Heather Ricks

Storytelling and Facilitating
Thoughts and Things

Thoughts and Things

This has been a weird week. It’s been draining and exhausting, but also wonderful and relaxing. A dear friend is getting married, and an event I adore will be experienced. I also had a cold, and my husband had a lump removed from his back to make sure it wasn’t cancer.

We don’t have definite results yet, we are fairly certain it is benign though. He goes in a few weeks from now to have the stitches removed, and we hope we will know a definite answer by then. He’s always had the lumps, since I met him. We’ve been married almost 2 years, and together almost 3, and they were around before I was. A doctor had told him they were nothing, but he started to develop a new one so had them checked out.

It’s weird to feel so many emotions in such a short period of time, and emotion wise I feel like I’ve been going from one to the next for three months or so now. I realized I was unhealthy and I needed to change that, so I quit my job. That comes with all kinds of emotions for me; happiness at seeing my husband more, relief of stress from work, new stress about if I need to be making money, worry that I’m just a leech if I don’t do “enough” while I’m unemployed, that awful feeling that I’m doing nothing and going nowhere even though I had very definite plans for my life… None of this is new exactly, but most of it is being felt for the first time while worrying about what someone else feels in the situation. I’ve been without a job twice now since getting married. Both times my husband has encouraged me to leave where I was for various reasons and fully supported my resignations. Both times I’ve felt selfish and dumb for leaving perfectly good jobs. There were solid and understandable reasons why I left, but it always feels like I’m just being lazy to me. That’s been my three month struggle, and at this point the only things that have helped me feel less that way are my blogs. I have deadlines, I’m writing… I’m not being totally useless. I’m also volunteering, but that is a whole other story.

Add all the emotions of seeing a counselor for the first time consistently on my own to deal with past things. Those might be discussed here later, they might not… I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to open up on everything on here, but I hope to on many things. However, know there has been much emotion for about two months there.

This lump exam/removal has been going on for about a month now. Two weeks for the initial appointment, a week to see the next doctor, a week to surgery… Medical things tend to always drag on forever. I know it’s so there is a proper diagnosis, procedure is followed… It feels like answers should be quicker though when the items in question feel time sensitive and life or death. This hasn’t been the first health scare since our marriage, for either of us, but it has been the most peaceful? I’ve been able to shut it out more to feel like I can function. I’ve felt less at the mercy of doctors and more like God is in control. I’ve wanted to cry less, and worried less that my husband might not live long enough to see kids graduate from something lower than college. Part of that has been more time to write and process in general, part of it has been my counseling and working through anxieties, part of it has been spending so much time with him, and part of it has been because of amazing moms (his and mine) who have been praying for us and with us during the whole process. It’s also partially been a peace that comes from living in chaos and knowing I have to trust God or I’ll break into a million pieces.

All of this has been stressful, and my reaction to most of it has been to just shut everything off. It’s hard, but I can do it and have before. For years. The tricky bit is that I now have a husband. It’s kind of hard to shut down all of your emotions while still being open and available to another human being. He also knows me so well that he knows when I’m upset before I do some days, so that doesn’t help at all. Our communication has only improved since we’ve been married, so basically he instantly knows when something is wrong now, which is such a blessing, but also makes it impossible to shut down like my tendency is without crushing him by not confiding in him. It’s a weird dynamic, and makes it where I have to deal with things. I have to deal with my fears and anxieties, because I have to tell him all of them. If I don’t I’m lying, and that is no way to treat my husband.

When the fears, anxieties, questions, and bad moments have hit this time around, I’ve had to tell someone. I think this is the first time I’ve ever really been through a stretch like this where I’ve been asking continuously for support and prayers by sharing with someone everything I’m going through. It took him living in the same house with me and opening up to him in a way I never have with anyone, but asking him for help has helped me ask others. Talking to him about my problems has humbled me to talk to others.

I’m so blessed to be able to look to my husband and know that this is how God loves me to. To know that I could have been asking like this all along, to have been humbling myself to ask for prayer from others for so many years, to have this peace form anxiety that can only be God-given… I’m so humbled and amazed today, sitting here writing, to see how much God has done in my heart and mind in the last year and nine months.

I never thought I’d be married, I thought single-hood was my lot and was totally okay with it. God told me that I was wrong years before I met my husband, but I didn’t totally believe it. I knew that even if I got married, it would end in divorce whether I wanted it to or not, that’s just what happens; that, or some great tragedy would sweep one of us away and we would never get to stay together.

How funny it is to look back on pre-husband me, and see a hurt little girl that the world thought was so tough and unfeeling. I’ve had these emotions all along, but I’ve never felt so free to feel them. I’m so glad that God’s plan for me allowed me to express more of who I am than my plan ever would, and that I have a husband and friends who encourage me to dive deeper into that real me every day.

Moral of the story? God’s plan brings so much peace. I’m so glad that I can relax into God’s plan and know He is listening to me. He knows what is best for me, even when I think He’s wrong. In the end, I always see that I was wrong all along, and His plan is infinitely better than mine.

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