Written on Saturday, March 3rd.
Yesterday Andy received notification that he has been accepted into the United States Navy.
This is big.
Like really big.
We have tossed around the idea of him joining the military for years now and back in the “early days” the idea would always scare me.
If you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a control freak.
You’re shocked, I’m sure.
Usually conversations about the military would end quickly with me saying something about not wanting “them” to own our life.
My how things have changed…
So many things have played into our decision to pursue the Navy that I can’t begin to share them all here, but this is certainly not a decision we’ve taken lightly.
There was lots of prayer and discussion and more prayer and thinking and talking and more prayer and more talking.
Then we waited. We just let the idea marinade for a while.
Fortunately Andy is very disciplined and tends to start taking steps cautiously early on rather than jumping into things with both feet.
I’m kind of a “two-foot jumper inner” so thank God that Andy is the one steering our life ship.
When he first had the idea about joining the Navy, he did some research and sought out a meeting with a medical Navy recruiter about a year or so ago. The guy we met with was really awesome and not nearly as “scary” or “militant” as I was expecting.
He was just a normal guy who became a nurse and used his skills to serve the Navy. He was warm and engaging, yet strong and confident. You could tell he loved the Navy, and more importantly, our great country. I was really impressed by him and we both got along with him really well.
Anyway, it turned out that the time of year we met with the recruiter was ideal timing for starting the process. It was early enough that we had time to move through everything at an easy pace and still have a chance at the scholarships for the following year.
It also turns out that Andy is an exemplary candidate. Smart, disciplined, and patriotic with nary a bone in his closet let alone any skeletons. He’s hardly gotten a parking ticket (they look into your traffic record!).
So the last year has been spent continuing to think and pray about it while cautiously taking steps forward. There have been applications to fill out and physicals to be had.
There were classes to finish up and MCATs to sit for. There were med school applications to be filled out and medical school acceptances to be received.
Navy app completed?
Navy physical passed?
Pre-med classes aced?
Med school apps submitted?
Wife not going crazy in the interim?
Seriously folks, the beginning of this journey was rough for me, but thanks to God in heaven above, I’ve made it.
And, I’ve not just survived.
I’ve learned to thrive.
Throughout the whole process, we both really warmed to the idea of being in the military.
Andy got excited early on at the chance to serve our great country, following in the footsteps of his dad and grandfather. He was thrilled that as a Navy doctor he’d be privy to cutting edge medicine and technology that isn’t available to the civilian sector.
But I think most of all, he was thankful that he’d finally be able to be the primary breadwinner in our family.
I’ve been bringing home the bacon and frying it up for about 3 years now and it’s had its challenges.
It’s tough to be the woman in a marriage when you’re playing the part of a man for 40+ hours a week. It’s hard to be the man in the marriage when you’re playing the part of a woman while your wife is out earning the paycheck.
It’s hard to be a mother when you’ve got a full-time job to do well. It’s hard to be an employee when you have a full-time baby at home needing you.
Some people are able to do this dance really well. They can swap traditional roles and still engage in their marriage as the woman/wife or husband/man.
This has been difficult for us.
I naturally tend to be dominant and task-oriented, so drop me in a job where I’m paid and praised for being that way 40 hours per week, and it makes it hard for me to come home and not try to rule the roost.
Andy is wired to be more laid-back and peace-keeping so tending to our baby and the house between classes made it hard for him to feel like the brawny leader of our home.
The worst part is that we can get along pretty well for a while living out our dysfunctional roles.
You know, until he resents me and I don’t respect him.
Then we look up and go, “How on earth did we get here?”
At that point we have to work really really hard to maneuver ourselves back into the roles we believe God cast us each for in this marriage.
That’s been the cycle of the past few years and it’s getting old. We’re ready to embrace new roles around here.
Stay tuned for more…