I’m up past my bedtime, and I will regret it at around 10:00 AM CST tomorrow morning. This’ll take place right about the time I step into a classroom full of junior high students anxious to learn math…that’s probably a slight fib.
Realistically, I haven’t been sleeping well. Several nightmares, waking up jerking, scaring the cat, and being elbowed in the face by Darco. Last night I was to the point of earplugs while I was sleeping because of all the noise. When I say that I’m a light sleeper; that is probably the most modest way of determining my rest cycles.
With that random rant of rest aside, it doesn’t answer the question of why this is even being written.
I need to get lost in my words for the night. Darco knows that I’m up and chilling in the office while she sleeps. Tomorrow will be a bit rough, but currently I really just need to be able to type. Life is so big at the moment, that I’ve aged a few years since starting this site and realistically I’ve missed it.
I’m married, I’m back in the classroom, I own a soccer team. What? Tonight is one of those nights that it’s more of a starstruck realization of pondering how these turn of events even take place for the lowly sandwich artist of the past.
I was meeting with an engineering and architect firm about the property development for the Kansas City Shock a few weeks ago. One of the points that made was that I needed to be able to share a story. In this case, “What is the story of the Kansas City Shock?” As all of us know now, that’s a story full of entertainment in itself.
While I hold onto the belief that, that program is destined to become something greater then what I’ll even be able to comprehend; ideally I’d like to spend this piece revolving more on the overall aspect of this life, this love, and a deeper understanding of this existence.
In other words: this could be rather long, and a bit of recap for the past reader. I’m going to break this section into multiple parts; primarily for the sheer volume of words [I feel bad for you].
Let us begin…
In May of 2009 I was able to ‘walk’ with the rest of my class at Southwest Baptist University. I graduated without honors, for sure, but did manage two Bachelor of Science degrees in Education, and another in Political Science; along with this was obtaining a teaching license for social studies at the high school level in the state of Missouri. I was dating an individual at the time, and a few months later I was engaged. I was following the road to prosperity. I would get married to another future teacher, both get teaching jobs, work in the school system or 40+ years, have children, a white picket fence, go to the same church as her family, retire, and relax. It was staged out, it was planned out, it was perfect for the mere mindset of a human. Unfortunately, as results show later all of this planning has no space for God and His idea of what life truly could be.
June 5, 2010 I was married in the ‘lake region’ of central Missouri. Our reception had over 400 people, and it was estimated to cost near $20,000. Incredibly, I’m not making that number up. It was a huge event, I brought best friends to the wedding from where I grew up in northwest Missouri, Jo, my friend from Sweden, was involved in the wedding, along with a few from college. It was a huge event. We were married, the next day we took off for our honeymoon in Mexico. It was a good week, but reflecting back, it wasn’t a great week. The air conditioner didn’t work well, the menu was misguiding, and I was so overweight that the plane was uncomfortable, the beach was uncomfortable, I was uncomfortable. This was uncomfortable.
Upon our return to the United States we started unpacking all the gifts from the wedding into our small apartment in southern Missouri. She was still in college, and I hadn’t landed a full time teaching position, so we were very much in limbo. The weeks came and went, I put out application after application to area schools. Nothing but rejection letters came back. I wasn’t qualified, I didn’t have my Masters, I wasn’t a football coach. I heard everything for why I couldn’t teach. My wife was going to school, student teaching, and working a full time job in the city south of our apartment.
I was doing nothing.
We didn’t go to church because I didn’t ‘like the style down there’ unless we were with her family. I didn’t work out, run, anything; I just gained weight by eating, sitting on the couch, and staring at the television while ‘filling out applications’. At this point student loans started to make contact with me, they noted that my six month grace period was up and payments needed to start. We had so little money. Grandparents were taking us out to dinner, and then taking us grocery shopping because they were afraid we weren’t eating. We couldn’t afford to. It was, and still is, one of the most humiliating moments of my life. My pride enveloped me, destroyed me to where I didn’t want anything from anyone. The relationship between myself and my spouse was strained. The physical connection was non-existent, and the arguing was ever constant at that point. By January of 2011 I learned that my wife was seeking counseling because she was afraid our marriage was quickly decaying.
By February, in fear of divorce, I started substitute teaching in the area during the day, and then I picked up a night/weekend job at a local Subway. It wasn’t great, I hated Subway, but it was helping with the bills. We purchased gym memberships, started to run, and both of us started to shed substantial weight. When May of 2011 came around she had been offered a teaching contract, as had I, and things were looking up. When the beginning of June hit we treated ourselves to an anniversary trip to Colorado.
