in weak moments, we find ourselves feeling like we’ve “given up so much without being asked.” Early on in my marriage what I forgot to focus on was how much I was gifted without asking.
I am grateful for how much I have accomplished as a result of where I am now. Life is not just a series of random events but a plan that places us in the right spot, with God at the helm. The plans I make are not always His plans, and I must trust that His plans are more perfect for me than anything I could have dreamt for myself.
There are still times I want to rebel when his job places a limitation on something I want to do. I need to ask myself more often—does he personally want to limit me? If he loves me, that’s not his intent. Am I angry because I’m 100% positive I would have pursued that path even if I’d never met him? or am I rebelling because I’m being limited and unable to come up with a fast resolution to feeling overwhelmed and told no?
It’s easy to say our husband’s job guides most of the path of our household. Whether it’s a move required by a new job, time constraints of a hefty schedule, or any of the plethora of other challenges placed in our path because of the extraordinary occupation he has.
Let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. What if we wanted our dream job, or had to move somewhere, or fell sick, or had needs of our own that we could not avoid? I have to believe, without fail, that my husband would try to give me everything I could ever want. In the face of scary uncertainty, I still need to do the same for him.
We think in extremes much of the time, letting the what-ifs of a given situation lead us to overwhelming stress.
What if when (and only when) the decision falls, we negotiate together our next steps. Sometimes when we hear the answer we’re dreading, rarely do we stop and realize the next steps are usually negotiable. We have already predetermined that if the answer is “A” then the only dreadful path forward is uprooting, changing our entire life and in the process, losing our own individual dreams. Rarely is this the case.
Once we take a moment, panic and then breathe again, many options we didn’t consider abound because our anxiety only allows us to imagine the worst possible outcome. To make matters worse, I begin to believe “he always wins, and I always lose” and we all know that situation isn’t a winning strategy for marriage.
My husband’s job happens to take me on an adventure, and I’ve spent many awake nights praying and becoming more dedicated to being open-hearted to it. I may not be happy at first, or even later, but I’m open to possibility of where I may go because of it.
In all areas of life, we find ourselves thrust into uncomfortable decisions, only to reach a comfortable stability again. One of my best friends and heroes tells me after he’s decided to make a change that his reasoning was simple: “I needed to get uncomfortable.” Through the uncomfortable, we grow, and we get stronger, and we get better.
In our circumstances, because of our husband’s profession, we are forced to get uncomfortable a lot. In order to stabilize quickly, have to get comfortable, with being uncomfortable. While not always fun to anticipate, much less deal with, being open has lead me to places I didn’t plan, and the majority of the times, for the better. Our husbands love us. They are not going to make home life miserable for the sake of a job, as much as it feels like that initially.
The point is that sometimes what we need doesn’t always come in the package we thought we needed. Five years ago, my life didn’t have a husband, a child, much less this unique lifestyle. Today I cannot imagine life without them. I am so very grateful for where I am because of the absolute unexpectedness of who I’ve become because of it.
Go get uncomfortable, what a wild ride it is.
Lesley Ann Jones is a band director’s wife in Katy, TX. She has one future tuba-playing son who just turned three. She works full-time as a business analyst in the Oil & Gas industry. When she’s not toddler-wrangling, she serves as the photography chair for the band and volunteers at church. In her spare time…wait….nevermind. Catch her snaps of band wife life at @crhsbandwife on Instagram.