January 2nd: Family First

The second installment of January guest blogs: “Your scary, crazy, amazing goal you would accomplish in 2015 if you could do absolutely ANTHING!” If you would like to participate find me on Facebook– I would love to share your story!

January 2nd: Cameron: Family First

When I agreed to write about my scary, crazy, amazing goals for 2015- I really had to think about it and gather my thoughts. I never imagined my goals would be as simple and impossible as they currently are.
To catch everyone up to speed, my husband has traveled for 8 years and we have been through hell and back trying to live separate lives. In October we saw the distance begin to effect our children, specifically our eldest Shaw and in one very tearful conversation we silently made a decision that would change the course of our lives forever. On December 15 we loaded up everything we owned and moved from Texas to Ohio, to finally be a full-time family.  It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do- my Mother died in my arms, my Father died not loving me, I had a stroke to have my third blessing. So, to say it was hard doesn’t give the decision enough gravity. Now that we are all on the same page into my goal.

As hard as I tried, it was never enough. When Sean would come home I would do everything I could to make things as happy as I could. In my head I was making the best of the situation and cherishing our very limited time together. In the end I drove a massive wedge between my husband and myself that almost cost me our marriage. Can you imagine how emasculating it would be to feel like you built a life you couldn’t live? That when you came home to the family you sacrificed everything for and you didn’t have a place to belong. So, while I was busy fostering and maintaining a life he dreamt of, I rarely considered what his dreams actually were:

Just to be with us.

I fought so hard and felt so abandoned. As if I were running full speed on a treadmill I couldn’t get off of. I played the victim perfectly too. Feeling like because my husband wasn’t justified in shutting down because missing us was just too much to process.  I became to poster child for “strength” and it was all such a terrible lie.  Inside I was dying, screaming, begging for an end that would either fix everything or render it all null and void. We both became neutral, dead, and codependent on a reality that truly didn’t exist. We hardly realized the answer was so simple.
Two years ago tonight, I was pregnant with Chandler whom we tried for two years to have. I closed on our dream house alone.  There was something so comforting in the thought of our final home.  After so much struggle we had finally done it! I moved alone, violently puking daily.  But still I took so much pride and peace in knowing if all else fails I can build our home and keep everyone afloat.  Surviving and thriving are two totally different things. We were all just surviving and poorly at that.  When Sean would come home I would force memories, step out of the way, and pretend that none of us were cut and bleeding out slowly. Why would I give up everything we had worked for? He worked for a company with no consistency, so being on the road with him simply wasn’t an option. Each 32 hour trip home just added more fuel to the fire and cut us deeper still.

In April, we found out about a position that would offer an actual rotation. It seemed far too good to be true. We applied, put all our eggs in one basket, and they hired someone else. I was so beaten down. I was still having migraines from the stroke and I stopped breastfeeding Chandler at 8 months and turned to any kind of relief I could find. All my neurologist was interested in was doping me up, which was totally not an option, especially with three babies. I was emotionally, spiritually, and physically empty! I gave up. One night I sat and cried in the shower until the hot water stopped scalding my skin. I pled with God and begged Him to intervene. I laid my marriage, my children, and my heart at His feet.  Swearing I couldn’t let our lives continue the way they were.

In June, Sean applied again and was hired! Yay! Rotation and all our dreams would come true. More time with him, he could feel loved and everything would be better. Cue “The Sound of Music”. Nothing was fixed. He came home for his first rotation and it actually made things worse. It’s really easy to convince yourself that you aren’t in love when he isn’t there. Then when he comes home and the mere sight of him loving on our children stopped your heart it’s really hard to settle for 10 days. I felt so selfish, ungrateful, and like nothing would ever bring me joy again. When was it going to be good enough? Dream house, dream job, empty soul. It was something that would ultimately almost bring us down. We kept drawing nearer to the decision just never having the guts to make it. A friend stayed with us during her cross country move and destroyed my life in the best way possible. I watched her cry, hurt, and yearn for her husband in a way I no longer did. I saw her feel more than I had felt in years. One more step towards jumping off the huge cliff. Then after switching Shaw into his old school I watched him struggle and hurt. I was saying “yeah the money you make justifies destroying us”. How could we keep doing this? So, we made the leap.

Here we are, in a rental home, in Ohio,  a 1000 miles away from all the people that held me together, all the things that brought us comfort, and we are happier than we have ever been. Not everything that shatters your comfort zone is worth it but this. so. is. We already see a difference in Shaw. The girls are happier than they ever have been and I wake up next to my husband every day. Every single day. It’s surreal, not possible and everything I have ever dreamt of.  I’m not saying everything is healed but it will be. So, my goal this year is to just be a Mom and a Wifey, because that’s all I need to be from now on I just have no idea how to play this role.

In the end not everything is as perfect as it seems. You can have it all- house, money, life and still crave the little things that consume your soul. My daily routine has become dramatically different. Filled with tickle fights, laughter, and true happiness. I know the upcoming months are going to be marked with difficulty and growth but I will do anything to watch their relationship grow,  our pain subside, and the hurt of 8 years be replaced with true, genuine, love. Isn’t that what we all say? I’d do anything for love, i’m walking that out right now but not just for me- for all 5 of us. And we are worth it all, every single day. Never give up fighting, you never know when your life may deserve a miracle.

Happy New Years!




3 thoughts on “January 2nd: Family First

  1. As an oilfield man and a close friend to the Stutzman family this whole story slapped me in the kisser. I came from meager living (to say the most). I have always worked very hard to have the things in life I was never afforded when I was younger. Then I met her, my beautiful, relentless, unwavering lover and true soul mate. She gave me a chance to be something more than just another person trying to make it. This amazing person gave birth to the other most amazing person in my life.

    As a father and a husband, there are ZERO tasks we will endure to ensure our families have the “important things” in life. I started my work in the patch in February 2010. For one soul purpose to provide. I worked so hard every day with the thought: ” I endure so that they won’t have to.” We have seen so many life altering struggles in our few years of marriage…. My beautiful little angle was diagnosed with A.L.L (acute lymphoblastic leukemia ) in 2013. I still had to work. I was off for awhile but even while I was home. My initial thoughts we of how am I going to Maintaine this lifestyle. Then I seen my daughter start to deteriorate, before my eyes I watched the most precious thing in our life become weaker. The tears at night and the learning new terminology to try to comprehend chat was really happening. I failed, I wasn’t the best husband or father I should have been. I shut down.

    Realizing that in my weakest hour Tessa (my wife) was at her strongest. She was/is our pillar. She carried her family through the flames and helped us emerge out the other side. Our daughter went into remission January 1st 2014 and we could breathe a sigh of relief. Through the strength and glory of our God and of amazing friends and family ( some who are both) . I had a new purpose, my work I no longer my pride. My family are my strength my wife is my passion. It took something so tragic to open my eyes to the beautiful blessings I had right in front of me. I know things aren’t perfect and we have a lot of healing to do. I guess what I am getting at is that it is so easy for a man to work in harsh dangerous conditions for hours a day. Months at a time and to think ” well I did my job”. I have learned, that is the farthest from the truth. The time home, no matter how short. That is when I truly work my hardest now. So some day we will be able to enjoy the lifestyle our dear friends the Stutzmans are blessed with. We love you guys, goodnight


  2. Wow, I am speechless. Cameron you are an inspiration to me every day! I hope other women read this and know they are not alone. It is hard being one person yet running a household, business and taking care of three children. By the grace of God you have pulled thru and are now living your dream and I am so happy for you and your family!


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