Thursday, September 8, 2011

Emotional Overload

     So, if you read my last post, you'd think that being allergic to my husband was the hard part of him coming home; the sad part was that was just the beginning.  Over the next few weeks that followed, I took a ride on an emotional roller coaster with more ups, downs, and loop-d-loos than I care to admit.  I could cry at the drop of a hat over absolutely nothing.  I was so confused, "Why was I such an emotional wreck?"  I knew I was happy to have my husband home but my emotions weren't lining up that.  To give you an idea of just how emotional I was, listen to this.  My husband and I went home to my parents house for the weekend and while there we were visiting in the living room with some family and friends.  Jeremiah simply told them that I had been a little emotional.  He jokingly said, "I could probably just look at her right now and she'd start crying."  Before he could even look at me, I was already beginning to cry.  Ugh!  I was so disgusted and frustrated with myself.  What was wrong with me?
     Eventually the crying stopped and somewhere along the way, life seemed to get back to normal.  It wasn't until about a year later during Jeremiah's second deployment that I really took some time for myself to get to the bottom of things.  At that point in time, I was working on my Master's degree in school counseling and while learning how to "help" others, I did a lot of "work" on myself first.
     Every deployment to a war zone carries it's own stressors, but there is something unique about a first deployment and all the unknowns that be simply overwhelming and even terrifying at times.  You see, I am a planner, an organizer; I like to know what's happening and when.  When it's not possible to know what is happening, I like to think of all the "What ifs?" so I can be prepared for different situations.  Of course one of those "What if's?" I contemplated was, "What if something happens to Jeremiah?  What if he isn't one of the lucky ones?  What if he doesn't come home?"
     Throughout my thoughts and fears of something happening to my husband, I also had this overhwhelming sense of peace and joy that everything was going to be okay, not that my husband was going to be okay, but that no matter what happened to him, I would find joy in the trials God would allow me to go through, knowing that each of those trials would be one of the ways He would complete His work in me so that I may one day be, "complete and mature, lacking absolutely nothing," as His Word promises in James 1:1-4.   But as you know, when he got home, I was lacking that joy, and it was driving me crazy.  I finally came to the realization while in graduate school that I was planning on my husband dying overseas; I didn't want him to die, but I just thought that's what was going to happen, that that's what God's plan was.  So, when he came home alive, I didn't really know how to react.  If he would have died, I thought I knew how I would react.  Sure I would have been an absolute wreck to begin with, but then I had this idea I would be strong and even joyful in the depths of that dark time- that God would use me to encourage and minister to others.  But then, he came home.  If God's plan wasn't for him to die, what was His plan for me?  Needless to say I was disgusted with myself; how could I be such a terrible person that I would even think such things?  I battled feelings of guilt and worthiness for a while but soon just realized I can plan and think about all the "What if's," but regardless of what they are, God will take care of me in the present, right here in the here and now.  Now, of course, I am more than happy my husband has survived two deployments.  We have an incredible little boy  and love every moment of being a family.  I've learned that tomorrow really does have enough worries of it's own, so for today, I am only going to worry about today.