“Thanks for checking on me”. I think I said those words, or something similar, maybe a couple of times last year, while the headlines rolled and the outcry roared. It’s 2021, and the headlines are crashing again. Times like these are what make me miss my pastor the most. Our pastor was one of the few that went out of his way to check in on us. One of the few. When families were being followed home and harassed and badge wearers were more than just verbally criticized, our pastor didn’t rant and rave, he didn’t lecture or rattle on. He didn’t run out and buy a thin blue line something or other. He didn’t share his favorite snarky meme. He asked how he could pray. He asked how we were. He listened and cared. He encouraged. Oh, Pastor Larry, how we miss you!
It’s odd to have so much conversation about law enforcement with only a couple of real check-ins. It’s times like these I wish he could call or text. Losing a pastor at the end of 2020 was more than devastating. We lost our back up. Our counselor.
There’s a lot of opinions and arguments over facts. There’s a lot of one liner memes. There’s a lot of name calling and blaming. But there’s not many check-ins or prayers. It’s been a bit since we’ve had one.
It’s a strange and lonely position. To learn to Netflix and chill alone. To schedule your whole routine around when he’s home, awake, or both. To attend holidays alone. To feel disturbed by the headlines and lose sleep. To have to pray, “please God, keep our daddy safe and keep us safe” with your kids on the days he’s at work and to pray “thank you, God, that our daddy is home with us” on the days he’s off. We’ve not had a prayer without those words. To debrief him after a trauma he’s seen. When was the last time you had to debrief your spouse? To trust that his 20 something dollar an hour is enough for wearing a bullet proof vest. To be a family of color and a law enforcement family. To know you won’t be understood by either side of the coin. To have to trust that God called him to wear the badge during this decade and have to rest in His sovereignty. To go 23 hours or more without even a text. To love the sight of his unlaced boots and the sound of the velcro. To have your financial advisor tell you that you REALLY need life insurance in case something happens to him and not if something happens to you. To hope others see you as a person. To know that the only other people that understand are fellow law enforcement wives. To never wear anything that marks you as an law enforcement wife when in public, or really ever.
Check in with us. Call us. Actually ask how we are doing in regards to the headlines. We don’t want to hear if you think the officer was wrong or right, because our thoughts will change based on the circumstances. We don’t need you generalizing things in either direction. Because, at the end of the day, you may be able to forget and move on to the next topic, but we don’t. He’s still the one that took an oath. He’s still called in someone’s worst hour or worst day. He’s still the one responding to a trauma or arresting someone that doesn’t want to go to jail, even if they need to. And I’m still the one that held the Bible. I’m still the one managing the home (good thing I’m good at it), the calendar and finances, our kids, our social life, schedules, my own career, and, all the while, praying for grace, protection, peace, and the wisdom to simply know the difference.