I know that pride kills my relationship with Christ. Anytime the “I” or “me” is primary in my thoughts I am probably in the wrong in some manner. I know that I see things primarily through my own eyes and while I am often certain of my own perspective, the world is complicated and my perspective is not the only one that is valid.
I have struggled greatly over this past year in particular in my relationship with my husband. I struggle because he does not meet my many of needs. We are often talking and acting past one another because we do not speak one another’s love language and neither of us try hard enough to bridge that gap. I believe (rightly or wrongly) that I feel this gap far more than my husband does. I am deeply convinced that I am "more right” than he is on most of our issues and believe that the things I request from him are so small that it could possibly be cruel as to withhold them from me.
My woes led me dangerously close to divorce and what stopped me from crossing that line is the belief that I would gain nothing. I would gain only the 'loss of expectation' that things would get better. This could also be phrased as the HOPE that things would get better. I’ve just chosen not to go there. I’ve sided on my pain and emptiness.
That my marriage has not turned out as I hoped and planned ultimately led me down the path of questioning God. Not His existence because creation keeps me grounded there, but on who He is. The personal-ness of the Jesus I always knew. I’ve been blessed with the gift of faith and of often of optimism and that saw me through much. The ultimate disappointment I experience in my marriage struck hard and deep and I believe has been used by the enemy to bring my walk with God to a crawl if not a halt. It was brewing for years but my encounter with evil through the movie "Food, Inc." added incredible fuel to the fire. The blaze of WHY has burned quite bright this past year. My encounter with evil so clear and unnerving that I’ve been rendered almost helpless. The evil is so big and I am just one; how could anything I do make a difference?
This same train of thought has carried me through in many other areas of life. What is the point of so much suffering? When I look at my Mom and see that while, yes, she has brought some of life’s ails upon herself, the most offensive of them were without her control. These events in her life have forever transformed her into a deeply broken person who often despairs of life and struggles to cling to God. What purpose is there in such suffering? I always wanted to be like Joseph who, as far as we read, did not ask “why” of God though he was taken from his family, sold into slavery, rose to power, wrongly accused and thrown in jail where he was left to rot, then brought out again to ultimate glory in being present for God’s will. I love that we don’t read him asking why. Here I am now, asking Why and I hate it; but I cannot stop. I must go through this if I ever hope to come out the other side. There is still a part of me that trusts there is more though the doubt in my mind would seek to smother it.
I’ve tried to step back from the immediacy and emotion of my wants in my marriage and instead look at what I have. Look at and appreciate the good I have. Though we are cautioned against comparison, we humans do love to compare ourselves to one another. When I compare the man Adam is with many other husbands I know of, he does stand tall. He is a good man, with high moral character. He works steadily, often at jobs he truly dislikes, and provides financially for our family. He handles our finances with little complaint, though I do give him cause to complain more often than I should. He is a good father who cares for his children and does seek to give them a good life. He spends time with his children and while he does things in a very different way than I do, I appreciate that he is a father, not a mother, and I need to respect our differences.
My husband does most of the cooking and keeps things in our home from falling into complete untidiness, including doing most of the dishes. He doesn’t ask much of me, doesn’t ask me to do his laundry or clean his bathroom. He gives me the freedom to serve as often as I want and has allowed me to attend a church I prefer over our old church, though I believe his heart is still back there.
The separateness is not necessarily a rejection of me, though certainly I often feel it as such. It can also be a coping mechanism for living in a life that is difficult (if only by first world standards). In a world that seeks to rob us of our faith and beat down our hope, to exhaust us and keep us from shining a light for Christ.
So, today I know that I am not always right. That there is always another point of view and even if I don’t share it, I do not ultimately decide the validity of the truth…God does.
This weekend, I hope to spend some more time contemplating this and seeking reunion with a God I don’t always agree with. A God I don’t understand. To rekindle the hope that comes from knowing a God big enough I cannot grasp all of who He is. To allow the reinstatement of my trust that He knows best. That evil will not win.