(Note: This post began as one thing the day after I wrote last week’s “I like you”. But then, another day passed and another conversation and…here it is. In many ways, it’s a ball of multi-colored thread, all tangled and knotted. But, in some way, I hope you can find a pattern or a glimpse towards Truth. If not, I pray it leaves no ill mark.)
As a young woman, I remember day dreaming about the bliss of married life. My friend and I gushed how we simply could not wait to “joyfully submit” to our chosen mates. We pictured how we would come alongside as ‘helpmates’: quietly and dutifully supporting these might men in prayer, and cheerfully creating home and children and pretty plates as we trusted these individuals to lead our families through dreams and debt and drudgery.
Um…are you kidding me?
See, it took about twelve hours after “I Do” to realize that, unlike most women, I had married an imperfect human being. He came with his own kind of issues, interpretations, and baggage. He received and expressed emotion in a manner foreign to me. He purchased senseless things like games and wine and baseball subscriptions while neglecting to purchase necessities such as flowers and symphony tickets and shoes in women’s size nine.
And then, in the
midst of it all, there was me!
And first there was me!
And at the end of the day…me me me!!!
Why didn’t he ask about me? Why didn’t communicate to me? Why didn’t he feel he could tell me that issue or share that story or ask that question? Why didn’t he bring me presents? Why didn’t he say that? And why did he say THAT?
Good grief, didn’t he realize that he had vowed his life to me and I had better feel like it?
He began to consider what Love could be. He began look inward and upward. He began to believe that Love wasn’t “give and take” at all, but simply “GIVE!”, and not so much about him (his own ‘me’). He began to live a life of Love; undefined, weirdo, not-with-a-cherry-on-top kind of love. A Love of sacrifice and presence and strength.
And me? I really didn’t get it.
In fact, it kind of made me itch.
I pushed…and he didn’t push back.
I shoved…and he stood firm; not retaliating, not demanding, just…rooted.
I attacked…and he didn’t sulk or slink or stray.
So I shut up (for a minute, maybe two) and thought about it.
Maybe, love wasn’t about compromise or
taking to give.
Maybe, there was something Good to be found in living the giving-life.
Maybe, our Lord had set out a startling example of strength and beauty and sacrifice.
Maybe, in his strength and quiet and maddening steadiness, my husband was pointing me to Love.
Months and days later, I find myself in too deep for comfort and too far to turn back. It turns out that Cupid’s arrow is a lot less lethal than the cross of Christ and the perfect love found therein. The death applied within Love’s love is the loss of everything I’ve always desired; my pride, my position, my right to my carefully crafted tinfoil princess crown. The life presented within Love’s love is a gain without price; strength in pain, freedom in fear, a Queen’s crown given to a head bowed low.
It’s not pretty or cozy or fashionable like new shoes. It doesn’t smell like roses (or even carnations!), and it doesn’t taste like chocolate or resonate with symphonic notes. It doesn’t get me my way and it doesn’t guarantee the last word.
And it’s a little bit terrifying.
But not scary.
And so I’m going to watch him and Him, a little bit more. And maybe be quiet for another minute (maybe three). And maybe seek first and add it up later.
I’m not sure where I’ll surface.
I’m hoping I won’t recognize myself at all.
Dea’ is a mama to boys, a former college educator, a writer, and a ‘simple-green-living’ home-maker. Currently residing in small-town Alberta while her husband practices as a medic in the north, Dea’ can be found chasing her boys and backyard chickens while experimenting with whole foods and (attempting to) break into new areas of writing and other creative things. You are welcome to follow her family and story at wholedei.