By Diane S.
It will end…
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Eventually this season of my life will be over and Chris will be out of jail. It will not last forever, there isn’t anything on this earth that is forever.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8
I tell myself this a lot…it’s not forever, it’s just 8 years. Some days that is a good encouragement, other days thinking about 8 years cripples me.
I spent 4th of July weekend visiting my husband. It was my 3rd visit. A couple of people told me how terrible and sad it was that I was spending my 4th of July weekend at a prison instead of doing fun things like cooking out or swimming. I can see their point, but my mind doesn’t think like that. I was thankful I was spending my 4th at a prison talking, sitting and holding hands with my husband instead of going to put flowers on a grave. I couldn’t help but think of all the wives of fallen soldiers who would spend that day visiting graves and wishing their husbands were still with them while I was sitting in prison visiting with my husband because their husbands fought for the freedom for me to be able to do that. I’m not sure if my mind should work that way, but I’m okay with it because if I keep in that perspective I can deal with everything much better. My nightmare will end, but those women visiting graves have no end until they leave this earthly life for a better eternity.
Like I said, I don’t know if that is the right way to think about this but it gets me through.
The 3rd visit was the best to date. I enjoyed the visit. Saturday I visited by myself, just my husband and I for 6 hours….well just us and the 100 other people in the visiting room. It is strange how everyone else in a big room like that can just disappear and it really does feel like it’s just the two of us. The first time I visited I wondered if I would ever be able to feel that way in the visiting room, I am happy to report that two months in and it has already become easier. The end of the visit on both days did not end in tears. The drive home wasn’t filled with tears. The following days were not filled with depression and darkness.
It was easier and at this point I guess that is all I can really ask for.
My husband is doing well. He has tested for his GED and I’m sure he passed that test. He has made “friends”, if you ever really do make friends in jail. He has found that he likes ramen noodles. He likes instant coffee. He uses mackerels to “buy” things from other inmates, like if he runs out of Dr. Pepper before his next commissary day, he “buys” one for a mackerel from someone who has some. I am never surprised by things he tells me. The saying that necessity is the mother of invention probably originated from a prisoner; it is quite interesting the things that can be made and figured out when you have limited resources. Things like using the top of a Comet can for a cheese grater or using the razor blade from a shaving razor and a magnet for a knife. I am never bored by his stories. He doesn’t enjoy his life but he doesn’t hate it from what I can tell. He hides it well if he does but I truly don’t think he is miserable. I am not miserable either, most days. I am getting better at finding joy, even if it is in very small doses some days. Chris seems to be settling in for the most part. He calls often, we write often but not as much as the first month which worries me a little. We are only two months in and we already write every other day or so instead of every day. I guess it’s all part of finding a ‘new normal’ but it worries me. What if it keeps falling off and eventually we stop all together?
I pray that we don’t become distant; I pray that we become closer. Closer to each other, and closer to God.
We are still so new to this journey, we haven’t seen any real difficulty yet, I imagine. I know there are much harder things in my future, but I also know that one day this chapter will in fact end. It won’t last forever.
One of my favorite ‘truths’ is something Tim Tebow said after a football game a few years ago:
“I don’t know what my future holds but I do know WHO holds my future.”
And really, that’s enough for me.