It is very important to me that I am being completely honest on this journey in my life and marriage. If you read my last post you know that we have had a rough year and I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation. At the peak of our hardship my husband and I started tweaking things in our marriage. It's not that we weren't happy before but there was so much stress that things began to take a toll. I can't really put my finger on the exact moment when I decided I needed to change my attitude. But I am so glad that I made that choice. Without realizing it I had become too involved in my own inward turmoil that I was literally sucking the joy out of our marriage. I didn't see all the things that my husband was doing to help me and encourage me. It breaks my heart to think about it. He is such a good man, and the best friend I could ask for (love ya babe!). So I remember thinking, "You know, life really sucks right now, but maybe I should try practicing being thankful, and grateful for what I have." So I started doing that, and even when I didn't feel like it on the inside, I tried to smile more and encourage more. It just began building on itself and I noticed some major changes in our relationship. First of all my husband was happier, haha! Instead of my usual pestering of, "Why are you doing that?" or "Can you please not wash clothes that way/put away the dishes like that/forget everything on the shopping list/blow your nose that way?" the last one is a joke. Okay maybe not. I think I did get annoyed with him once for "blowing his nose too loud and waking the baby." Sheesh! would you want to live with that person?! I know I wouldn't! (I promise I'm a good wife! lol) So I began swapping those grating comments for ones of affirmation. Thanking him for loading the dishwasher, taking the trash out, playing with our daughter so I can have some free time, etc. And the biggest thing of all: letting him be a leader in our home.
The other day we were having a heart to heart conversation about some things that had been going on recently and he shared how he was struggling with the assurance that he was making the right moves in areas pertaining to our family and other things. So I was trying to be encouraging and pointed out that he handles things so beautifully at work that he needed to trust in his capabilities to make good decisions in stressful situations. He nodded his head and agreed, saying, "You know, you really have no idea what I do at work. I want you to ride along with me sometime so you can see." I laughed it off with a comment like, "Yeah, that would go over real well." And he just stared at me with those clear blue eyes of his and replied, "I'm serious."
*Gulp* Could I really handle that? I know for a fact that he doesn't tell me a 1/4 of the things he does at work. How would I handle seeing someone's arm chopped off or throwing up blood or worse, watching someone's life slip away? I can tell you right now that I couldn't. Not at all. So now I'm stuck thinking, "How well can I really relate to someone who goes through that?" I don't think you really can. You know how they say, "Don't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes." I think that applies here.
If you were to ask me if I knew then what I know now would I still choose to marry a Paramedic I wouldn't hesitate, I would answer yes. It is hard a lot of times, but what I'm beginning to realize is that there are only certain types of people that can do this job, and they usually have these qualities:
-Love to help others
-Have great leadership skills
Looking at that list, wouldn't you want to have those qualities in a spouse? I do!
They say that the divorce rate of people with spouses in EMS, the Police Department, and the Military are the highest among the national average. I used to think, yeah duh, it's the crazy hours and life threatening situations, etc. But I don't think that's it now. I think maybe we have been looking at it all wrong. I didn't marry a job description. I married a man who courageously uses his skills to help others, to build up his community, and to make a difference in the world. I think it's time to stop looking at all the pitfalls of long shifts, and wacky schedules, and really get to know what makes these people tick. And let me say that I am preaching to myself right now. Just think about love. Love is not just a warm feeling we have towards another person, it certainly is part of it but that isn't what love is about. Love is about sacrifice, and putting the other person before yourself. When I look at my husband's character that description fits him to a T. What a great example of Christ's love for us.
When I look at my husband I don't see being a Paramedic as just the way he provides for his family, I see it as an extension of who he is. His personality, his strengths, and his passions. Seeing the whole picture in that way is helping me realize this way of life is truly a calling. Not for the faint of heart, but for those who are seeking adventure, and life lived at it's fullest.
Maybe now I can begin to relate to my Medic. How about you?