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(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?

But then….
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.

Weird.

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.