"The further you walk with Him, the more He will ask of you. More of your money, more of your service, more of your time. He'll even ask you to give Him your big dream. Until all that's left is one person--Jesus Christ. One day you'll awaken to the fact that you have chosen Him as your supreme purpose in life, and you will realize that He himself has been your greatest dream, your longing, your desperate desire all along." --Bruce Wilkinson as quoted in The Secret of the LordAs we drove away from the Victory Home on June 11, 2011, I felt the biggest sense of relief I had felt in over a year and a half. You know, someone would expect me to be crying, mourning, angry, etc. but, I wasn't. I was relaxed. I wasn't tense. I wasn't anxious. And I actually enjoyed the feeling. At that point, I wanted to get as far away from Todd as I possible could without actually checking out completely.
There was one thing I was worried about though...my girls. Anytime I ever talk about "my girls" on this blog, I am talking about the dance team that I coached. "My girls" were everything to me. I had 26 of them. I spent day in and day out with them at practice, games, competitions, parades; you name it, we did it. I coached them hard. I'm sure if you asked anyone of them today, they would agree that most days I was not the bubbly, fun-loving, patient person they sometimes wished they had, but that didn't matter, I wanted their best from them. And they gave it to me. By now, you have probably realized I have a Type A personality where I want everything perfectly planned out, organized, and flawless. I was the same way with them. Honestly, I'm not saying that is a good or a bad thing, sometimes I just wish that I would have seemed more "real" to them rather than dictator-ish.
Anyways, I had the perfect life facade up in front of them too. I didn't want one of them to know what was going on behind closed doors at Mrs. McGuire's house. If they did, I would look weak. I mean, if I expected certain behavior from them, then why couldn't I get that same type of behavior from my own husband? Some woman I was, huh??
Well, I agonized with Todd's parents the whole way home about how I would let them know where Todd was and what he had gotten us into. I couldn't come up with the right words, at all. I actually wrote it out and tried to memorize something. Something that would give them just enough information to know what was going on if someone asked them, but not enough to let them know how completely heart-broken I was. Because I felt if I was weak, then they would not follow my leadership. I also wanted to tell them because since they were so important to me and we spent week after week together, I thought they should hear what was going on in my life from me, not from some bystander, who would probably stretch the truth about the situation.
I remember sitting them down before we went to camp. As I started, I looked down at all of them and thought about how innocent their lives were and how I would never want them to go through anything like I was going through. I wanted to protect them. I wanted to protect them from me and my struggles. I couldn't get anything out. I was a complete and utter mess and I sputtered out something along the lines of, "Todd has gone to Fort Worth for six months. He has a problem with drugs. This will not affect you or the dance team in any way. If I seem distant, this is probably the reason." And that was that. I didn't have to say anymore.
They didn't react like I thought they would. Honestly, I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn't what happened. They were very sweet about it. They hugged me and said they were thinking and praying for Beckett and me. You know, the rest of the six months, they didn't ask me about it, unless I brought it up or said something about Todd. I appreciated that so much from them because even though they are so young, they understood their boundaries.
After telling the girls, life got back to being normal. Beckett and I did our thing. Honestly, I didn't think about Todd as much as you would expect a wife whose husband was gone for 6 months too. But, these were different circumstances than most wives that are away from their husbands for that long. I didn't write Todd. I sure didn't call down there to check on him. For once, I was confident that he was being taken care of, and hopefully, he would get a little dose of Jesus while he was there. Now, as I write that, I think that sounds pitiful. But, as you will see, Todd got a WHOLE lot more than a little dose of Jesus and SO DID I.
This is camp, not long after I told the girls about Todd.