Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I am human.

"Loving someone is the hardest work you'll ever do."

I heard this line in a Hallmark movie I was watching with Mama and immediately it was suctioned to my thoughts. There is so much truth to that line in the love story we were watching while I was cuddled under a throw blanket curled up on the couch with my toes tucked  under my husbands leg and an empty bowl of ice cream placed on the table next to me. Simple moment with complex thoughts. 

The love we're capable of isn't perfect love. We can try and try to love someone so deeply but there is fault and failure that even without being welcomed, is reality and the very reason loving Jesus is such a gift to us. Everyone else will fail us. And we will fail everyone else. It comes. You all know what I'm talking about...parents, friends, our spouse or children. It's never a perfect love. 

I had written in December about how I was struggling and over the last two or three days, I've been feeling a tug to share more. To open my heart a little more. To show you my ugly and to show you the sweetest covering the blood of Jesus gives. 

If you don't know Him or love Him, please don't stop reading. I think anyone reading these words I'm writing can somehow relate to what my heart needs to share-

I am human.

It may come easy for you sitting on the other side of this computer screen as you click on the link to read this post, to think, "that girl is amazing", "I wouldn't be able to do what she does", "she is just so strong" or something to that effect. These are all things I've heard and been told. Can I tell you something? I'm nothing special. I'm human. I'm full of selfishness and fault. I've chosen to love Cale and fight to keep the role as his wife. I've committed to care for him well and to keep my eyes on Jesus. I've surrendered our life and our story to be used for God's glory. Which is all good. It's all worthy of a pat on the back I'm sure, but I do mess up. I do struggle and have to click the restart button more times then I can count. 

Thankfully my emotions that I experience and the inner struggles and thoughts that I have are normal. Most of the time, they're normal for any married woman-not having a thing to do with brain injury.

I want to start off with saying all of that just so you don't forget as you read that I'm like you. I'm flesh like you. This is my heart...and it's a lot like yours. 

I can't even pinpoint when the beginning of this last season of struggle began. I have questioned before in the midst of a tear fest asking if the "struggle" will ever end. I had been frustrated and felt like I was always the one struggling with life and although there were seasons of things being wonderful, the struggle would come back. Well, the answer is no. The struggles won't end until Heaven and I'm also not the only one who experiences trials in this life...even though at times it feels that way ;) 

This last season has been different. I wrestled with thoughts and emotions that are new to me. Maybe that's why it was so difficult to put words to what was wrong? I also know adding Nora to our family, is the same as adding a baby to any family, it creates a whole new family dynamic and stirs up parts of our flesh we had no clue existed. Much like starting a new exercise routine and coming to realize you have muscles you weren't aware of! 

There was a point last month that I could actually say, I didn't like my husband. I didn't really enjoy being around him. I had to think and force myself to react in a way that wasn't impatient or rude. I actually had to think before speaking. Things had been a little up and down before that and I think that led to more hurt in our relationship but even around that time, I still enjoyed him. I still desired his company. Whatever was taking root in my heart this time...it wasn't good. It felt foreign and I felt unrecognizable. 

One night last month I sent this text to a friend, 

Also, pray for me. I'm really struggling Rae. Like, more than I ever have. I don't quite know how to explain it. I just don't even want Cale around. At all. I have to force myself to be kind towards him. It's pretty bad. Other than saying "I'm struggling" to a couple people, that's as far as I've spoken. I know the Lord will help. And I know the thoughts I'm having aren't truth. I just feel angry and on the brink of tears constantly. I tried to have time just the two of us tonight and all the frustration didn't go away and rather the very reasons I'm struggling showed up. Ugh.

I want to say something and mean it in the least...uh...harsh...rude way possible. Marriage is hard that's something we all know. And, there will be hard times. It's part of the package. Going through a period of time where I don't really like my husband is again, normal. I get that. I do.

BUT, we as a culture as a people need to put the brakes on giving into the excuse that the ugly in us is normal. Guess what? We weren't created with the ugly in us. Nope. There's nothing normal about it. That lovely black heart came when sin entered the world. Unfortunately. And, now, as we live in a fallen world and we are walking in this flesh, maybe sin and that side of us could be considered normal. I can see that...but just accepting that and not fighting for something different, it just doesn't sit right with me. I think looking at the statistics of divorce rates, we can all clearly see that just deciding our misery is normal, doesn't sit right with any of us. That's why we throw in the towel right? We decide we're unhappy. We decide there's too much junk in the trunk to get past how we feel and we know that having troubles in marriages is normal and sometimes you just have to end it-and oh by the way, that's normal. Don't fret it. 

Ok, I know I'm speaking a little um...louder and being a bit more bold then I normally am (ha. that word.) and for this I'm a teeny tiny bit sorry but not really. Mostly because I've spent the last couple weeks chewing on all of this as I've been sitting in the seat, joining the club feeling stuck in a marriage that I at times can't even understand. 

Yet, I felt the storm within. 

I felt the hunger for more within.

My heart was not where it needed to be and I knew...

I need to fight. 

I won't settle and let normal linger in this home any longer. 


So...

this all started to take place as the new year was beginning. I began saturating myself in God's word. There is so much power in this. I can't begin to describe it. I remember when the accident happened I had already committed to a read 'your Bible' in a year program and because of that, it kept me digging into the word and allowing it to consume me daily when everything else was in question. Even though I had been in the word and even going through an amazing bible study, I needed more. 

