Marriage is a tough thing sometimes. I can easily appear like my same chipper self to everyone else, but I can't hide from my husband. Chris knows me better than anyone else and he can pick up on the slight differences - how I can get annoyed easier, how I have trouble seeing the good in people (or even worse I start assuming the worst in them,) or how I get upset about the small things faster than normal.
A couple of months after Elliott was born Chris turned to me one day and asked me how my relationship with Jesus was doing. This isn't an odd question for us to ask one another, but it usually comes when we notice something is off. When things are going well - when we are both actively pursuing our relationship with God, it's something that comes up in regular conversation all the time. Whether it be over dinner, or on the drive to the grocery store, the topic of what God is doing in our lives is common. When one of us stops talking about it, that's when there's trouble.
And so he asked me how it was going... and that was when I realized it wasn't going so well.
I'd like to say I did something about it right away, but I didn't. I was taking care of a newborn and learning what life looked like. I was too busy trying to figure out how I can do it all on my own to pay attention to how God was sitting there patiently waiting for me to turn to Him.
I'll be honest. He's still there. And I'm still here.
But I'm working on it.
Over the past few weeks Chris has taken a couple different approaches in gently pointing me back in the right direction. There were a couple of serious talks where he gave it to me straight and told me that he's noticed a change in me and he'd like it if I spent some time with God to try to figure it out.
That's my husband folks. Even when he is getting the backlash of my choices and it is undeniably affecting our marriage, he can still stand back and see the root of the problem. The issue is not with him and I, but instead with me and God.
And so I tried, but it was a half assed effort. (Remember how low it was on my priority list from my last post?) Not much was changing. I was still getting annoyed at the little things, and then I would get annoyed when Chris didn't seem to "have my back" when I would complain to him. All I wanted was for him to agree with me - to assure me that I was right. My friend was being insensitive. She shouldn't have done that. Instead he started challenging me - asking me if I was sure that she was wrong? Was I possibly overreacting?
"Ya, ya... I'm working on it, ok?"
Finally just a few days ago I pleaded with him to go easy on me. Please, can you just stop pointing out the areas where I am not acting like Jesus towards people? I don't point out every single fault of yours, I argued. Sometimes I wait on the Holy Spirit to prompt me to bring things up to you, because if I mentioned every little thing you wouldn't hear it well. Sometimes a person needs more grace than truth you know...
And even as I spoke I could hear how wrong I was. He had been showing me grace all along. He had taken the soft approach for weeks. He had been diligently taking care of me as I "worked on it" He made me dinner when he got home and found me in tears because I felt guilty for not getting it together that day. He asked me what was wrong, but when I said "I don't know" he kissed me on the forehead and rubbed my feet. He stayed silent for many of my frustrated rants, no matter how out of character they were. He patiently waited for the evenings when I didn't appear too tired or frustrated to be intimate. He loved me well and was full of grace, and now it was time for a push in the right direction.
And finally I heard him. More importantly I heard Jesus speaking through him.
So now I'm actually working on it, and as I do I'll share with you what I learn. Will you share in this journey with me? As always, your prayers are much appreciated.
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