It seems like a few different things have shaken loose and suddenly I find myself on an upswing instead of a down.
For this cynical, jaded, faithless believer, I was surprised to find that the first breakthrough was spiritual. (This might begin to sound a little Christianesey. I’m not typically a Christianesey kind of girl, and I know that not all of my readers appreciate Christianesiness. Hang in there.) It occurred to me while I was reading some great stuff by John Eldredge, that there is an enemy of my heart. There is someone who wishes for me to be taken out… To be rendered useless and thus incapable of being truly who I am as Val and of doing those things that Val is truly meant to do. Suddenly I saw so very clearly that I was being beaten up. I saw myself just being sucker-punched and pummelled over and over and over again by lies: I’m stupid, I’m a bad Mom, I’m a bad wife, I’ll never get it together, I’m worthless, I’m powerless, I’m incapable, No one cares, I am a burden, I cannot depend on anyone, I am meant to handle life alone, and on and on and on….
Seeing this clicked so many things into place. First of all, I realized that this truly was a battle. This wasn’t just something I could sit down and skate through. I had to stand up and fight. I suddenly had compassion for myself and my situation for the first time in a long time. I was being BEATEN. Brutally BEATEN. No wonder life felt so awful. You don’t blame the victim of a beating. You don’t shake her and say, “Why are you bleeding? Why can’t you just get it together you dummy?” You realize that brutality was done to this person and you see her with compassion. For the first time, I was able to see myself that way. Not as a Mom and a woman who just couldn’t hack it, but as someone who had sustained a brutality to the soul and to the spirit.
And if I was being beaten, there was a reason. Something or someone wanted to neutralize me. If something or someone was fighting so hard to take me out, then surely that meant I was WORTH something. Surely it MEANS there is SOMETHING in me to contribute, to bring forth into this world. The darkness at work in the world has been working to extinguish the light within me. Call it good verses evil, call it The Spirit at work in me verses the one at work in the world. Whatever you call it, something clicked. Since then, I’ve been soaking deeply in this paradigm shift finally understanding that my heart is good. And firmly believing in a DEEP way in the goodness of God’s heart toward me, and His desire to be involved in my life. Pretty heady stuff.
The other stuff has been simple technical tweakings: The sun is out more. How I glory in the sunshine! I love the colors it brings to the world. My favorite thing lately has been soaking in the warmness of it. And then shortly after the crazy God-stuff changes, I had a slight change with my meds–nothing more than my pharmacy changing manufacturers, and suddenly the ‘lightbulb’ that came on earlier in my journey came on again.
So I’m turning a corner. And I’m experiencing more joy in my life than I have in ages. Literally. I feel better in a way that I haven’t since long before Mom died or the whole Navy adventure began. I feel like a whole different person. And I love it.
Life is turning a corner too. This week will mark the beginning of our last longish stretch of Husband being away. And there is a good chance that it will be THE last stretch of awayness for a very long time. We’re heading into Shore Duty. For so long I felt so guilty about that… That our Sea Duty days were over. That it wasn’t going to be US doing the deployments. I felt like *we* hadn’t given enough. Like our time doing deployments and detachments weren’t worthy enough sacrifices. I’m beginning to realize, though, that shore duty is a built in part of a Naval career. And it’s ok for us to experience it too. We’ve done separations for five years. We will have spent a full two of them apart. It’s time for our family to experience stability. It’s time for us to have some togetherness. It’s time for Husband and I to learn how to function as a unit without a looming separation changing the dynamics up constantly. After three more years and this stint of Shore Duty, our plan at this point is to get out. This is our stepping stone to civilian life. Things are really changing.
And it is good. I pray that it will continue to be good. I pray that no matter the circumstances, that we are on the cusp of a sweet chapter of our lives: One full of learning, and growing, and stretching, and one full of this abiding joy that I’m just beginning to rediscover.