Friday, July 17, 2009

who i am, part 5

i have dreaded doing this part.
but it's so important.
it is one of the hardest times in my life...but the best at the same time.
parts of it i have blocked out and i'm not sure i want to bring back up.
but i will.

i hope i can explain it well enough to understand what it meant to my life.

it was a period of 3 years.
i came out of the period a different person.
much like someone coming out of a tragedy.
i don't mean to compare it to someone losing someone close to them...or a child having a life-threatening disease...or some other such tragedy...but i truly feel that the chain of events in those 2 years had a very similar impact on me::i grew in ways i never would have otherwise::pat and i are closer than we ever would have been::our marriage started down a different, more REAL road that we never would have known existed::God was faithful day in and day out...even in the very hard, uncertain days

so, here we go:

joshua was born in february, 2004.
he was "the perfect" baby.
so laidback. actually sat in the swing without crying! it didn't even have to be ON!
i kept thinking, "THIS is what people were talking about..." {i never knew such a thing when rebekah was a baby...remember??}

rebekah was a sweet, "completely in the throes of a 2 year old" 2 year old :-)
and joshua was a very sweet baby.

life was good.
we were learning day by day what it meant to be parents...and, i'm sure, made many mistakes.
but life was good.

yet we were not content.

neither of us.

pat's job was beyond stressful.
and his hours were awful.
i would sit at the chair by our front window after the kids were in bed and cry and WILL his car to drive around the corner {these were days before we had cell phones!}

he never saw the kids.
he was exhausted when he got home and we never had good, quality time.

we talked a lot about it.
prayed a lot about it.
and came to the conclusion that we needed a change.
a big one.
this was not working.
we could not raise a family the way we wanted to like this.

well, remember kelly??
her husband worked for the FBI.
and liked his job...and there is job security there...and there would be a move hopefully an area that was less hectic than where we were...but we didn't really care...we kinda just wanted someone to tell us where to go...
so we started pursuing that!

and we also got pregnant again.
you know, just to keep things exciting :-)

the FBI process is a LONG one...many steps...tests...paperwork...

but pat felt VERY certain that this was something he needed to pursue.
so i was with him. 100%
i grew up in an Air Force the moving thing didn't scare me.
the change in salary {we would have cut our salary by 40% or something like that} scared me.
but it was such a huge thing...and pat was so certain...that i had nothing else to do but TRUST.
it was so BIG i couldn't do anything else BUT trust Him!

step by step in the FBI process we made our way.
our hearts were SO invested in it.
so much TIME was given to it.
much prayer and encouragement from friends and family.
pat was training DAILY for the physical part of the process {and looking GREAT by the way! :-)}

lots of unknowns...once pat got accepted into the FBI...he would have to go to training for 16 weeks...would he be gone when this baby was born? would he be gone over Christmas? we had no idea. but those were possibilities.

the process dragged on...bailey was born. :-)

sweet, adorable bailey...

we made it through the whole, "adjust to a new baby, live with no sleep for a couple months til they start sleeping some" thing.

then...i became an insomniac.
it started with this whole "bed bug" thing.
we got bed bugs {seriously...did you know that they are REAL??}
and i developed this terror of them that was completely irrational.
i couldn't sleep at night.
i had to have a light on all night...and would just sleep for an hour or so at a time.
it lasted for a couple months.
i KNEW it was completely ridiculous, yet i couldn't make it stop.
i'm sure it was partly the stress of all that was going baby...FBI thing...and then bed bugs...
and it finally just went away.

everything we did we wondered...
would this be our last christmas with our extended family??
it was hard.
it was VERY stressful.

pat got SO sick {actually had a spell of a few months where he was sick constantly...part of God's hand in all this} right before his physical test...but managed to pass it.
it was a sign, right?
meant to be.

and life continued.
we lived each day.
and had fun.
the FBI process kept going...once pat passed the physical test he was told the next step would be a call that would give us 2 weeks notice...2 weeks to be at the training place!
so we waited.

and then.
i remember it SO well.
it was april 1, 2006.
we got the mail.
sat on the front step.
the kids were playing in the front yard.
there was a letter from the FBI.
basically it said, "it's over."
pat failed the polygraph.
not even something we had given much thought.
if you know pat, you know why.
he is a man of integrity.
if he failed the's because God wanted him to...
{even the FBI didn't understand...they had him re-take it just to make sure...and he still failed...don't mess with God's answer!}

we were shocked.

yet we knew it was a clear answer.
and all along we had prayed for God to guide us and to make His ways clear.
and He did.

i won't speak for Pat.
but the process was more for him, i think, than it was for me.
God had a huge lesson to teach him through all that...and He did.
and Pat is a different man because of it.
he knows that he cannot live in his own strength.
he related a LOT to David in the psalms {"my bones are weary", "my bones cry out"}

and then WEEKS after that letter in the mail,
pat tore his achilles tendon...playing basketball with friends...
had MAJOR surgery.
on crutches for months.
physical therapy for months.
ended up having 3 surgeries by the end of the whole thing.

we decided to put our house on the market.
to move furthur out...
{our neighborhood that we were living in had turned over and changed dramatically in the couple years we lived there...went from safe to dangerous...there was a shooting around the corner...where i went for walks every day}

showing and selling and moving a house with 3 little kids and a husband still recovering wasn't easy.

but it was right.

