My wonderful husband is a sheriff deputy. Being married to a "cop" comes with many challenges.
This summer I had the opportunity to go to the Calibre Press Street Survival seminar with him. I enjoyed it, and learned a lot. Realizing and understanding the realities of his job and the risk he takes of putting his life on the line every time he put on the uniform and gets in the patrol car was good for me.
I've never been a worrier. I don't worry and fret every time my husband goes to work. Because I know that doesn't accomplish anything. I pray and commit him to the Lord on a regular basis, but don't do much else beyond that. It's also comforting to know he is very learned, knowledgable, and skilled and competent at what he does. He keeps a positive mindset and is able and willing to do what is necessary. Plus he loves his job, which also helps ;).
Two nights ago, I was aware of a potentially dangerous situation he was responding to. And I was worried, scared, anxious and concerned. Morbid, depressing thoughts were on my mind. I prayed, but couldn't stop thinking about it. I continued to pray, but it was difficult to. After a few hours passed I heard from him that he was okay.
Another challenge to being married to a Law Enforcement officer is the work schedules and shifts he has to work. For the past 4 months he was worked weekends, 2 of those 4 months were graveyard shift. He will continue to work graveyard shift, but switch to working on weekdays for a few months. Due to this schedule, he has missed 4 months of church worship services, these next couple months he will be able to attend our evening service, which we're both happy about.
But I have attended church alone for a long time. I've gotten used to it, and deal with it. Our church is small, and everyone is very close. The other members understand his work (several are in the same line of work) and are understanding and supportive. That is a HUGE blessing!
It is challenging to attend worship week after week alone.
Last Sunday night, it was our turn to host church fellowship at our house. I love these times of fellowship, especially when it's my turn, because I love to bless others with hospitality, and open my home to friends. It is hard to host by myself though. It's an awkward thing to have the man of the house absent. He is able to come by while on duty, eat, and share in a little bit of the fellowship, for which I am thankful. But again, it's challenging.
After the last guests had gone home, I cleaned up, and sat down to relax, and turned on Netflix. My mind wasn't connected with the show. I was thinking of my husband at work, being in church alone once again, hosting by myself.
And while I've never been an incredible needy person, and work well by myself (in somethings, prefer it) I suddenly realized how lonely I am. With my man working graveyard shifts for the past 2 months, and continuing for at least another 2 months, I don't see him much. I'm up in the mornings, and he sleeps until the afternoon. My entire day is filled with things I do alone. We get a few hours in the evenings together, which are wonderful, but if it's a work night, he's off to work and before hand preparing for work. Days off, we enjoy each other, but I go to bed and sleep alone while he finds things to do to keep him up all night to maintain a regular body clock schedule.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to complain. This is more of a realization of how much of my life is spend alone, by myself, doing things without my husband and missing out on sharing so many of everyday life experiences with him. I am not lonely and depressed. I have many friends and things that keep me busy that I enjoy. I'm lonely for my husband, my companion, my partner in life. I want to share more of life with him. I always feel I don't get enough of him and our times together are interrupted way too soon.
As I thought of these things I was sad, emotional, and longing for something, though I don't know what. I tried to pray but no words came. I sat in silence meditating on spiritual things, seeking words to express my heart to my God, but there was nothing. So I simply opened my heart to the Spirit in silence. Knowing I didn't want things different (expect maybe a change of work scheduling, which does happen every 2 months), I wasn't in need of anything, because my God is faithful to provide all that I need for life and godliness. I had no lack, no want, no need, but I was sad, and alone.
Then the Spirit revealed a very hard, convicting, ugly truth about myself to me. A gross sin that I had deceived myself was right and good.
Finally the words to pray came.... "Forgive me Lord, I do not love you enough."
Over the weekend I'd been worried and concerned about the well being of my husband. Self centered thoughts flooded my heart and mind of what would happen to me? what would I do? I cannot live without him. etc. Then feeling lonely, and discouraged by doing so much on my own without my husband. I wanted more of him, his time, his company, his help.
I came to realize. I've put my husband as my god. He's become and idol I've place before the One True God. I love him more than God.
The fact that my husband puts his life on the line almost everyday is a reality that helps me understand the bigger reality that God has appointed the time of his death and that life here on earth is but a vapor. It doesn't last. God controls our lives in His sovereign will and power.
If God should choose to take away the blessing He's given of my husband from me. How would I respond? Would I be able to find my comfort, satisfaction, and peace in God, or would I be void of those things because my husband was gone?
I love my husband too much. Which I had deceived myself was good and right. But when I am not willing to give him up for God, it becomes a terrible sin.
I am soo thankful God revealed this ugly truth about myself to me. That I am able to see my sin. I now pray I can truly be repentant of it and learn to love God more.
I recently studied the book "Idols of the Heart" by Elize Fitzpatrick with the women in my church. It was all about the sin of putting things/people/life before God. And being willing to give up anything and everything for Him. To serve and obey Him no matter what the cost. To love the Lord my God with all my heart with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. Matthew 22:37.
I went to bed with a heavy heart. Sad because of my sin, rather than my own selfish lonliness. Thankful for the Spirit's work of conviction, and thankful for a forgiving God. But still sad over my sin. When I awoke this verse came to mind. "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
I still pray I may be rid of this sin, as it is a matter of the heart I know it will take time for the Lord to change me. But I had a renewed hope and joy in the Lord and in His steadfast love, new mercies, and faithfulness.
I pray this was a blessing to you, as well as maybe a conviction of the same or similar sin in your own heart and life.
God is good and He gives good things (like my husband), but beware of putting your trust in His blessings rather than in Him alone!