Our life is completely different than it was a year ago. I am so, so thankful the Lord sought to change more than merely our circumstances. He dug in and did internal work in our hearts and our marriage. If the Lord had merely changed our circumstances and not changed our hearts, I believe we would have ended up divorced. If either Mark or I had chosen not to dig into humbling ourselves and changing our habits and interactions with each other. I would have walked away from Mark. I 100% believe the Lord refused to change our circumstances until our hearts and habits began to change. He wanted our hearts, not our earthly comforts and he was going to use our marriage as the tool.
Maybe it’s normal, but somehow we got lost in each other. I tried to become Mark and he tried to become me. The problem is we didn’t fall in love with ourselves. We fell in love with the individuals we are. The question became, how do we remain ourselves while becoming one? Mark had to deal with his own issues, but I had a responsibility to figure out who I am, what I like, and what I want. k is not responsible for what the Lord has for me to do.
I got lost in being a wife and a mom. While those are roles I fulfill, they are not solely who I am. So, I found myself asking, as many women before have done, who am I? Yes, I am more than a wife and mom, but the experiences of both have changed me, strengthened me, and made my weaknesses stand out. And can I just say how easy it is to hide behind being a wife and mom? It’s true. Somehow I have a habit of throwing the covering over me so I don’t have to face my fears, insecurities, and weaknesses. Can I tell you how much freedom there has been in me becoming me?
One of the things I have rediscovered this year is how much I love tropical deodorant by Dove. Do you know what’s funny about this? It smells exactly like sex wax. What is sex wax you might be asking? It’s the wax they use on surfboards. So, unbeknownst to us it may have been a factor in attracting my surfer husband. Isn’t it funny to figure these pieces out 17 years later?
I still love horses, but my favorite aspects are the training and the relationships with the people. I have learned I don’t really care what I do, but I care about the team I am working with. So, while I would love horses and training to come back into my life, the Lord will bring them back into my life, if and when he’s ready.
Country music is still my jam, I still dance in the grocery aisle, and my mouth still doesn’t have the filter my mom wishes it had. Contrary to my mouth I tend to be insecure and words of affirmation go a long way with me. I have high expectations of myself and those in my life. Expectations I need to give over to the Lord.
I am learning to trust God. Do I know he’s good? Yes. Do I believe he exists, sent Jesus, and loves me? Yes, I do. But, I also know what he has asked of me over the years and what has been required. I am thankful for the growth the last years have brought. But, I also have a level of PTSD from it. The Lord is working to turn my PTSD from fear to “I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do”.
One of the ways the Lord is softening my PTSD is through my interactions with Mark. We fight less, we reconcile sooner. We are quicker to say I’m sorry and to think the best of one another. We are far, far from perfect. Another way I am finding hope this mid-morning in February is when I see myself and Mark working through times calmly and rationally where before it would have triggered both of us.
I don’t know why God has kept our marriage going. I don’t know why we have found a protocol that is currently working or why God brought a job Mark loves. I don’t know why our life is changing, I’m thankful it is. As we rise from the place where we were, our desire is to pull those around us up with us. To be a safe place to be broken. To teach others how to maintain traction financially, to encourage others to build up and get better, to heal. Lord, let us be conductors in another person’s pain and despair. To point lamp unto our feet to Jesus the Savior.
Another place of hope the Lord has given me is a passion for on-the-fritz broken marriages. Those who hide the depth of their brokenness. For those who feel continually too broken for anyone. You are my people because the depth of my brokenness has kept me from believing I could truly be a part of the body of Christ. It’s been a lonely, lonely road. I would 100% change it if I could have.
My dear Friend, who is still in the middle of your broken-hard road. I see you, and I am continually in prayer for you. If I can walk alongside you, please let me know.