Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Year of Marriage

It’s been a year since I got married and I can’t believe it. Anyone who was at the Wedding or that knew me when I was just saying I just got married will probably agree this year has flown by. I’ll say it again...I can’t believe it. So these past few weeks I’ve been flashing back in my mind to what I would have been doing at this time last year starting in April or May. I can remember Danielle, Carrie and I really hustling to get homework done for school and graduating last year. I also can remember us hustling to pack up four years of memories to move on to three different chapters in our lives. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do . I had grown up so much in New York. I had made friends that turned into best friends as well as apart of my family. I had met God there in so many ways. I came back to God and learned that He had always been there He was just waiting for me. I changed into a person that I always wanted to be, loving confident, and always looking to grow. I also found my new calling to go to the Philadelphia Biblical University for counseling. Sometimes it’s still hard not to live in New York. I miss the people the most. I miss living with Carrie and Danielle. I miss Jonathan dropping by and meeting up for discipleship. I miss the community that was once there. I had never been with a group of friends that truly taught me what Godly community could really look like. I’m not saying we didn’t fight or make mistakes but for me it was the closest I was to heaven because we were a community of believers going through life together. Although it was a struggle to not be there this year I know that it wasn’t the same for my friends. Many of them graduated or moved. The ones that were there almost never saw each other due to jobs, moving or just life getting in the way. All of us know how great it was to have that amazing time together but know that God wants us to move out of our comfort zones into the next chapters. For some of us this meant moving, some marriage, some school and some are still figuring it all out. Yet all of my friends have moved on and I can see God blessing them in their lives and for that I am so thankful. I miss them all and wish I could kidnap them all and put them all in one house again but perhaps that dream will come true in heaven.

The other memories I’m looking back on is leaving my family. After the Wedding I had to say my goodbyes. My family and I both all told ourselves the same lie that we were just moving to go to school and that we would be back. Although this is true, we all knew it wouldn’t be like when Justin or I went away to college. It was a lot farther and for a lot longer of a time. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to come home for Winter or Summer break ever again and that was hard! One of the most hard months of my first year of marriage was Christmas time. I was off from school and away from my family. I was stressed to finish my school semester to be immediately followed by rushing to do Christmas. I never realized how hard it was to be an adult until Christmas...the presents, the cookies, the Christmas cards, the decorating and the list goes on. I found a new respect for my own mom that’s for sure! It was hard but mostly it was lonely. I wanted to be home for all the special moments that occur before Christmas. I think I called home everyday for weeks that month. Haha. The other moment that I truly got homesick this year was when Jude was born, my new nephew. I couldn’t be there and couldn’t get there until three weeks later. If you know me pretty well you know how I feel about Levi my other nephew. I can’t imagine loving anyone more than my nephew so missing Jude’s birth was super hard for me too. I think I checked in everyday then as well! ;)

So the other memory I keep reliving is my Wedding. Now I’m not going to go into this too much because it’s on my blog already. But I had a great time at my Wedding and if I had to would do it all over again. I love to think about it and how much love was in the room that day. It was one of the Best days of my life definitely! So from there we jumped on a plane to Mexico and came home with one day to pack. No we didn’t pack up til then because we had soo much going on...I know it’s crazy. So we both packed up twenty some odd years of our lives as best we could into the moving truck and left for our new home on July 7th. It all happened so quickly we got there unpacked everything and before you knew it my parents and Justin’s brother, Jon had to leave. It was super emotional we all cried for about 15 minutes and then finally saw their car drive out of our parking lot. We held each other for another five minutes in the parking lot crying. This was it I it’s time to do this marriage thing I guess and be a real grown up. Ahhhhh......

