My husband doesn’t love me?

I mean, he doesn’t post about me on Facebook, or tag me in his Insta photos. He rarely likes my statuses, or comments on my social media activities.

Yep. I would say all directions point to: –> does not love me.

Yeah right! Andrew is not a huge social media guy, but he shows me he loves me in much more valuable and important ways.

To believe that Andrew doesn’t love me because he’s not telling the whole world about it on some internet medium would be ABSOLUTELY ridiculous.

However, I have struggled with this idea of “value in social media” in more ways than one.

Admittedly, I put too much value into the way I portray myself online. I blocked people from seeing my tagged photos so nobody can see the: double-chintastic, chunky, and unattractive pictures of me. I’ve taken down statuses that didn’t get any likes because I thought it was embarrassing. I won’t like too many pages because I don’t want to look like a weirdo. Who cares!?
Well apparently I do.
I have gotten so wrapped up in this idea of appearing loved online that I once very conspicuously hinted/coerced Andrew into posting a Woman Crush Wednesday #WCW about me. What a loser I am. Right?

Yeah.

I was filled with excited anticipation as I awaited my #WCW.
I wonder what nice things he’s going to say about me! I wonder what picture he’s going to use!
(It is seriously embarrassing to admit I was this excited about an Instagram post).

And this is what I got…

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.56.33 PM

Let’s take a second to break this down. Andrew LOVES flying and airplanes. Naturally, he chooses an image of me in the aircraft he’s been flying. He put his two loves together! Makes sense. Maybe he’ll blow me away with his caption!
Woman Crush Wednesday! #dubbyaceedubbya”
The effort in this one is just LEAPING off the page. Thank you Andrew. Thank you for the kind heartfelt words and expression of affection. Oh, wait..
It doesn’t take much research to deduce that he was tasked with posting this, (which he was, haha) and probably wasn’t very enthused to do so (He wasn’t!).

Andrew taught me a really valuable lesson, without even realizing it. To be honest, I feel bad basically forcing Andrew to express himself in a way he didn’t want or need to. He exceeds my needs in every way, and there was no reason to ask him to put up a post detailing the way he feels about me. The root of my request came from me needing to prove to the world “HEY, I’m loved! Can’t you tell by all these internet posts?” Yeah. Cause that’s real love right there..ha! I don’t need to prove anything. I know what I have, and it’s something amazing! Something I am truly grateful for.

I believe that all of this unspoken pressure to prove I’m cared about, and that everything/everyone loves me online boils down to one thing.

Feeling wanted. 

There’s really nothing worse than feeling alone or unwanted. We were made by God for relationships. Unfortunately, we put so much weight on romantic relationships we discredit the compassion and love of our family and friends. Who ever decided that a guy thinking your hot, or a girl wanting to date you made you more or less valuable? Who ever lied to you and told you that being single was a bad thing? There are relationships that can be just as, if not more valuable than romanic ones.

Yes, I get that being married makes me less credible when talking about being single. I honestly get that. But understand, I spent a lot more years single than I ever did married or in a relationship.

You are wanted. You are desperately wanted by the Creator Of The Universe. The breather of stars, the Beginning and the End. When it comes down to it, that’s a lot more valuable than a #ManCrushMonday or #WomanCrushWednesday.

Well, at least for me it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where you go I’ll go, where you stay I’ll stay

BrookeandAndrewWeddingPartTwo 089It’s been almost a month since Andrew left for Florida. Almost a month since I decided not to go with him when I very well could have. Almost a month of wondering whether or not I made the right choice.

When I had those words inscribed on the inside of Andrew’s wedding band, I meant them. I still mean them.

That aged board with those words strung together are the foundational scripture of our marriage; Yet I have known from the beginning I could not physically stay true to it. Detachments, deployments, missions; the Navy life is not an easy one. It promises distance, loneliness, anxiety and honor.
But even still, I lay my head beneath a board every night that reminds me,

Brooke, you are breaking your promise.

Did I trade having a great job, with potential for a very promising future career for a long distance marriage?

Looks like I did. Dang.

