God asks us to make Him our all, at whatever cost, and it’s a strange concept to us here on earth, but to find true peace and fulfillment is to give up everything near and dear for the sake of Christ. For me personally it looks like God asking me to give up the need to receive anything emotionally from Mark or anyone else. To get my soul dependency on everything I need emotionally from Christ. To be honest when God first brought this up in my life I smiled and waved at Him and said great idea God. But, as life plays out, it’s easier said than done. I like getting my God fixes from other people, from Mark. I like being in harmony emotionally from Mark. But, let’s be honest, no matter how perfect the relationship, no matter how solid the romance, life gets in the way of perfect emotion in a relationship.
In relationships there are always going to be times when Mark cannot meet an emotional need right then and there. Since bringing in a pay check is a huge chunk of how Mark takes care of our family it is often hard for him to simply leave work at work. He is always processing and chewing on different projects at work. While he is fairly good at leaving work at work, I need to give him grace when it does come home occasionally. Because providing for our family takes chunks of time out of Mark’s life he has little time for any hobbies he would like to pursue. His job requires he is away from the family. Mark is often left floundering wondering when and how to meet his needs, the kid’s needs, and my needs. He’s often left feeling like he is spread too thin and not doing well at anything. But, Mark has needs to and there are often times Mark and I are so tired, we have nothing to give to each other.
But, there is also an element in our marriage that whether it’s a guy/girl thing or whether it’s simply our personalities, I am more emotionally engaging. By nature I can see a need and I can fulfill the need, usually with a smile on my face. It is in my nature to meet the needs of those around me. It has in the past been my subconscious way of trying to meet my emotional needs by meeting the needs of others. This often leads to more emotional let down when I do not receive the emotional affirmation I was needing. For Mark it is not natural to look around, see a need, and then try to fulfill it. He looks at a need and says I probably can’t do anything about it, why try. Trying to emotionally meet my needs is so foreign to Mark and it is often like a toddler learning to walk. The attempt is there, the want is there, but because it does not come natural the attempts more often than not end up in failed attempt. Leaving us more drained and discouraged than before. But, this can often make me feel alone and paddling around in rapids alone. A partner paddling along with us in the rapid water of life is fulfilling in so many ways. But, when you put two sinners in the same canoe, two sinners who are often facing different directions in the same canoe, we end up paddling against each other. Sometimes so fiercely the canoe rips in two and cannot always be repaired. Thankfully there is a skilled craftsman who has been repairing canoes from the very beginning. His name is Jesus, a carpenter by human trade, and carpenter of crafting and creating the heavens of the earth. The same craftsman who can repair marriage canoes and get couples going the same direction. Who can get individuals paddling along in their single kyak, completely fulfilled!
This is where learning to lean on the Lord for everything comes into play. Because, if I can get all I need emotionally from Jesus, then anything that comes against these emotions can be sifted through my deep relationship with Jesus. Both the good and the bad affect me less negatively. We were never meant to get all we need from humans, we were created to communion with God our Father, our creator. When man sinned and our relationship was severed, God created a way back to our relationship with him through our relationship Jesus. Through Jesus we are able to dwell again with God the Father. It is this dwelling place that we find fulfillment in everything, it is this dwelling place in which we receive all we need emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and feeds the physical.
Just as Mark feels unnatural giving emotion out to me, it is as hard for me to get my emotions and all I need met from Jesus Christ alone. I have to admit this is a scary concept for me. It feels that if I let go of my relationship with Mark, I will in the end be more lonely than ever. But, I also know and have the assurance that my relationship with Christ needs to be the place I go first, for everything! My emotions need to get to the place where they are solely dependent on Christ. Placing them anywhere else is simply asking for heartache. I know there is more freedom coming and I know it lies in Jesus Christ. I am in a place where my head knowledge needs my heart knowledge to catch up so that I can come to full understanding. A place where heart passion meets with the truth of what Jesus tells me in his word.
I’m on a journey to discover all I need from the great I Am, the only place for true healing. Tears will come as I die to myself and die to the idea of getting what I need emotionally from humans. Letting go of what I love and want so dearly, to receive that which will give me freedom abundantly. I’m ready, even if it means shedding buckets of tears. I bring to Jesus my willing heart, I bring to Jesus the go ahead to start another digging, another Holy firing process to remove more impurities and to bring me closer to looking like my Abba Father. I’m ready Jesus, start up drilling and turn on the furnace!
When the firing is done and the digging of the roots have been found, I will be able to love those around me more freely. I will be able to pin point my gifts and my talents. I will be able to say no without guilt because I will recognize that what someone is asking me to do is not where my gifts and talents can be used the most. I can say yes with gladness knowing that I am using my gifts and talents effectively. I will be able to pour out because getting my love tank, my cup filled is not dependent on what I am able to soak up emotionally from others that week. Nor do I have to try and soak up emotional strength to get through my day, my week, or my life.
I’m going deeper and I’m ready!
Thank you. This is the journey we all must be on. Jesus must smile with joy at this desire for His heart. All the stuff of life we suffer… it all leads to what you just wrote. When I read the old saints from hundreds of years ago, they sound like you, and you sound like them. This is an old journey, centuries old, and you are making it fresh for us all. I’m so grateful for your writing.
It’s so painful, because everything in my flesh is fighting to hold on to the things of this world. My flesh is terrified of what letting go looks like, but I know to find true freedom I must press on and be willing to give it all as a gift to my Abba. But, oh it’s hard. I must press on!
Hmmmm…. I’ve never “worked” on my marriage a day in my life. What’s this concept you speak of?
I will say, if my wife pointed out my faults online – or if I pointed out hers, we’d be “working” on a divorce.
But, that’s just us.
Lol, it’s not for everyone. When I began blogging it was as a journal and I didn’t think anyone was reading it. Well we both know nothing is private on the world wide web. When friends and family started telling me they were reading my stuff and being encouraged I wasn’t sure what to do. I talked it over with Mark and we decided we wanted to be as honest as we were before we realized anyone was reading it. When we are about to post something “sensitive” I always run it by him first. I would never want to post anything like that without him knowing it. I value him as a person and as my husband. Thanks for commenting Pat!