Some say the most stressful year of your life will be if you move, start a new job or get married. We decided to try all at once, plus I added starting a new school too. All I can say is that this year was one of the most hard, intense, loving, lonely, educational and amazing years of my life. We moved to Pennsylvania with no jobs, not knowing a soul and the only money we had left was the money from our Wedding, which we lived off of for months. We had no money, no place to go everyday, didn’t know where to go and with gas being almost $4 couldn’t afford to go anywhere. It was depressing, irritating and lonely. We couldn’t get cable, internet or phone for the longest time because the company could not work the wires well for a while...well it’s a long story but I won’t go into that. The point is, is that it was basically me and Justin struggling and getting sick of each other by the hour. There was times I thought what did I do? I have to spend my life with him? What if we don’t really like each other? This after 5 and half years of dating...haha. I know this sounds terrible but is completely normal and did pass of course. When Justin finally did get a job it seemed like the best thing in the world. He was going to be making good money and working in Philly. It seemed exciting and we’d have money. Unfortunately everything comes with a price. He worked and traveled to and from work most of the day and when he got home he would crash. This hardly is much of a marriage. I was still unemployed and was playing housewife but I was completely lonely and hated his job. He was nervous and miserable most of the time. As much as I hated it I was scared out of my mind when he said he was going to quit. We talked about it and I was against it. Justin found something else for him to work at so that he could quit and soon. He found a position at the local Rite Aid being a Pharmacy technician, which is what he’s done for years now. They hired him right away and he left. Although I didn’t like the idea of this because it scared the crap out of me for him to make less but as usual Justin had faith that God would provide and he did. Justin worked at two pharmacies to make full-time and got to walk to work which helped with gas money. I began my schooling in the summer and then in the fall. I quickly found a job in the beginning of Fall and things began to settle..a little. I learned so much in that time about all my insecurities about money, security, caring what people thought about our jobs and how marriage can be hard and lonely. Several people want to get married to not be alone ever again and I suppose I thought the same but today I know better. Although this may not be true of everyone I think I’m alone more now than I ever was. Justin and I have worked opposite schedules since we moved here. I hardly see him and sometimes when we can we are busy with errands, homework or just life. I struggled to know during this time why I didn’t feel more loved by Justin but soon realized that I would not find complete love in him. Don’t get me wrong Justin loves me. He is one of the best examples of someone who unconditionally loves. He has taught me soo much and I feel so cared for by him practically 24/7 BUT he cannot be my all. I felt at some point an empty feeling somewhat. I realized that subconsciously I was expecting him to completely love me unconditionally and no human can do this task. Only one can and that’s God. I learned and continue to learn that where Justin and others love ends that’s where God’s love begins. He loves me and you in a different way, a way no one else can. This is not really new for me but it became new during marriage. I never really knew how love for my husband would work with love for my God. It can work beautifully if you both want it to. Recently Justin said I believe in the power of our love and although I enjoyed the try of romanticism I told him that I don’t, well really I said that’s crap!( Oops that wasn’t encouraging! haha) I don’t believe in the power of our love because I know love can fail without Christ. In Corinthians it says love never fails but so many people’s love does for each other, so it makes you wonder why? I know it’s because they tried it on their own. I never want to love again without Christ. I only know how to now because He has taught me. I only continue to figure out marriage and love, through Christ’s love for me. Otherwise I’m just selfish yeah I know it and if we were honest with ourselves we would all see it too. I don’t know all the answers about love or marriage and I’m not going to sit here and say I do BUT I will say this I would of been lost this year with out God’s hand.

After Christmas I began to turn full-time in my job working at a website company and began semester two of my program. My schooling was such a big part of this year although I won’t get into that too much because this is already too long. I will say this though, I would not be the same without this program. It continues to teach me about myself, God, people, and life. I love it! It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made although I kind of think God chose it not me. :) It’s hard and I hate it sometimes. I’m scared and excited by it. It also would not have been the same without my awesome lab who turned into be my new family! These girls have heard and seen things about me that are ugly yet they love me just the awesome is that?!? I love you girls! At the end of January right near my Birthday and when I had Frank, Amanda and Levi visiting I got called into my bosses office. They were closing the office down and moving it all out to Pittsburgh. I was laid off, just like the rest of America at this time and even now. I couldn’t believe it. It had taken months to find this job and I couldn’t imagine how hard it was now that the recession was deeper. I was scared, again...

God provided for me, as usual right (when will I learn?) In only two week into unemployment I had a job. I began in February and still work at Greatwide Truckload Management. Honestly when I first started I thought I was going to have to quit. I never thought I would learn my job which is being a biller for a corporate office for trucking. Although the training was one of the worse, I found my way and did what I had to for me and Justin. Our family needed the money and I needed to work. Little by little we settled into my new work schedule of three days and 10 hours at a time. It sometimes still is a struggle to work that many hours but a blessing to be home more. As the school year finished in the Spring I thought I was going to die at the end but God saw me through. I had my first shot at counseling someone and had to counsel myself which was interesting to say the least.

The point is that soo much has happened this year really I can’t even write it all because even now I remember losing my best friend to Africa for months and how hard that was at the same time and the time my steering wheel locked or when I got rear-ended. The year was hard and many times I hated it and wanted to just go home and I know Justin did too. Yet it was also a great year of growing up, learning to live with a boy, learning about God and my past and learning to continually be seeking God for what marriage really should look like. I’m still learning and Justin and I know we will be for the rest of our marriage.