We drove all the way out there; we enjoyed the hot springs, tried to relax, packed on a budget and attempted to have fun. That was the goal. However, mentally I wasn’t there. The plague of temptation, desire, and other pleasures of this world was destroying me. I spoke more with my friend in Sweden about personal struggles then my wife, and I even sent a message to my friend [a girl] talking about how I missed her, I missed being around her, her accent, everything. There was truth behind that, but sadly, there was a darker truth behind it as well.
I felt trapped, and I wanted out.
A few weeks had passed since our journey out to the mountains and back. I was working at Subway and I received a text message. It was my wife; she said that she found my message that I had sent on Facebook to my friend in Sweden. She was packing things up, and she was leaving. Her specific instructions, “Don’t come and find me.” The following weeks were spent in a whirlwind. June, the month that I stated at the beginning of this page that I wouldn’t talk about, was easily the darkest time of my life. I spent the majority of my free time at the school I was going to teach at; learning softball so I could coach it, and ordering new text books. However, I still had to come home each night to an empty apartment with no windows. For a few weeks I could sleep on a mattress, but by the first week of July, it was gone also. I stopped cleaning the apartment, mold was everywhere, and light was no where to be found. There wasn’t a resolution found between my wife and I; by mid-July the papers for divorce had been filed.
During this period I had continued my job at Subway, and had eventually expressed to my supervisor that life isn’t going well. I explained that my wife was gone, I didn’t know what to do, and I was alone. I didn’t dare step into a church because of the gauntlet I had been pulled through of skewed theology demonstrating that divorce was acceptable because I messed up, I sinned, and it will forever be on me as my fault. I would never again go to a church in southern Missouri. However, that didn’t mean that I didn’t know God. Through this process, with nothing to my name, I spent the majority of each night just crying and screaming in the apartment. It was pure sorrow to God; it was repentance, it was begging, it was anger. It was everything because I had to reconnect that establishment; between God and myself because that’s all I had to hold onto. Bills were piling up, electricity was on and off, I spent more time in my truck then anywhere else because it was my only personal possession. This is when God started to demonstrate His grace to me in ways that I’ll never be able to understand.
It started with Subway; my supervisor suggested that I run for a promotion within the company to become part of the corporate brand. I did and got the position in record time. My salary [SALARY!] was placed at $38,000. I was given a 401K with a 3% match from the company. I was also given a company car, computer, cell phone, and credit card. Additionally, they suggested that I took the area that had an opening; northwest Missouri.
Practically in tears I called MC and Jim; explaining to them what all had happened. That weekend they traveled down to clean the apartment [a very expensive trip for them]. It was the first time that I really felt my parents unfailing love. They picked me up, packed me up, and the week of my birthday moved me back to their home in northwest Missouri. I started my new job on August 1, 2011. It was hard at first, but God had blessed me with my old supervisor from when I was in high school as my instructor [I had been with Subway for eight years at that point]. To this day, even though I’m not with the company, I stay in contact with her as she has always been a tool of God for me. Additionally, I committed myself to go back to church. However, the church I grew up in looked at me with such negativity for having the label ‘divorce’ on my forehead that I left. On a rainy, summer Sunday morning I stumbled into a small church in a corn field. That was Missouri Valley Baptist Church. They averaged about sixty people per Sunday. I was greeted, spoken to, and just taken care of. The generosity of these people knew no bounds. Looking back, God was demonstrating to me that just as He hasn’t given up on us, I shouldn’t as well. There are good people that walk the earth, and saints that are waiting to assist your life.
By September’s time I had been served a restraining order from my ex-wife due to things that I had posted on this specific website. In shock I got in my car and drove south, back to where I had just came from, and spent the day with a friend from college. Her and her family took me in, ignoring my stupidity, and encouraged me not to give up [they also fed me a wonderful meal]. What was so unique about this individual was the amount of times our lives had crossed in college. I had met her in 2006 in the athletic department and through pivotal moments in both of our lives; the paths continued to cross. I had become divorced at the same time she had ended an engagement [a month before her wedding]. It’s unfortunate that instead of viewing this friendship as an answer from God, and another person assisting in my repairs, I foolishly viewed it as God showing me the next phase of my life and relationships. I spent all day down there, and drove back that night. Completely exhausted, but thankful to know that not everyone had given up on me.
What I didn’t know then was that God was actually letting me rest before showing me something a month later that would completely change my life.