I kind of dislike that title. But everything else I came up with was equally lame. Ha!
So forget the title and let me just share a brief story that still encourages me so much when I think of it.
A little context: We have been married for over eight years and I would marry him all over again. We met when he was seventeen and I was eighteen – which now seems so crazy because we were just babies! But, we were glued to each other from the start. There was never a hesitation about where we wanted to end up – together. You do the math on my age, but we met thirteen years ago and dated for five years before getting married so…….we’ve been in each other’s lives for a good bit now you could say!
Time is the most precious thing in marriage – if you choose for it to be. Time is where the Lord works out the kinks both minor and major. Time offers you opportunity after opportunity to win in the moment or make things far worse than they were only two minutes ago.
Now, I cannot speak to a man’s perspective and I wouldn’t be so insensitive to assume that all women are like me in marriage. BUT! I have a feeling you’ll be able to relate to at least some of my tendencies over the years. Over thirteen years of being together – and you see the glorious sides of each other and the not-so-glorious sides. And when some of the not-so-glorious sides of my husband would surface, I would jump into parenting – him. Somewhere deep inside – I felt it my duty to help him see the light and turn from the error of his ways. To help him overcome his pitfalls and climb up to where I was. It was for his best! If he could have just seen things the way I did, it would have been so clear and such an easy road forward. Ha – how many times have you rolled your eyes now? Seriously!
Over time, God started to unravel some of my thinking. Well, especially when my ‘ways’ increasingly led to worse and worse outcomes. Perhaps one statement that has sunk so deeply into my heart was one made on her blog, . Em basically said one thing she had learned about marriage was that she was the biggest problem her marriage had. Yeah, let that one roll around for a bit. In all transparency – it made me reel. How could it be? I mean, is it even possible for one person to be in the hot seat that much?? But, as He usually does, He brought truth to me over time regarding the statement. It’s not so much about how absolutely true or non-true that statement is. If you are able to embrace that perspective – that my actions are the root of tension – that my words can make or break this moment – that my attitude towards him will either escalate this thing or bring peace – well, it begins to change things. It’s not that his words and actions don’t affect the situation – obviously! It’s that there’s a shift that happens when I start to see my own actions as the issue and take that hot hot light of scrutiny off of him. I have NOT achieved perfection in this area – but I can say that God has not let me forget those words either. He reminds me again and again. 🙂
So that way of thinking leads you to all other kinds of truths: my husband is not my child, I am not responsible for him, he is not SUPPOSED to think the way I think, I NEED his differences to rub up against me and bring necessary change at times, God is responsible for getting me where I am supposed to be and God is responsible for the same in him, my way is not the best way all of the time, God is fully able to handle another person without my ‘assistance.’ Can you relate?
This truth I tell you, the more I have let go of control over him and our lives, the better it becomes. I have plenty of ugly moments still and times where my flesh trumps all and I scramble for control. But those moments are becoming more and more clear and unpleasant all of the time.
So – now we get to the story that encourages. By the grace of God – and only by that – over the years I have been able to let go of certain things that I genuinely saw in Z that I knew wasn’t healthy. Lord only knows that he’s seen the same in me. I would pray for him in seasons and in other seasons I would just leave it for God to address. So Sunday night couldn’t have surprised me more. He sat me down to share what God had been doing in his heart over the past weeks and months. Out of his mouth tumbled the truth of just how capable God is on His own. God, in timing that could have only been His, did it. He brought Z truth and freedom in ways that I would have never ever been able to do. I was in awe. Things that I had prayed for him years ago – but had not been praying about at all recently – were just coming forward with a beautiful ease that can only come from Him. Imagine that – God hadn’t needed me this time. He had honored prayers from the past – but my hands were not necessary.
I am being illusive because what God did is Zion’s business – not mine to share. What He did was huge and very meaningful to both of us, but the issues were not huge in the sense of major issues causing one to not function in life. Zion has been and continues to be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He is the biggest gift in my life and I wouldn’t be half the person I am without him.
So, be encouraged. Be encouraged that God cares more than you do. Be encouraged that letting go of control can be the best step for everyone. Be encouraged that time can be your friend in marriage and that it truly can become sweeter (despite some bad moments along the way).
Next blog will be all about my little man Liam! He turns TWO on Sunday and the celebration is in full swing. The birthday balloon wreath goes up today and I cannot wait :).