"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay," is said at weddings and is artwork for the marital home. I understand why. It is a beautiful saying filled with promise.
There is a song with those exact words in it. Whenever I hear the song, I think it is such a beautiful promise to God.
Interestingly enough, they are words spoken from one woman to another. From a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law. Naomi became widowed and years later lost both of her married sons. I cannot even begin to imagine this woman's ache! It was custom, at that time, for widows to return to their homelands. One of Naomi's daughter-in-laws, Orpah, left but Ruth "clung to her" (Ruth 1:14).
Naomi encouraged Ruth to leave with her sister-in-law but Ruth replied, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God" (Ruth 1:16).
Such a beautiful declaration. I understand why it is used at weddings and why those words are hung on walls of a home made by love.
I have spoken those words (though not so eloquently) to my husband since the beginning of our marriage.
With my husband being a pilot, he could go anywhere, at anytime, and I understood this from the very beginning.
There have been times in our eleven and a half years of marriage where he has had to make some decisions regarding his career. Sometimes, in those conversations, he has said, "but if I decide to do that, or this happens, then it could mean a move farther away from family." I have always told him that no matter where flying takes him, I will be with him. I would rather us move clear across the world as long as it means that we are together. And there were a few short months where we had to seriously consider my husband taking a job in another country, which would have required us moving on the opposite side of the globe.
I have always said, "I will go where you go. I will do what I need to do to make sure that we are a family and our children grow up with their father apart of their lives as much as possible."
He loves what he does. Seriously, loves it! When we were dating, he would drool whenever he saw an airplane in the sky. There would be this longing look in his eyes and you could just see him itching to be the one piloting that plane. My mom used to joke around when we were dating about him taking me to the airport lookout site. That place was known for young couples to go and not watch the airplanes take off and land. My mom used to laugh and say "I never worry about when I hear that he took you to the airport because I know that he really did watch the airplanes. He probably didn't even realize you were there!"
I know how much he loves what he does. And that is why, when we had only been married for six months, he left the first time for three months of training and just like the second time, we did not see each other those three months, I promised myself that no matter how hard or frustrating his job gets, I will not ask him to do something else. He just loves what he does way too much.
Well, I did not keep that promise. When I get all frustrated, anxious and tired, I tend to get a bit dramatic.
I kept that promise to myself until we had our first born. He didn't leave us for three months but when she was two months old, he was rarely home. I was a first time mom, I was exhausted, I was stressed and I wanted to have my husband home for at least two days out of the week. Among the frustration and the tears, I asked him to find another job because I couldn't continue to take care of everything when he was never home.
I kicked myself shortly after for asking him that. I realized the stress and the struggle I then placed on him. I had virtually asked him to choose between his wife and child and his job.
About a week later I apologized for asking that of him.
So life carried on and we adjusted. The frustrations of being a pilots wife continued but we carried on.
Then, we buried two of our children. I was a basket case. His work was gracious and they gave him a month off.
I have always loved to be myself. I don't mind being alone, which maybe why I never had a hard time before our first born came with him being gone a lot. I just treasure my alone time, the solitude.
But after the death of our girls, I was a nervous wreck. I feared being alone for even five minutes. I was a zombie, I didn't talk much to anyone in those first six weeks or so but I couldn't bear the thought of being alone. I didn't want to talk but I wanted to have someone with me at all times.
I didn't know what I was going to do when he went back to work. I couldn't take care of myself. He would pick me up out of the bed most days, undress me and put me in the shower and then dress me when I got out. I couldn't take care of myself so how was I going to take care of myself, the house and our daughter when he went back to work?
So, because I was so scared, I asked him to quit his job. He didn't respond to me and that is all I said.
Once he returned to work, I asked that question time and time again because I couldn't cope, with him being gone, with all of the responsibility . . . with life. So I asked him to quit.
I know I made an already difficult time even harder for him. I know he was terrified to leave me (he feared me being alone as much as I did) but we had bills that needed to be paid and food to put on the table.
Time has made some of these things "better". I am getting back to the point where I long for some solitude and I am able to not only dress myself but care for our daughter as well.
I am not so fearful of him leaving for the better part of the week.
He is my husband. The one I chose and the one whom I am so grateful is walking this road with me and offers pieces of his strength to me when I am weak.
Where ever this crazy journey called life takes him, I will follow. If it calls for us to remain where we are, I will remain with him.
For so many years, I thought the going was always to a physical place, another town, another state, another country. I have learned that the going may be an emotional journey. It may be a journey to hell and back. We've been, together, hand in hand, on many different journeys . . .
Where you go I will go . . .