Before the post…disclaimer
I do want thank many of you that have reached out to Cam and me to ensure we are fine. This means a lot and I do want to reassure you that we are doing well and I want to encourage you we are on a good trajectory. We own much of this due to the amazing support we have from our family, friends, and church. We realize not everyone has this level of support which is why I want to make sure I clearly communicate the motives of this blog series. Sharing our story is not always fun or comfortable, but we truly believe if we share our story, struggles, and the path to overcoming, we have the ability to influence marriage and families. We understand this is very odd and counter-cultural and this will probably not make sense to everyone (and we don’t expect it to). Cam and I are a team in this and we will be sharing more of our journey in future posts and we hope this opens up doors for others that are struggling. Now to the post!
When Cam and I had the big discussion, yes, that is what I will call it, she thought I was blindsided based on my reaction. In reality, I agreed 100% with her conclusions and I always knew we would get to this point if we did not make significant changes. I just didn’t want to believe or accept it. I am going to explain in this post why I think we got to this point and why it was so hard to accept our situation.
Why are we here?
If you have not noticed, Cam and I are both very high capacity people. We are built with very high internal drives and we have desires to achieve specific goals.
Each given day, a person has a limited capacity to do certain things. Starting in 2015 I was in a technical role at work and fast forward to 2017, I was leading a team of 20 people. I was chasing the carrot and it was always one step ahead of me. Slowly I started taking capacity from my marriage, being a father, and relationship with Jesus and putting it into getting that carrot. I always told myself, if I become a senior engineer I have made it, then it became a manager…that desire just kept growing.
Little by little, I started to cut corners and tell myself that my marriage was good enough, my kids love me, and Jesus is always there for me. I was compromising on basic disciplines and could feel the cracks forming. My maturity and the contents of my heart were not keeping pace with the achievements of life. I told myself that this was a season and I would come back and patch those cracks up but I had that carrot in my fingertips and I couldn’t afford to divert my energy.
I Bought the Lies
I bought in various lies during this season. One of those lies was the lie of “the season”. I thought this was a phase and I could easily shift career mode and back into the role God desired for me. I bought into the lie of the season, this was not a season, this had become a way of life. From time to time, when Cam and I had another “discussion” we would institute new disciplines to get us back on course. If you have read anything on marriage, you know what they are. Schedule date nights, make time to connect at night and pray fervently over your marriage.
Instituting disciplines was the second lie and mistake we made. The disciplines are the first thing to crumble when life comes at your full force. We would fall back into old patterns within weeks and the failure of these disciplines would be a faint but nagging memory. This was a heart issue and I had not figured that out.
I will admit it, our family looks good from the outside. Check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (well maybe not Twitter) and we, like many families, had manufactured a brand for our family. This brand was so good that I bought into my own marketing. We live in a great part of Omaha, we have great jobs, we have 3 beautiful girls, and we are involved in our church. WE HAVE MASTERED LIFE! Pro tip: That was a lie.
I knew the path forward but I could not start jogging on it for a few reasons (Cam will appreciate that running reference). My capacity was so low and I did not have enough of it to accept defeat. I am giving so much, how is it that I am not giving enough???
It came down to getting honest with myself, Cam, and Jesus to accept it. As a believer, I know HE was the only thing that could provide me the capacity to accept this and move forward. By resetting priorities and discounting the lies I know I will be an even better father, husband, and leader. Follow us on this journey.
“Pain is a part of progress. Anything that grows experiences some pain. If we avoid all pain, we are avoiding growth.” – Craig Groeschel