Category Archives: firefighter

You Are Enough

This is not my (S) normal blog. As I set here tonight thinking about what to start with. I’m listening to Billy Graham….
I don’t know who I’m speaking to tonight…your marriage does not define who you are!!! God defines you. You are loved by Jesus. He is your husband and your father. You do not need man’s approval to be justified. God wants you to get down on your knees and let Him hold you. Do not believe the lies of the enemy.  You are who God says you are. He says you are blessed and highly favored by Him. He is your Prince Charming Touch His garment tonight. He knows.
Do not believe the lies of the enemy.

So many of us let our husband’s affair partner define who we are. If the devil sees he cannot destroy your marriage from the affair he will try to destroy you. Many women who cannot get off of a rotating wheel of pursuing married men to raise their self-esteem often operate in what some would have a word for, we will call it speaking things over the wife.  Do not entertain the thought of not being good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough. She cannot stand between you and God unless your thinking about her more than you are God. You are chosen by your Savior and He CAN restore your marriage.

Without repentance there is no forgiveness.  You choose a relationship with our Father and He has the final say.

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Pretending is Easier Than Living the Truth

I don’t remember a lot from this very long week or so. After E not coming home after his first rotation I started suspecting things. It was pouring down rain and I was driving down a road to a small town I had never been to. After finding the hospital and asking for protection I kept driving and also had a fear of him seeing me. His truck was at an unfamiliar house. It was still pouring down rain as I drove back home.

Lots of things going through my mind. Many tears had rolled down my cheeks.

He completed shift rotations for his class, went to the fire department the next day and to another fire department the next…

I was the junior department manager at Bealls Department Store, the teen board director for Bealls and the mall. I had just started directing the mall fashion shows. This kept me busy.

I decided he needed something to relieve his stress so I bought him an inexpensive fishing boat. You see, it was much easier to say it was stress, and I needed to build my credit up than
It was to say, I wasn’t a good wife.

We were blessed to be a part of a fire department with families that were so close. We all fished together, spent a few holidays together and helped when we could. Of course at this time we had been there a little over a year. One of the couples called to check on me and of course I asked questions. I found out E had talked about a woman that was in his class, much older than him giving him shoulder rubs. He would pridefully talk about how nice this was.

I didn’t understand what I had done for him to not have called or come home for days. Of course I didn’t ask lots of questions but made it out to be nothing. We pretended everything was okay. It was as if we had gotten in an argument before his rotation and he was working after that.

Honesty…I was desperate and thought he hadn’t come home to me but knowing how much he loved to fish, he would come home to a boat.

He did.

Saving lives while throwing one away

ambulance

Meanwhile, back at the firehouse, life was grand.  I had settled into my crew I was learning more and more everyday and was turning into a legend in my own mind.  I was married to my kindergarten sweetheart who was a gorgeous woman, I was enrolled in an EMS class, furthering my medical training, and had great brothers at the firehouse that I spent a third of my days with.

As my medical training continued, I was required to spend a certain amount of hours doing rotations as a student at hospitals in various departments.  It was during one of these rotations that another female student I was in class with asked me to go home with her.

S and I were young, and as I have wrote in the past, both came from broken homes.  She didn’t know how to be a wife and I certainly didn’t know how to be a husband, as nobody had ever taught us. Things were rocky around our home from time to time, as I’m sure they are with any new marriage. We would fight and argue over petty, simple things.  Things that didn’t matter. Unfortunately all I knew was pornography and how those women looked and acted and the things they did.  This is what I thought a wife was supposed to do, this is how I thought I should be treated because I was so prideful and selfish that I thought I deserved these things.  I accepted the invitation from this woman, 20 plus years older than me, diving into the first of many affairs just over a year into our marriage.

This was a very short lived relationship, as S became suspicious, and class came to an end, but the damage had been done, the path to darkness had been taken, and a road that took over twenty years to get off of was being traveled.

The First Alarm

fire alarmShift change took place at 0630 and I was there on the first day at 0545, ready to save the world.  I had already been given my bunker gear, and been assigned a locker and a bed and was learning the ropes about Central Station when my first alarm as a professional firefighter came in.  I rolled out of Central Station on a Booster truck heading to a RV on fire a few miles south of the station on the major highway that ran through town.

As in my soon to be marriage, on that first fire, and many more after that, I did so many things wrong.  I had nobody in my family prior to me that was a fireman, nobody had taught me.  Again, this would be a comparison in mine and S’s married life as well.  We would go into the “fires” of marriage immature, not prepared, and quite honestly, cocky and full of pride.  As any seasoned firefighter knows, these are the qualities that will get you killed.

Pride, a word that carries two meanings, meanings that carry a negative connatation as well as a positive.  The negative meaning is what I have struggled with most of my life, “an inflated sense of one personal status or accomplishments.”  I thought I was all that and a bag of chips.  I thought I was the best fireman in the world and nothing could touch me.  There wasnt a fire I couldn’t tap out, or a car I couldn’t rip up.  I’m amazed I lived to tell this story!

I began to further my EMS training, and as S wrote in the previous blog, I was away from home for classes and hospital rotations, and the enemy found the open door from my past, and came barreling through as he does looking to kill, steal, and destroy.  The pornography that had come into my life so early was defining my marriage, and the pride that I struggled with was telling me that I deserved the images I saw in the magazines and videos I grew up with.  Truly this is not the portrait of marriage God has painted for us and I greatly began disrespecting my bride with this expectation.

