Let’s get real. Really real. Let’s talk about resentment. And while I may talk about it in a form that applies to me, everyone feels resentment about someone or something in their life.
Resentment is defined as the foundation of hatred. It is comprised of fear, sadness, bitterness, anger, disgust and my favorite “the perception of injustice.”
That last one hits hard. The perception of injustice. Injustice is defined as something that is not fair.
Situations happen that we do not expect, think we should have to go through, or experience. Personally, I resent my husband for his job sometimes. Yes, that makes me selfish but I told you we are going to get real.
Some days I hate the military. I hate that I can’t be with my husband. I hate even more that we aren’t even being fairly compensated for this 9 month deployment and he’s not getting the benefits he deserves! We already sacrifice so much so why should we have to sacrifice finances too? I hate hearing other women complain about their husbands being on a 3 day business trip. I hate that I never get to be with my family. I hate that I miss out on weddings, birthdays and special events. I hate that this life makes me feel so lonely sometimes. I hate that every time I start to feel comfortable in a place, its all ripped away and I have to start from scratch. I hate that whenever I am applying for a job, I always have to start from the bottom of the pay scale. It doesn’t matter what my level of education is, I will never be taken seriously because I can’t work at a place for more than 3 years at a time. As soon as I am there long enough to earn bonuses and incentives, they all get taken away. Working is not even worth it when you are grossly underpaid. I hate that I feel bad for not working or contributing financially so I still find ways to work. Then I feel bad for only bringing home $142.53 a month after paying for childcare, gas and food. Then I feel bad for spending all that time away from my kids just for an extra $142.53. It’s never ending. I hate raising my babies without their dad. I hate feeling like I fail every single day no matter how hard I try. I could find 1001 reasons why I resent this life and so could very other military spouse.
The #1 reason we feel resentment towards our husbands is for the time spent apart and the overwhelming amount of JOBS we are left with the day they step on the plane. Things like: getting a Power of Attorney for like…. everything, paying all of the bills, canceling insurance on everything he owns since he won’t be using it, learning how to change air filters in the house, refilling the water softener, plumbing, electric, being a housekeeper 24/7 ( which my house is actually much cleaner when he’s gone), mowing the grass, doing all of the yard work, all of the chores, taking the babies to doctors appointments and unexpected hospital visits then turning around two days later and taking yourself to the hospital. Learning how to change a tire alone, jumping your car, returning a washer because its been recalled and it could explode in your house at any moment. You become the jack of all trades purely for survival and it’s stressful. Somewhere in all of that you are supposed to find time to do things for YOU? Like take a nice relaxing bubble bath with a glass of wine while reading your favorite book? No, that would be a dream…. In reality, I just want 5 minutes to go to the bathroom by myself without any interruptions OR just to be able to finish the sandwich I made for lunch, and also a few chips…and maybe some of the pomegranates rotting in the corner because I haven’t had time to peel those either.
A 9 month deployment is a lot to handle alone with two babies. I do have days where I feel angry, bitter and sad…. mostly when both of them are crying. One needs to be changed, the other needs to be fed, as soon as that one eats the other is hungry and then the one that just ate pees their pants. Then while you’re changing that baby, you find that the other dunked the entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet water and you toss baby #1 in the middle of the bed as you try to dive into the bathroom in time to swat the roll out of your son’s hands before it goes into his mouth. While you’re washing his hands you realize baby #1 is still on the bed with no clean diaper because you didn’t get to finish wrapping her up and walk in to find she has pooped all over her clothes.
THIS IS REAL LIFE! Literally it happens every day. It’s times like this when I could throat punch my husband for not being here. THIS is not what I thought I signed up for!
Every military wife has that thought, right? It can’t be just me…
YES, they do! Everyone has thought it at least once. Then you snap back to reality because you know that this IS what you signed up for… sometimes it’s just not fair. We accepted these terms and conditions when we said I DO. It may or may not have been in the fine print of future scenarios that we never imagined could happen, but we did commit to this life. It is not for the weak hearted.
What’s even worse is when you FaceTime your husband to vent about all of it and find out that he just got back from the gym, had dinner, and his biggest problem for the rest of the night is deciding whether or not he should start a new series on Netflix or play the new video game he just bought. All while your home struggling to stay above the freaking waves and trying not to drown.
