Yesterday I wrote about the price of my dreams and promised that I would share what God recently showed me about my marriage. Last week things came to a head and we ended up in his car talking things out while the kids were inside the house and couldn't hear. (You do what you can for privacy in our house.) I had told him I wanted to "go over our calendars" which was really just code for "I need to tell you all the things I need to do and places I need to be and I need you to agree with it and be here for the kids."
He saw right through my little plan and called me on it. "I'm not your nanny," he said. There was contempt in his voice when he said it, pent-up anger that we needed to deal with. So we did. And I was honest with him for the first time about how I felt. I took off my brave, chin-up, I-can-do-this face and told him how scared I was about all that I have on me and how I am struggling with being away from my kids and not the physically and mentally present mom I once was. I told him that this is not the normal I want. That it might have to be our normal for awhile because of commitments I have made-- but it is not the life I am ascribing to permanently. I want to write, but I want to do so at a sloooower pace. I want to find a better balance.
Our talk softened him but left me a bit rattled. He seemed buoyed by hearing my heart. I think he thought his wife was changing on him and leaving her family behind in the process. He needed to know that-- while my life doesn't reflect it right now-- they are still my number one priority. While he seemed to feel better after our talk in the car, the next morning I was still chewing on things. Did I need to stop doing something now? Was it asking too much of my family to wait til summer when things will settle down? And what about my marriage? I didn't want damage to occur while I looked the other way.
Knowing that my husband is not my god-- I went to my God. I could hear my husband's opinion and take it to heart, but I needed to hear from the One who is all-knowing, the One who created me, and him, and our children and who knows us all better than we know ourselves. And so I went to my prayer closet (the shower) and poured out my heart before Him. I told Him to tell me what to do. I asked Him what was wrong with Curt and me and what I should do about it.
As He answered, I listened. He showed me that I needed to not quit or change anything. He assured me that this was a finite situation: there was a beginning to it and there will be an end. It won't always be this crazy and we can take steps to make sure it never gets this way again. In the meantime, I need to see my commitments through and trust that Curt being home to take up my slack is one of the blessings that's been hidden in this job loss trial.
And then He clearly showed me what's wrong with our relationship. "It's out of whack," He impressed on my heart. "When Curt said, 'I'm not your nanny,' it was because he was feeling like you were expecting him to be your helper. And that's not the way I designed your marriage to work. You are to be his helper. So change your attitude. Stop expecting him to help you and start asking nicely. Don't take advantage of his presence in the house. Look for ways you can still be his helpmeet, even though he seems very capable. Now humble yourself and go tell him what I just told you."
So I went to Curt and told him. He visibly relaxed as I spoke, the defensive bristle I have noticed whenever he sees me coming softened. He smiled and said, "I know this is coming from God because this isn't something you would ever come up with on your own!" And he was right. I don't often think about being his helper. I do tend to want him to help me. How easily I get it backwards.
And so I am trying to do what God asked of me-- looking for ways to help him, pulling back on how much I ask for his help unless I really need it, giving him space and time to do what he needs to do as he looks for a job instead of pouting because I have a lot to do and he's not there to pick up my slack. He wasn't designed to be my helper, I was designed to be his. For some of you that is going to really bother you to hear me say. But don't shoot the messenger. These are not my words, but God's. (Genesis 2:18, I Corinthians 11:8-9) It's what He's asking of me, and maybe of you too. I don't know your situation. But I know that for me, seeking His insight made all the difference in a very tense situation with my husband. I am determined to not give Satan a foothold as we walk through his unemployment coupled with one of the busiest times in my life. If that's my goal then I have to be willing to live life according to God's design and not the world's.
Going to God really changed my perspective. I am glad I went to Him immediately rather than waiting like I usually do. He's a great marriage counselor. I need to remember that in the future.
James 4:10, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."