Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Be Coming

I don't want Christmas to come. I want it to just be coming. I don't want it to actually happen, because then it would be over, and I like what Christmas coming does to people. I like what it does to me.

It's probably not some big secret that this has been one very hard year for my marriage. I don't know what it is about me (well, that's not all the way true. I am learning what it is about me, and I'm working on it), but marriage is hard for me. I don't want it to be. I love being married, and the marriage ideal, and the theory of marriage. I'm a big fan. But there are all kinds of things about me (and the men I pair up with, according to my therapist) that make marriage more work then it seems like everyone else is doing. In a way that kind of bugs me. In another way, it steams my locomotive with the desire to make it up yet another hill. I think I can. I think I can.

I am the oldest of nine children. I am fiercely independent, and I have a tendency to think I can do everything better than the next guy, and that my ideas and ways are superior. They may be, but this does not make for a happy husband. It's taken me about 15 years of being married to really get that, and I'm not saying I'm totally abandoning the philosophy (cause I do really like the way I do things!), but at least I'm aware now. And I recognize that the dangerous voice that appeals to me when times are tough is the voice that whispers, "You can do fine without him. You can do better without him. You don't need to put up with this." I say 'dangerous' because I know God didn't design me to do it all. I know that the greatest happiness I can have in this life is the happiness gleaned through a partnership with my husband. I know that (even though it often feels like it) Moms just can't do everything. Dads are necessary, and without them, children suffer. I know that without the lessons I will learn in this marriage, I will not be all that I was designed to be. Neither will he.

But man, is it hard. I am really, really good at forgiveness, but man, this is hard.

Thank goodness I'm not left to my own defenses. I am humbly grateful to a God who knows every recess of my heart. I'm even more grateful that I've learned to recognize and listen. Christmas is a time of coming together, not pulling apart, and much to my chagrin, marriage, it appears, (especially second marriages) are works in progress, not instant heart balms.

Even when his name does mean 'consoled'. It isn't past tense yet, but at least it gives me hope in the promise of what is to come.

Christmas makes it so much easier to serve, and service makes it so much easier to love. Funny. I think someone else gave his life trying to teach that.

8 comments:

Abby said...

Marriage *is* hard. But I'm sure you didn't need your little sister who's barely been married to confirm that for you.

I'm a lot like you though in that I feel like I do everything better and I'll totally put up a fight about it too. "No, you can't do the dishes because you load them wrong and nothing gets clean" "No, you can't do the laundry because you wad stuff up instead of folding." But then it's so easy to complain later that you're soooo tired because you do *everything*. Sometimes, you just need to suck it up and let him help even if it's not to your standards. I'm learning. We're all learning.


Even though my name's Abby..it doesn't mean I'm good at advice. But I know where you're coming from and I love you always.

Misty said...

this is such a great post Jenna...

I think that there is something about divorce that leads us to know that, yeah, we probably could do it on our own. When I was single, between our divorce and reconciliation, i truly loved aspects of my life. I loved that it was MY life...

and there are days when the voice in my own head, reminds me of that.

The most powerful and magical aspect of marriage is the choice to be there. That we CHOOSE it. It isn't supposed to be our path because of need. If it was, that would weaken it. It's a choice. And our husbands? They choose us too... Sometimes when the thought really hits me (and there are times my entitlement causes me to forget) it overwhelms me... Choice. POWERFUL!

Josi said...

Oh Jenna, this was beautiful and sad and stark in the reminder that marriage is so NOT easy--but it really can be incredibly great. I loved Misty's advice and my hat is off to you for staying in there and fighting through it--many people aren't willing to try this hard. I often think of your first post I read where you talked about your husband and how you came together. It was a beautiful post, I sincerely hope you find that beauty again.

Annette Lyon said...

What Josi said. You've got a strength that so many of us admire. Here's hoping that 2009 is much better for you both.

Hannah said...

I'm so not great at advice. It's only when I feel prompted by the Lord, that I feel like what I'm saying is good. All I can say now is that I love you. You are stronger than any other lady I know, but I know that that strength is not Jenna, but Jenna relying on God. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

rjlight said...

Well, being the youngest of 8, I still think being married is one of the hardest things in life. We've been at it for 17 years, but it sure is hard work. I wouldn't trade my husband for anyone though. I have to constantly remember the plank in my eye!

SherE1 said...

Wow, I really needed your post and the awesome responses that you've gotten today. Recently I've been feeling like an awful wife and I've been hearing those voices in my head too. Some days it feels so hard that it's a struggle to stay strong. Thank you for the new perspective and inspiration to keep working at it.

Angela said...

Well said my friend! I love your attitude -- that you are able to admit when things are hard but also able to recognize your part in all this. Leaning on your Heavenly Father will only strengthen you and your marriage. (thanks Hannah) I admire your strength!