I am selfish. and used to be entitled. and just overall immature. I think at 22 when I walked into marriage I was ready for the fairytale and somehow missed the part about God using marriage to point out your sin, change you, mold you- the whole dying to self thing. There have been so many parts that are just like a fairytale… so many beautiful, raw parts that I hold so close and so dear. But they came differently than I expected. They come in all kinds of packages. Seeing your husband become a daddy or at 2 am when you are up working on a project and you suddenly feel like you are 22 again. It’s when you see him sacrifice a dream to make yours come true or when you bond in a beautiful way through a loss or through heart wrenching ache.
If I were talking to my girls before they picked their men for life, I would tell them to focus less on the fairytale ideas and pick a man that will love and serve them, that will challenge them yet be patient as they grow and change…. to remind them that this isn’t something you just change your mind into a few years in… you need to look past the romance books and pick someone whose heart you are in love with. Fall in love with his spirit.
I was asked to write about marriage for a blogger series called the marriage diaries so I have been thinking all week about being married and what it has meant for me. She asked writers to talk honestly about one thing that has challenged and surprised them about marriage. (Not THE thing, just one thing.) I would say I think we, as humans, all want to be loved. We want to be desired. We want to give back what we think we are getting in most cases. Sometimes the downward swirl in a marriage begins like a whirlpool. He lets her down, so she withholds a piece of her heart from him. She disrespected him here so he is not going to meet a need there. And so it begins. and the whirlpool is fed….until it’s a thrashing river rapid and there doesn’t look like much hope except to jump ship.
It’s attaching yourself to someone and sharing your life with them.
If you even just look back on my blog when I started you can see the insecurity in me. I am struggling to figure out who I am. I am uncomfortable in my skin. and while it’s not like I have it all figured out now, I have come a long way. It took 30 years but I can honestly say I feel like I found myself. I think I didn’t expect to see how selfish my heart was when I came into marriage. It was news to me.
Insecurity is a real stinker. When someone is stressed at work or hurting because of something completely unrelated to you….if you are insecure, you suddenly make it about you. It is because you aren’t good enough when in reality it has nothing to do with you.
I have walked away from friendships in the past wishing I had been treated differently, loved differently…. I thought I deserved better and walked away. Now as time has passed I have realized part of that was my own pride and my own insecurities. Had I loved freely, expecting nothing in return, maybe it would have turned out differently.
I am grateful that I picked a man who has a truly pure heart. He holds the same things true that I hold true. He has stuck with me through the growing pains and has encouraged me to spread my wings and really helped me find my dreams. He is always trying to make my dreams come true. I couldn’t have chosen a better man. There is truly no one I would rather figure out all of this with than Chris. He makes me laugh, he loves our babies well and he has fought for us even when things seemed hard. He’s helped me find myself in a lot of ways.
He gave me the freedom to be me.