Faith Over Fear

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“I think my mom is on drugs”.
The sentence that started it all.

Someone recently asked me, “So, what’s been the biggest adjustment for you with becoming a police wife?” and it just really got me thinking. How full circle life is, and how God just always has a plan, and sometimes it just works in funny ways. Ways that leave you hurting, crying, praying, asking “why is this happening to me?” …. just trust Him.

Growing up, I believed law enforcement and first responders alike were invincible. They were HEROES. And while they are heroes, they are definitely NOT invincible. That’s my HUSBAND out there. My BEST FRIEND, the other half of my SOUL out there!! The goofy man who makes me smile… calls me “waffle-butt” from the imprint the blanket leaves on my leg; the one that created our own country and language for that country that we pretend we are from, and speak in our made up language to each other; my dance partner; the one who calms me down and cheers me up on the hard days… THAT’S who’s out there with just a vest and his training to keep him coming home to me. 

That has been an adjustment.

GRAVEYARD. Sleepless nights. You’re supposed to be sleeping at night.. but when the other half of your heart is out patrolling the streets and protecting the city… how are you supposed to sleep?! A good friend reminds me to “live in faith vs. fear”. I like to think I’m getting better? I’m trying.

That has been an adjustment.

Going out with your sister, seeing a police car in an alley, and seeing him with his uniform on, walking with his “authoritative stance” haha. Looking at him seeing your husband, but also seeing a man that represents authority, justice, integrity, peace, and all that is good in the world; but also seeing a man that has a target on his back, a gun on his hip and a vest protecting that very same heart that you love.

That has been an adjustment.

I could go on forever, but I would say the biggest one is (even though it may sound naïve or silly being a 30 year old woman coming terms with this) but POLICE ARE NOT INVINCIBLE.

When there is something bad happening and you are scared, you call them to save and protect you. When there is danger, you call them to save and protect you. They run in and protect when others run out. And my story with the invincible police officer that I believed saved me, and that made me FEEL that I could TRUST the police, when things were scary… started when i was in the 6th grade. This is where that circle I was talking about started…

You remember D.A.R.E.? Well that class, and that police officer, Officer Lyle, (they went by first names, you know…we were kids!) changed my life forever.

Officer Lyle and his partner were giving their speech on red flags with behaviors and what to look for when it came to drug addicts; and it hit me. Little 12 year old me. All the other kids went to recess and I stayed behind, walked up to Officer Lyle and said, “I think my mom is on drugs”.

He and his partner looked at each other and seemed shocked, and began just talking to me and asking me questions. For a few weeks during our break, he would pull me aside to chat with me, and let me know he was there for me and that I could trust him…and I did.

He would even come to my house and do checks on me! One time my younger sister and I asked him if his handcuffs really worked, and he jokingly said, “want to find out?” and handcuffed us to our hose faucet on the front step of our townhouse. We couldn’t wait for him to separate us! haha!

Here I am, 30 years old, and I can’t drive by that townhouse without having a panic attack.

You know the little garage door that leads from the garage to your house? My mom put a deadbolt on it BACKWARDS, so we couldn’t get into the garage. That’s where the drug use and drug deals happened. I remember knocking on the door to the garage because I needed help with my homework. I heard an unfamiliar man’s voice yell, “you have kids here?!” and they left. I remember my mom begging them not to leave, and hearing the anger in her voice. I ran up the stairs, locked my bedroom door, and hid under my Rugrats blanket. She broke my door down and started hitting me. I interrupted a drug deal. She used to ask me to pee in cups for drug tests for her; and when I would say no, she would guilt trip me saying, “I took a Tylenol for my headache. It will show in the test. Do you want me to go to jail for taking something for my headache??” I would cry, say no, and do it for her.

I was 12.

There were men that came to our house with guns. There was yelling. There was rodents, maggots, and mold. There was times I would skip school because I had a one year old brother and my mom would be passed out on the couch and I couldn’t leave my infant brother alone with her.

I was 12.