 Did I break my promise? Should I give up my career to follow him and his? WE discussed it. WE made the decision together for me to stay here, so why do I feel like I went back on a commitment? Why Do I feel like the promise I made is now invalid?

And then I realize. It’s not about my promise. It never was my promise to claim. It was never my promise to break. It was/is God’s. Those words are not my own; they were borrowed, meditated over and thought about, but never mine. 

It’s not about whether or not I can physically be where Andrew is by choice or obligation. It’s about God being where we are, and going where we go. That’s the connective tissue that keeps us together, and without it, we have nothing.

Andrew, I can still go where you go and stay where you stay, it’s simply a matter of perspective.

 

I need a manual

BrookeandAndrewWeddingPartTwo 065

I vowed to myself that I’d never marry a guy in the military.

I mean who wants to pick up and leave everything you have; your friends and family, your church, your favorite bar, or even that homeless guy who ascetically plays electric guitar on Mill Avenue?
Not me.
Leaving my beautiful San Diego hometown for college was enough of a change for me. I had a cushiony 5 hour drive between me and my family, friends, and the surf, and that’s exactly how I liked it.
Well I didn’t exactly set my 19 year old self up to keep that “no military vow” when I started dating Andrew, the “Soon to be Commissioned Naval Officer”  in October, 2011.
After so many late nights studying, pizza boxes, hikes, trips to the lake, adventures, and maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears… we are..

HERE.

Married.

33 months later in Corpus Christi, Texas. New place, new house, new friends, new church…new, new, new.
While I understand that everyone in life goes through changes, and we all must adapt to that change to grow and hopefully become better people…blah, blah, blah..

There’s one thing that has really been difficult for me.
Not only did I get married, but I took on an entirely new role as a “Navy Wife”. I don’t know why, but initially this term left such a bad taste in my mouth. You know what, scratch that. I DO know why. Why? Because every time that idea has been presented to me, the “Navy Wife” it meant, give up your career, start having babies, and say goodbye to your freedom, because your new role in life is to: stay at home, clean the house, take care of the kids, and make sure there is a hot meal ready for your husband when he gets home.
YUCK! (Except for the hot meal part, I do love to cook. Lucky Andy).
The day I turned 16 I applied for 14 jobs, and started working for the first place that offered me a position. I love to work, I love to make money, and I love having a sense of purpose. Period. This “Navy Wife” idea did not seem contingent with the way I saw my life going, so I detested it.
When a man gets married to a woman in the general workforce, he isn’t a “Civilian Working Woman’s Husband”. So why do I have to get this title as “Navy Wife”? I absolutely detested it. I corrected people who called me such by saying, “Oh, you must have me confused with a “Navy Wife”, that’s not me. I am however a woman who happens to be married to an Officer in the Navy!” What a brat I must have sounded like.

There’s this term that some of the Naval Officers I’ve met like to throw around: “Dependopotamus”. Aka Dependant meets Hippopotamus meets succubus. Basically what it means to them is, a military dependant wife  who is an unmotivated, money-spending fatty who does absolutely nothing. Great. So not only do I have to defend myself from being a Navy wife, but I have to now also prove to everyone that I’m not a Dependopotamus.
A gym membership, a job, my own new car,  and a separate bank account would be the perfect concoction to prove to myself and everybody else I was no Dependopotamus-Navy Wife! Right?
WRONG.
The thing is, no matter what I do with my job, or as a spouse, or as a friend, or as a daughter, I’m not going to find blissful fulfillment in that. No matter how much money I make, I won’t be able to buy enough to not feel an emptiness linger. No matter what I do, where I go, and what I accomplish, nothing will compare to knowing that I belong to Jesus.
HOLY SMOKES.
Yeah, I said Jesus. Feel free to argue with me, tell me I’m an ignorant bigot and get political, but you won’t change my mind, probably like I won’t change yours.

And you know what? That’s okay.
I am a daughter of the Living God and that is more important, and more valuable than any paycheck, bonus, accomplishment, or title I could ever hold.

So call me a “Navy Wife”, or a “Dependopotamus”. Call me whatever you’d like. I’m happy, very proud of my husband and all he is accomplishing as an aspiring Naval Aviator, and I’m even more proud to be a part of His family.