I’ve been feeling resentment a lot lately. The whole reason I moved home was so I could have help. I’ve had less help than I thought I would, than I was told I would, but I am grateful for the ones that are helping. I really wanted to be home so I could have time to coach lacrosse again, maybe work once a week just to get out of the house, go back to CrossFit and attempt to lose two years of baby weight… but as the days go by it’s getting harder and harder. The thrill of us being home has become a thing of the past and everyone still has their own lives to manage. I can’t expect everyone to drop everything for me for 9 months so I can do what I want for a change. My parents have been so helpful, they watch the babies for me every night so I can go workout and my in laws have taken great care of our German Shepard for us. Sometimes I just wish that THEY had more help.
I started this new devotional called Faith Deployed and today’s devotion is called Conquering Resentment.
Phillipians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others.
Whoa, talk about a reality check.
I want to share a paragraph from this devotion that really stood out to me.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss points out that no matter who we are (or what our husbands do for a living), we will always have unfulfilled longings on this side of heaven (Romans 8:23). “It is important to understand that our inner longings are not necessarily sinful in and of themselves,” she writes. “What is wrong is demanding that those longings be fulfilled here and now or insisting on meeting those longings in illegitimate ways… The second Truth is that the deepest longings of our hearts cannot be filled by any person or thing… We just learn to accept those longings, surrender them to God and look to Him to meet the deepest needs of our hearts.”
I have realized that it is so easy to resent and it is easy to feel like these 9 months are a monumental injustice but this time has also made me realize how truly blessed I am. Things could always be worse. Someone always has it worse than you do. My friend from work just lost her husband,at 23, to a FREAK accident on the weekend they were celebrating their anniversary. She just had a baby weeks before I had Lily. Talk about injustice? There have been countless service members killed in accidents over the past few months and those wives are now without their husbands and those children without their fathers. I have friends my age who are battling cancer. I have friends my age who have children battling cancer. I have friends who are losing their parents and other family members daily.
Yes, life without my husband is hard. He’s my best friend. I always knew he was an amazing teammate but not having him here has made me appreciate him even more. I didn’t realize how much I truly rely on him everyday. Part of me is also thankful he is gone because it has made me dig deeper into my relationship with God and it has also helped my husband grow closer to God as well. Sometimes Clay doesn’t understand why he is there. I do trust that God has a plan for him though. He is there for reason. He tells me stories of how he gets to be a champion for Christ and his plans to start a bible study. I’m not surprised by any of his plans though. He is a great leader at work and in our home. He thinks his time there is of no value but if my husband can lead one person to Christ, if he can save one living soul, the time apart is worth it. When God calls you to the other side of the world to bring his people home, you listen and you obey. It’s not about us, it’s about God’s work. Nothing makes me more proud of my husband than watching him be a Godly leader. He makes me want to serve others more everyday. Watching him do his bible study every morning makes me want to be better at that too.
When we make God our primary focus, it’s impossible to feel resentment because you realize just how blessed you are. Even in the worst of circumstances, there are always things to be thankful for. There is a bigger picture that we will never understand and it’s not our job to. Our job is to listen and obey, faithfully.
I have my days where all I want to do is complain but I never go to bed without being grateful that my husband is alive, my babies, my family and myself are all healthy. I have a support system. I have a roof over my head. We are able to feed our children. While I am home: I have a job, I do get to work out, I do get to coach lacrosse again, I do get to be with my family and friends, I get to attend more weddings, birthdays,and special events. I get to watch both of my parents enjoy their grand babies that they never get to see. I AM BLESSED.
Yes, I resent you sometimes. I resent the hard things that come along with this life we have chosen to live. That makes me human and imperfect but I am also grateful for this life we live. We have something to work for, we have a God to serve faithfully. He has given us everything we need, it doesn’t matter when he needs us or why. God gives us the strength to get through the tough times. For every door he closes, he has a bigger and brighter one to open beside it. Whatever you are going through, just know that God is enough. Trust him. Feel all of those emotions that come with resentment because you are human and that’s okay… but in order to Conquer Resentment we MUST give it all to God and obey him. Let him lead. You follow. Just be content in the season of life you are in! Be thankful, for God is good all the time.