Saturday, March 27, 2010

Emoting Responsibly

I need to share my story. It just burns on my fingertips. Enough with the doubting and overthinking and just get on with it.

I will be sleeping on the couch tonight. And not because of the baby. The last few days have brought on a completely humbling experience and my head is taking it's sweet time to sort things out. There are so many angles to this one issue we're dealing with, I don't even want to describe it. But here is the part I own:

At times I have been so bitter about not being able to go to my husband for support and encouragement when I am discouraged, depressed or spiritually confused. I understand that he is in recovery and sometimes barely keeping his own head above water as he sorts out the life that brought him to today. But I long for him to be strong when I am weak, to hold me up when I feel like I am drowning! And maybe this is what husbands are supposed to do. I'm not even sure. But I know that to automatically expect this of him is wrong. If he does it, that's good. If I expect it, that's wrong. Because addiction or no addiction, he is still a man and could be in any sort of mood, and possibly unprepared for my need of rescue. Only God stands firm as a refuge 100% of the time. I am realizing that I have been holding out hope for the one day that my husband will be equal to God and be ever ready and waiting for my emotional tsunamis. That is not called recovery. That is called unrealistic.

Even when I am hurting and emotional, I need to be consistent in my love for others. Because I have been avoiding God in my attempt to wait patiently for my husband to reach divine status (how supportive of me!) I will fall recklessly into emotion until I cannot see past my own pain in those moments. If I am going to come to my husband for understanding, the mature thing is to make sure I'm not dragging with me things that are known triggers for him. I need to consider him, even when I am overcome with emotion. I need to remember that even when I am very emotional, I still have the capacity and responsibility to make choices that reflect love for God and others and even myself.
"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." Luke 6.37-38, The Message

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There. I can agree with that. If only you knew the tumultuous conversation that has been going on around this lesson for me! Feminism, entitlement, codependency, body image and a heaping dose of personal pride, some useless and hurtful gossip shared by the husband... there are a lot of lies swirling around in my head that we need to just lay to rest; they are so painful. And I think they are beside the point, just wind blustering around the steady words of the Father.
"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
"But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." I Cor. 13.12-13, The Message