God led us.
each step of the way.

and we landed in our current house.
it's bigger and beautiful and so much more than we could dream of.
in a neighborhood that is absolutely amazing and leaves nothing to be desired.
but, more than ANY of that, it's WHERE GOD PUT US.
that has been confirmed in many ways.
and we are so thankful.
thankful for His MANY blessings.
for His CARE in the little things and big things.
we have SO much.
but we REALLY don't take it for granted...we know HE gave it to us and it could all be taken away tomorrow...

pat is still in his same job.
we are still in the same {general} area.
but our hearts are perfectly content.
the only explanation is HIM.

we were SO discontent.
and i'm thankful we didn't stay there.
in that discontent place.

it was a hard road.
MANY bumps.

but i wouldn't trade it for anything.
we are different people now.
not content to just sit back and let life go by.
we are determined to be intentional; to see Him in all things; and to do all we can to live out His heart in our daily lives.

"Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."
Psalm 37:5-6

this pretty much brings us to when i started the beginning of 2007.

there will be a part 6...but it will probably be a couple months...and i'll summarize this last "season" of our lives and what i think God has been teaching us these last couple years...

thanks for joining me!


Katherine Marie! said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Deanna said...


I've been following your blog since you started doing the "who i am" series. I'm really enjoying reading your words and getting to know you better. Just wanted to introduce myself.


veronica said...

We are so glad that God led you our way! We are blessed to have you as friends and neighbors! He does work in mysterious ways.

Julie said...

Courtney as I was reading this I kept thinking about your collage of your lives...the picture you made and then put up on your you know what I am talking about? One of the blocks had the letters FBI on it. I thought about you and remembering you talking about this.

Thanks for sharing. I am going to shoot you an email... I have too much to say here as a comment :)

Michelle said...

Amazing and I remember praying with you and crying for you when it didn't happen, although selfishly glad that you all were staying, but what a testimony.

Peyton said...

love it, and love the pictures. I think this was all happening right when I was first getting to know you so I didn't know how much it was affecting you. um, you didn't really address the cliff hanger though, why kelly isn't a part of your daily life anymore (can you tell I don't have a lot going on over here at the moment?) is it because they moved?

Leighann said...

I met you during this time in your life and didn't even know what a rough time you were having. I wish I had known... thank you for sharing.

Katy said...

i remember this season so clearly courtney. I remember when you told me you were pregnant with bailey. when you told me about the fbi...and the waiting and waiting...and then the outcome. i remember praying for you like i never had before. praying for your husband like never before. and mostly praying for your marriage like never before. how amazing to look back and see exactly where and how God moved you along on HIS journey to finally see the outcome that HE desired!!!

Tisha said...

As you describe this season of your life, I can identify. We had a period of time (it sounds like it was during the exact same years) that was very similar. We were discontent and looking for chanage-trying to make certain moves. None of them ended up working out and we are in the same place physically and with employment, but completely different places emotionally/mentally/spiritually. It was a challenging season that rendered our biggest growth spurt ever and we are now grateful to have been through it, although it was hard.
So-I get ya girl!!
These have been so fun to read. Will be sad when they're over and we're all up to date!

Vonda said...

Courtney, my Sister-in-love Beth Williams sent me a link to this particular post and I have tears in my eyes reading it. We are in a very similar situation right now with the Air Force and we are literally in a holding pattern (no pun husband is a pilot). We just got back from Germany in February and thought another job would be PERFECT for my husband and when that did not pan out just 3 weeks ago, we were heartbroken and disappointed, but we know God has a plan for our family even though we have been without our stuff and in transition literally since January. We are still waiting but your post was such an encouragement to my heart. I have just got to read it to my man too. I know he will be encouraged by it too.
Thank you for being so real and honest, Courtney.

anthonyandbeth said...

i see my sister in love wrote you a note. :) i just HAD to pass this on to her. it was so good for me to read too. i LOVE how real you are Courtney and how willing you are to share your experiences and how God has and is working in your life. contentment is big. you have so much to share and offer Courtney! God is using you! it's hard to sit back sometimes as you see God working in the life of your husband and how all of that affects your little family. how wonderful though to SEE Him working in your family! and in your husband! Anthony has had similar (not close to lasting as long) but times of the Lord really working on him in the are of contentment when it came to job related things. it's been so neat to see how he has grown as a man through those times. there was a time after he made a job change that he thought he had made the biggest mistake of his life. would cry. wanted to quit with no plan in sight. it was such a hard time and so hard to see him feeling so defeated. God brought him out of that and allowed him to find contentment in the searching for another job even though that didn't come for another 6 months. and we weren't able to fully see God's hand in all of it and more of the reasons WHY until 1 year and a half after that experience. but we learned a lot and it's one of the things that has made Anthony the amazing man he is today. :) i've loved these posts Courtney! thank you for sharing with all of us!

Christy said...

wow Courtney...that was amazing...
love you! :)