 

Beginning the Life of a Fireman’s Wife

Fire Department

Just as other dating couples do, we had our good days and a few that were not so good. As we were dating I began to notice a few things.  E had a temper that would show itself ever once in a while with great remorse to follow. Fish stories….that seemed to grow a bit each time they were told.  I grew up with a dad and uncle that had similar tempers.  I thought it was normal for men to react and act this way, with the exception of my Pe-Pa, whom I had never heard raise his voice or hand at anyone.  He had also taught me that honesty was something no one could ever take away from you.

We were engaged and had set our wedding date for the day that we met. As E said, he was at the fire academy and I was at home going to college and planning a wedding. He would come home on weekends. The thought of becoming a fireman’s wife was ideal to me.

My mother raised me as a single mom who obviously had to work very hard with only $100. a month child support to help. Some how she managed to be at everything I participated in.  She wasn’t able to finish college as we could barely pay our bills some months. When I would visit my father on the weekends as a child, I would witness he, my step-mother and her daughter enjoying a beautiful home, nice cars, beautiful clothes, going to nice places and no hesitation to buy nice things. Although I knew they were dealing with underlying issues that my mother and I were happy to be relieved from, it was heartbreaking to see my mother work so hard to have so little.  My mother made our home beautiful and gave me everything I needed. She allowed me to participate in pageants and that was our time together. This etched in me a desire to want a family and to be there for my children. It also showed me that it did not matter how many things you could buy, it was the heart and the love that mattered.

E started his first job at a small fire department only 45 minutes from home. We married and I continued school there and had a couple of jobs. We had been married a little over a year and E began an EMT class to help further his career. He was gone several nights a week. When he was gone many nights I would go to my Aunt Dots for pizza.  I had an amazing christian aunt and uncle that loved us as they would their own. They were a huge influence in our lives.

As EMT school went along there would be rotation time that E would have to do on different ambulances, in different towns, to get experience.  This would be the beginning of what I knew later would either end our marriage or make us stronger.

 

 

Bathrooms and blogs…life continues

In our married life we have accepted that we do not live a normal life, as you readers will learn more about in future blogs.  However, for the last week we have experienced normalcy in the form of a leaky pipe that destroyed our master bathroom, forcing us into a remodel that we decided to take on ourselves. Life has continued…as normal.

On with the story.  S and i continued to date, I think that we would both agree that we actually “courted”.  We talked for hours on the phone together, I would drive to her house and actually go inside before taking her on a date.  We would go on “real” dates, to real places and we enjoyed each others company.

S is a year younger than I am so she had a year left in high school after I graduated.  I knew that I was going to attend fire recruit training but had to wait for my class to come up so I worked a few construction jobs and eventually started a small business of my own selling firewood.  During this time I don’t remember having many struggles, I just remember continuing to fall in love with S more and more.  I wanted nothing more in life than to marry S and be a fireman.

I attended recruit school about 3 hours from home, but would come home every weekend to be with my love.  I enjoyed recruit training, learning the fire service, how to fight fire and life in the fire station.  I really enjoyed spending time and loving S.

I knew that S was “the one”, I asked her to marry me and to my amazement, she said “yes”.  I continued in my training and preparing to begin searching for a firefighting job and she began planning a wedding.  I was to graduate fire school in March, and our wedding date was set for the anniversary of the day we met, April 26th, so I made up my mind to take the first job.  I graduated on a Friday and tested the next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and was offered a job with a fire department in a town of about 18,000.  I was so happy.  I couldn’t wait for my adult married life to begin, but I had many, many demons from my past lurking, waiting for their chance to steal mine and my new bride’s happiness.

The Prince Every Little Girl Dreams Of….

valentineAs we dated, it was like part of a fairy tale.  E’s grandparents, on his dad’s side, lived in a beautiful home in town and His grandparents, on his mom’s side, were very sweet home grown country, with beautiful hearts and a small country place. Both sets of E’s grandparents helped raise him.  The best of both worlds…

As I started to get to know E and his family it was like it was from a storybook…

I am going to share some of the things that stood out to me that said what kind of man I thought E was, when in fact there was so much hurt and scars on the inside that wouldn’t come out until later. When people “pretend to be normal”, they “appear to be normal” until something comes along to break the ease of pretending in their lives.  They pretend to be the person they desire to be but soon that brokenness on the inside works it’s way to the surface.

On our first date we went to the varsity vs. alumni basketball game. As the game was finished E asked me if I would like to go to get a soda and ice cream or get a bite to eat. He said, “you tell me to jump and all that I will ever ask is how high”. What woman doesn’t want a man that feels this way about her?  We went to the Sonic where we met and E’s last post was partially correct. Smiling, I put my hands on my hips and asked, “are you gonna kiss me or not”. A beautiful smile came to his face and he did.

As we continued dating there were many things that made me think he really cared about me.  I was getting ready for school one morning and I cut my fingernail when I was shaving my legs…don’t ask.  Ladies, you probably all know what I’m talking about.  That afternoon when I came home from school…I had flowers with a simple card attached that read, ” I hope your finger is better”.  The sweetest thing ever!

On Valentines Day when I went to get in my car, after school I opened the door and tons of red balloons started floating out of my car.  My car had red streamers draping all over it.  There was a box of chocolates in my seat with a card and flowers. We still went out to eat that evening for Valentines.  Always such beautiful things for a girl to see.

Please, do not get me wrong. I have an amazing husband and would not trade what God has taught us from our valleys. We want to share our story to bring glory to Him and possibly help a marriage.

Sometimes things are not as though they appear. E appeared to have this beautiful family life and even though several divorces had taken place with his parents, it seemed like everyone who had influence in his life was a christian with good character and great morals.  Things are not always as they appear.