There was times when I would go days without eating. We had nothing at some points. I would ask my neighbors for bread and cheese to make my sister a grilled cheese sandwich and I would tell myself, “its ok. I’ll eat when I go to school or to my dad’s house in a few days”. I weighed 60 pounds going into the 7th grade. I used to get teased that LEGALLY I would need to be taken to Jr. high in a car seat (thank God the law was 60 pounds OR 6 years old and not AND). But no one knew why I was so skinny, other than I was just small.

You know those tiny little bags that are for DRUGS?? My mom had some with little yellow ducks on them. I thought they were SO CUTE. They perfectly fit a quarter with a $1 bill wrapped tightly around the quarter. I used to take my lunch money in them! I even brought one for my best friend to use for her lunch money!! Until her dad said she couldn’t’ use them anymore and couldn’t come to my house anymore. I didn’t understand. 

I was 12.

Through all of this, and more, Officer Lyle made me feel like I was safe and like he was there to protect me. While my mom would tell me cops are bad and are only there to take her away from me. He made me feel safe, when I didn’t even feel safe at my own house with my own mother. He made me feel like things were going to be ok. He made me feel like I MATTERED and my safety mattered. He didn’t forget about me. He would come and do routine checks on me! He made me believe that police were heroes. He made me believe there was more to life. He made me believe I could trust him, and he made me believe things were going to get better.

My mom was arrested and did a decade between county jail and state prison. I didn’t go see her for years. One year on her birthday my grandpa physically picked me up, put me in the car, and drove me down to see her at the twin towers Correctional facility in Los Angeles. It was just like the movies, where she was in a jumpsuit behind glass, and we had a phone. It had been a few years since I had seen her. She picked up her phone and I picked up mine. Before she could speak, I asked, “When was the last time you told me you loved me?” She couldn’t answer. I hung up the phone and walked out.

Thank God I had my dad who I went to live with full time. He was tough, but he loved me.

When she got released, it was hard on me. I was confused and scared those things would start happening again. I didn’t want to go back with her. I became suicidal. I felt like a failure, I felt unlovable, I was scared she was going to get custody of me again, I was scared my life would go back to how it was and I began writing poetry of how I wanted to end it, and began cutting my self. It was a way to release the pain, until my boyfriend saw and threaten to tell my dad. I was ashamed and I didn’t want my dad to know. My boyfriend saved me.

Most of my life I have been trying to figure things out without my biological mom. I moved to Las Vegas to be with my long distance boyfriend! He became my husband! We bought a house! We were wanting to try for a family, so I had a procedure done, and it was painful. As I held the nurse’s hand crying, I asked for my mom. She wasn’t around. She was never around.

But I had my incredible husband, an incredible dad, incredible stepdad who helped with me while my mom was away (and raised my brother as a single dad!) and I have the most wonderful in-laws.

Now here’s where we go back to the circle…

My first job was a gift shop outside of an amusement park. My boss became a close friend. I broke up with my high school boyfriend and told him. He said, “I have a cousin!” I said, “give him my number!” and he did. He failed to tell me his cousin lived in another state! Haha! His cousin is now my husband. My husband, since I met him when he was 17, has always dreamed about being a police officer. I have told my husband about Officer Lyle, and my husband said, “If I can just impact ONE child the way he has impacted you, it will make the whole career worth it”.

Well my friends, my husband did it. He achieved his dream of becoming a police officer in hopes of changing the life of at least one lost child. He achieved his dream of being a police officer just like his Uncle John. John, who by the way, is my old boss’s dad. John was on the same police department as Officer Lyle. From childhood…that same childhood that stemmed from pain, trauma and feeling unloved, God had already connected me to my husband. God lead me to him from across state lines from childhood. That has only reaffirmed my faith in the Lord and to trust in His plan. It also helps me with living in “faith vs. fear” that my friend reminds me to do when things get hard. I tell myself, “God wouldn’t have put him in my life the way he did to take him away from me”.

And now, here I am, 13 years later. Happier than ever. And a wife of a police officer, sharing my story. Who knew this would be how my life would turn out? Well the Lord did, and I’m so glad I trusted in Him, and his crazy plans for me.