I also began this book-



I've had it for about 2 years and had it on my nightstand for over a year. I just didn't take the time to pick it up and use it. With everything happening I decided I needed to just do it and so I started. After I read and pray through it, I journal about the day. I write about Cale's reactions and whether he had gotten angry or not and I write about my responses. As I've been working through this, I'm able to see the places that I need to work on and have been given ideas on how to challenge myself to come alongside him better. It's not a magic potion and it doesn't just fix everything. It is however a special thing to be lifting my husband up in this way so consistently again, encouraging his walk with the Lord as well as deepening mine. 

Over the last couple weeks as I've chosen to fight the attack against our marriage, I can say that maybe I've seen a change in him, but I don't think anything too obvious. No, the change I see is...as you could probably guess, it's in me. My heart is transforming and softening like it should.  Like it needs. My eyes are focused on Jesus and my heart is flooded with thankfulness for the way that our marriage has become even more beautiful and wonderful (not perfect without failure and fault) because the root of sin in this life we live is covered with the blood of Jesus and what this means is that the normal the world sees doesn't have to be my normal. My heart is not chained to living in the thick mud of misery and strife without also experiencing freedom and joy.

It's work. 

This whole love and marriage thing-takes work.

A few other things I've been trying to do lately that I had more recently slipped on doing-

Connecting with Cale daily. I don't want to be satisfied with just going through our day with the easy conversation that doesn't take any of my focus. Even though we're together in the same house often, I don't want to miss actually connecting with him and really hearing his heart...even if thats...uh...what level he beat in candy crush. 

Dates. This goes along with connecting but I think what I mean is a more intentional time with us together involved in something together that draws us closer together. A friend reminded me that dates don't always have to be out of the house and they don't always have to be expensive. I think once I became pregnant and my energy level was drained (and still hasn't returned!) I became lazy with ideas that were fun and still something special. In the last couple weeks I've put extra effort into what this looks like...


{Sometimes it means playing Wii together while baby is in the carrier ;)}



{ Sometimes dates are going to a hockey game and getting to cheer and laugh and drink milkshakes together :)}


Giving a boost. Every day I have been taking the time to think of something specific I love about him and telling him. Not only does this give Cale a boost of encouragement, it gives me one as well. It's so good to remind ourselves why we love the person we're married to. We did decide to spend the rest of our life with this person...didn't we? 

Forgiveness. Yes, we do need to give our spouse grace and forgive them when they mess up...but what about admitting when we're in the wrong? This can be very difficult. It's hard to admit when you are the one that made the mistake. I'd like to think I typically have always done a good job with this...until I start becoming more aware of my short comings. I catch myself being short with him or less patient and again, even though we all mess up and this is going to happen because I'm not perfect, I still can admit it wasn't very nice. I can still pull him aside and let him know whatever that reaction was, it wasn't needed. He has told me that by me saying that to him, it was really good.

---

Oh man. I do feel like I just dumped a whole lot on this post. From one human to another, I realized I was really angry at brain injury. Not Cale who is my husband, nope. It was all because of brain injury. It took some surgery on my heart to recognize that; before it went too far and unraveled too much. 

Maybe your husband or wife has nothing close to a brain injury, although you may feel that way from time to time. ;) Maybe your husband works too much or your wife shops too much. Maybe your husband looks at pornography and maybe your wife is flirting with your guy friends. Maybe you feel like outside of your kids, you don't have anything in common with your spouse. Maybe you feel like your marriage is just too far gone to ever have back. Maybe, maybe the silence in your home kills and hurts way more than anything else you could dream up.

Whatever it is, as I go about my day and you read this, I'm praying for you.
I'm praying for your marriage.
I'm praying that you will be able to figure out what you're actually angry at, begin heart surgery and start to love the one you're married to again. 

I'm praying for the strength for you to fight the battle.

Find joy. 
Find peace.
Find the sweet love of Jesus again.

I'm praying for you.


9 comments:

  1. OH Girl !!!!! Sooo loved this one ! Going to get that book sooner than later ~ You speak to me on so many levels and I so appreciate it ~ There is too much give up and give out in our culture ~ and I second the call to fight for our marriages, our spouses and our homes ~ Be bold , be brave and be of good courage for the Lord is with you ~ and me ~ :) Love to you and Caleb ( who by the same name ,by the way, took his mountain at 86 ) Hang in there hang on and rest assured He has our stories in his hands even when we forget , fail and fall - could say a lot more but you already did :) love ya Reenie !!!

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  2. Thank you...I needed that! :o)
    Lots of love,
    Emily J

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  3. My Dear ! ! ! Father is GOOD. I love you. I love the way you remind me of Father and His mercy. I love the way Father teaches the same truths with different backdrops. He's pretty creative. :) I need to get to bed, but I wanted you to know Father is proud of you becoming more like His sweet Son. All the "Deep Cleaning" is preparing you to be the BRIDE of our BLESSED JESUS. You go girl. I love the Jesus in you.

    With a hug,
    Marion

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  4. Thanks for sharing your heart! Yes, forgiveness and admitting we are wrong is the essence of existence, we would be literally lost and eternally condemned with out forgiveness of God and our marriage would cease to exist. p.s. that last picture of you guys is soooooo beautiful, my fav!!!!

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  5. Thank you for praying for me. I need prayers. My marriage is strong, my love for my husband is more than I've ever felt before. I'm praying for you too.

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  6. Just checking in on you. Still praying for you every day!

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  7. How are you doing sweetheart? It's almost been six months since your update. I'm concerned.

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  8. Honey, how ya doin? been worrying about you.

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  9. I am so worried for you. I pray all is going as it should be. no updates here, and on the fb page. Please let us know you are all right, that Cale is all right, and that sweet little Nora is all right.

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