On the fourth year of marriage my true love gave to me: exercise & focus.
Year four we moved from the city to a little town called Lakeland. It was closer to our home church & my parents. Although our apartment was anything but glamorous, it was in this apartment & our fourth year of marriage, that we:
- Had secure jobs with better pay
- Started gaining financial security
- We bought Iris! [our little Hyundai] & were able to stop sharing a car
- Started the process of enlisting in the Army
- Exercised regularly & lost over twenty pounds each
- Volunteered a lot through our church
- Got pregnant!
We had goals & we were on our way to meeting them. It felt great!
Our family issues unfortunately hadn’t subsided though & it was difficult feeling like we were on a boat that was consistently taking on water. Every time we get a hole plugged & felt accomplished we would realize there was another leak that we hadn’t noticed before. Our miscommunication & what felt like constant drama led to us feeling like another sinking/damaged boat was tied to ours. We didn’t have enough energy to keep them both afloat. Feeling the need to always be defending ourselves was exhausting. I remember the Hunky Hubby setting up a meeting with a Pastor to try & figure out how we could handle the situation better. What were our blind spots? Because with the constant “walk away from those who drain you” message being slammed into our millennial brains, it was hard not thinking that walking away was the best option for us. It’s not what we wanted, but we also felt so bogged down by life & desperately needed relief. The Pastor to our surprise suggested a break.
Hindsight, honestly this “break” seems a bit fuzzy to me. I can not say with full confidence that it was the best decision. I can not say with full confidence that it didn’t contribute to the betrayed feeling we ended up having with the church later on down the road. But it is what it is. We followed the Pastor’s advice & took a break from that side of the family for an undecided amount of time.
Being who we are, it sucked hurting those we cared about. At the time though it felt like we were placing a priority on our marriage, life, & not to be over dramatic but our sanity. We dove into volunteering at church, set weight goals, & kept trying to get pregnant. Focused. Determined.
It was during this year that we both lost over 20 pounds & grew more connected while walking, skating, & running around Lake Hollingsworth.
The break didn’t last incredibly long. We missed them after we transitioned into the new place & got our heads above water. & so we tried to reconnect, when we felt able. It wasn’t easy & recovering from this “break” that honestly could have been a lot less hurtful & damaging if not presented the way it was proved to be no easy task. We trudged on.
The Hunky Hubby was about 10 pounds away from the weight he needed to be to enlist in the Army. He had already taken the ASVAB & almost aced it. He had plans to be a linguist & learn a different language. It was all so exciting. & also one of the first times I saw excitement/pride/purpose in his eyes.
It was then that we found out, we were at last pregnant! We had hoped to get pregnant after basic training…& yet here we were. So excited to finally be growing our family. The timing of it all yet again throwing us for a loop.
Looking back, I’m grateful for the timing of it all. But in the moment, it was emotional & threw our plans into upheaval.
I was surprised about this sudden urge, I had to accomplish SOMETHING, or at least be in the process! I had fiddled around with recording music for years. Flirted with the idea of photography, graphic design, or becoming a pastry chef. But, I had been waiting. Waiting for my husband to figure out what he wanted to do, get settled, have a secure financial situation.
So there I was on the precipice of this coming to fruition. He would join the military. I would have babies & go to school, either where we were stationed or online. It was a great plan…now thwarted.
I couldn’t shake this feeling that if I became a Mom without accomplishing something first, I’d feel stuck for the rest of my life. This caused me to step on the gas pedal, per se. I needed to do something with my life & I needed to do it now!
So there I was in church one Sunday morning & something along these lines was said: If you aren’t sure what God wants you to be doing. You keep asking & don’t feel like He’s answering you. Think back to the last thing He called you to do. Did you finish it?
No, I had not. The last thing I had felt certain God wanted me to do, was go to Texas & attend Bible School. I had left that school without a degree & with a bad taste in my mouth. Suddenly, I knew what I was supposed to do! Go back to Bible school & finish.
So, although things were just about settled down for us in Florida. We were near family. & about to embark on this great new season career wise. We decided that he could always join the military from Texas, the same as from Florida. So the Hunky Hubby transferred his job to Texas, stayed with friends, found a home church, while hunting for a townhouse or roomy apartment. When our lease was up my parents helped move our things into a storage unit & I moved in with them.
The transition took longer than expected. Our money sucked once again. I missed him. He missed me. All of our progress in budgeting, weight loss, etc…was lost. Add in all the lovely pregnancy hormones….& let’s just say things were a mess.
But we somehow thrived on the excitement of going. This is what had been said time & time again to us, be willing to go! We were for sure willing. Have faith, that God will work out the details! We had enough blind faith for us & then some. What we hadn’t learned yet, were important pieces of the equation…responsibility. consistency. perseverance. proper planning.
So there we were in the middle of our latest & greatest life plan. With no clue. no money. & no home.
He ended up finding a town house for us, after what seemed like forever.
A previous customer of his gave us a free night’s stay at a hotel in Tampa. This is where we celebrated our fourth anniversary, a little bit late. Then we packed everything up & moved to Texas.
Summed up, the difficulties of year four were:
- Family conflict & separation
- Not planning properly for a move that ended up not being the best choice
- Lost progress in money & weight loss journey. Back at square one
- Feeling trapped by the thought of being a Mom without being accomplishing anything career wise
On the fourth year of marriage, my True Love gave to me:
exercise & focus
determination & snuggles
anger ever swelling
arguments & smooches
& a set of wedding rings
Looking back, it feels so selfish of me to throw everything off track like I did. Especially, when looking at the years that came after that…but no matter how uncomfortable it is to look back, it’s our story. I must determine to:
Learn from the bad. Be grateful for the good. & keep moving forward, trying my best to do better.
Have you been listening to our M.F.E.O. podcasts where me & the Hunky Hubby chat all about each year of our marriage? Take a listen HERE & be sure to rate us & leave some comment love!
The Mess in Me Honors the Mess in You