hold on hope.

Love; it will not betray you/Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free.   ~Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More

Daily I’m reminded how incredibly fortunate I am to share my life with some truly wonderful people.  Ben and I had the opportunity this week to catch up with some friends who traveled to Pensacola from Pittsburgh – and it was delightful.  They are old enough to be our parents, but that doesn’t seem to matter.  Our conversations are always highly entertaining and refreshing.  Mixed in with the jokes and laughter, they impart wisdom and perspective.  I cherished our time together.  And, of course, it made me miss Pittsburgh and the dear ones of you who live there.

Yesterday we celebrated another friend’s winging – congratulations, Jonny (and Trish)!  The day was filled with good company and good times.  It’s hard for Ben and I not to get discouraged as we watch our friends finish training and move on.  And we’re still here…and we will be for awhile.  Our journey with the Navy has been littered with obstacles and strife.  Neither of us have a pessimistic persona, but we struggle with understanding why our experience has been so difficult.  It’s taken a toll on both of us, resulting in high blood pressure for Ben and a torturous struggle with insomnia for me.

As I navigate my role as the encouraging, supportive, helpful wife, I’m often left feeling utterly powerless.  There are many situations where my offering of freshly baked cookies just don’t seem like enough.  The bureaucracy, politics, and idiosyncrasies of military life are complex and enormous – and exhausting.  It’s hard to know how to help when you feel like nothing is in your control.  So I control what I can.  And have faith that somehow, someday things will work for the good.

Although this stage of life has been difficult, it has also been highly rewarding.  I find great confidence and comfort in our relationship, as I see how strong it has grown.  I am so very thankful for Ben.  It is a privilege to be known and be loved by him.  It is humbling to be loved in such a profound way, especially in the moments when I’m not very lovable.  I’ve come to realize that by stripping away the facades and walls – some of which I didn’t even know existed (or perhaps I should say I didn’t acknowledge…) – I have allowed love to pervade and flourish in places where I had once prohibited it.  As I admit and work through my fears and insecurities, they are conquered by love.  I wish I would have known this sooner.

I know the path ahead will continue to have obstacles and pain.  But I’m grateful to not be walking that path alone.

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