Mark and I have diagnosed and acknowledge the symptoms we have as individuals and as a couple in our lives. After discovering the symptoms we prayed and continue to pray for the Lord to show us the real emotional disease or disease’s that lies beneath the symptom. The further we go into the disease the more we realize how much emotional junk lies beneath the symptom and it’s no wonder we had no desire to begin the digging process. But, if we want emotions in our marriage, if we want the surgery to begin so we can enter into the physical therapy stage we must press on and let the probing and the digging continue.
I do want to give you some good news. Even though we have just begun to scrap the surface I can already testify that while we still have moments of tension, moments we yell at each other, and moments we slip back into our old selves. I can tell you that right now Mark is sitting right next to me and not on the other end of the couch like we had been. We are genuinely smiling at each other, we are purposefully and I would say even joyfully beginning to enjoy each others company again. I would even say we are beginning to find delight in one another. We are finding delight in playing board games together and we are delighting in one another’s passions and dreams. Even though we have only begun to scrap the surface of our diseases, God is already showing us the victory that waits us on the other side. If this is what it is like at the starting point, my goodness, I am willing to stick it out through the more painful times to come to get to the culmination. The painful moments are the ones in which either of us revert back to our old self and once again resume hurting each other in our old self. This is going to require us to remember who each other is in the new self, even while the old self is rearing it’s ugly head, and in the midst of the old self mode, remembering to think the best of each other. It is going to require we get on our knees in the presence of the Holy Spirit and seek wisdom, comfort, and security. It is being committed to hang in there through the bump until one of us evens back out, seeks reconciliation with God and the spouse, and comes back to the new self. It’s a process, a life long process, but one that once we get the hang of, will trigger less reactions from the old self and more reactions from the new self. This is were emotional physical therapy comes into the picture. This is were the Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us how to communicate in the new person and how to love in the new person. It will be a process for sure, but a process I am already being witness to that our marriage is already turning a new emotional page.
Learning to use emotional muscles we have never used before has already begun to heal our wounds, it has started to build trust back into our marriage, and has brought us to a place of peace and joy in our marriage. We have a long road in front of us, but we have committed to walk along side each other through the process. Not only are we walking along side each other, we are holding hands doing it. There are times we want to yank our hand away because one of us has hurt the other, there are times we want to take the same hand we yanked away, and smack the other person. But, again, this is were we must practice emotional physical therapy. We must seek the Holy spirit to come back to a place of emotional growth, breathe, put our hand down from the others face, and place it back into their hand. We must choose to stretch the new self emotional muscles, it’ scary, but so well worth it!
Connecting with Mark on a deeper level, a level I didn’t know existed, is bliss, and going through the struggle to develop new emotional muscles is so well worth it! We are on the journey together and we press on towards the goal!