“Marriage is the highest state of friendship. If happy, it lessens our cares by dividing them, at the same time that it doubles our pleasures by mutual participation.” Samuel Richardson
Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My “Secret Subject” is:
What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?
It was submitted by: http://thelieberfamily.com
When I received my prompt, I was so relieved. Whew! An easy one! The day I met my husband is definitely the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.
All week, I’ve been writing this blog post in my head. That’s how I do it. I compose a general outline in my head before committing my ideas to paper. It was going to be epic!
A beautiful tribute…
The love story to end all love stories!
Except today, I’m pissed at him. Like really angry. Suddenly, I’m not feeling so lucky. My feelings have been hurt. My brain is filled with all the things I find annoying and aggravating about him.
I tried prayer:
I’m having a hard time loving my husband today. He’s a jerk. I mean really, don’t you see this, I mean you created him. I’m not blaming you per se…but I mean… No, no I’m sorry God, this is not how I meant for this prayer to go. I’m struggling today. I need some divine wisdom, a calming touch, a deep breath. Actually, you probably just need to hold me back from punching him in the face. ‘Cause THAT would feel good! I mean, it would feel terrible. Obviously, I don’t really mean that. Except that you can see into my heart and you know that I actually do mean that exactly. I’m a terrible person. An awful wife. Who thinks like this, I’m not a violent person. See what he does to me! I’m just really angry, and I need some help putting things into perspective. Remind me why I love him? What? You can’t think of anything either can you? Why so quiet?! Thank you for the beautiful weather today by the way. I opened the windows and usually that calms me, but today all I see is dog hair swirling around in the breezes. I should go vacuum. I don’t feel like this little talk is helping. No offense. I’m sure you’re trying. It’s me, not you. I want to be angry. It’s fueling my indignation.
We’ll try again later.
P.S. You agree I’m right and he’s wrong though, right? Just checking…”
I went back through my workbook from a Bible Study on forgiveness I took, hoping and praying for inspiration. Everything I read just makes me more angry, because I quite strongly believe that I’m the injured party here. My big offense was waking up this morning! Sorry my BREATHING angered you honey, tell me how I can make it up to you please?!?! Ugh!
Adam Levine never treated me like this when we were pretend married.
Round and round I go. A vicious circle, never-ending. I tried meditation. I took a long walk. Still angry. I indulged in a very Gone With The Wind moment, standing in my front lawn, shaking my fist at the sky. I felt very dignified, but I probably just looked deranged to any onlookers.
I wonder how many calories anger burns?
Oh goodness, he’s trying to call me right now. I’m not going to answer, that’ll show him. OMG he’s calling again. I’m ignoring you! How does it feel?!? Hmmmmm?
Now he’s texting me. Sigh.
“Hello??” he says.
I remember when I first met my husband. Our complicated history is not something I talk about very openly.
I had two concerns about dating him:
- he’s short
- he’s “churchboy” (my nickname for him)
I could probably best be described as agnostic when we met, which coincidentally happened to be at church.
I was a single mother. My divorce had been extremely difficult on me, both financially and emotionally. I had 2 little girls and everything I’d ever dreamed or wanted for them (and for myself) had been shattered. I was desperate for connection. I was lonely. I didn’t have any family close by and any friends I kept from the divorce were single and interested in single-life pursuits, not changing diapers and wiping noses.
I remember giving my girls a bath and I just started crying. It had been a rough day. An exceptionally rough day, and I just couldn’t pretend to be happy and cheerful in that one moment. I was watching them giggle and play and I just felt overwhelming sadness. This isn’t how my life was supposed to work out. This was not the plan. In the blink of an eye, I found myself overcome with feelings of grief and guilt. I gazed upon their little blonde heads and felt with absolute certainty that I had ruined their lives forever. I should have done more, said more, been more…
My baby daughter looks up at me, with her big blue eyes, touches my arm and says: “It’s okay mommy, God loves you.”
The next Sunday, we got dressed up and went to church.
Where I met, “churchboy.”
I remember the first outing I attended with the church singles group was a family camping trip. We were all sitting down to dinner, and my future husband starts pulling out all of this tupperware, which he hands to the cutest little girl ever. I fell in love with her the minute I saw her. She was wearing overalls and sporting the most adorable braided pigtails adorned with girlie clips. She was 6 months older than my youngest and 2 years younger than my oldest. She looked so much like her daddy and boy did she adore him. In this tupperware, he had packed some chicken breast and asparagus tips…honestly, who packs asparagus tips to go camping! I suddenly felt the need to hide my bag of Cheetos and PB&J sandwiches.
He had a hole in his shirt though, which I found endearing.
Blending a family is no easy task. We experienced more than our fair share of challenges.
He was everything I never even knew I wanted or needed.
We dodged obstacle after obstacle, hurdle after hurdle. We somehow met each challenge, not always with dignity or grace. We each made terrible missteps, huge mistakes. We each carried pain from our previous relationships. We wore our grudges like armor, our fear like a mask. Our children needed to make adjustments. Sacrifices were necessary on all sides. On the outside looking in, we were a wildly successful blended family, hardly anyone even knew we’d both been married previously or that the girls weren’t all biological sisters. The truth was ugly. We were a hot mess. Battle lines were drawn daily. His and hers. There were days I felt the rifts were as wide, if not wider, than the Grand Canyon, infinitely deep. Wounds barely had time to scab over before we were ripping them open again. We lashed out. We struggled. We fought. We questioned daily our decisions, our marriage, this idea that we thought we could ever make it all work.
Yet, we were both committed to doing exactly that, making it all work. Somehow it did, it has. He’s my best friend. As mad at him as I am in this moment, I wouldn’t change a thing and I still believe with my whole heart that meeting him was the best and luckiest thing that has and will ever happen to me. We did struggle, but we also loved, laughed, hoped, dreamed and vowed to never give up. We knew we had something special, something worth fighting for, no matter what.
Our faith journey has been rocky. We haven’t always stayed on the same page, I veered off the beaten track more than once. He remained steadfast and true in his belief, in his patience in the face of my doubts and fears. He never made me feel stupid or inadequate. My faith, or lack thereof, didn’t scare him. He loved me and he believed in me and he knew I would work it out and he’d made the decision to walk beside me as I navigated thru the twisty confusion my uncertainty and unbelief created in my heart and mind. He prayed for me. I envied his strength and convictions. I still do.
As it turns out, finding my faith was the easy part. Living it out on a daily basis, now that’s hard. I wonder if God ever wants to punch me in the face? Probably. Sometimes I want to punch me in the face.
My feelings are still hurt, but now I’m also feeling nostalgic. And dare I say it…loving. Ugh! It’s true, I’m thinking warm and gooey thoughts about the man whose head I wanted to rip off a moment ago. I mean, I’d still punch him, but maybe just on the shoulder…all affectionate-like. Ish.
He’s not perfect, but neither am I.
He is my best friend. He’s my person.
He changed my life. Meeting him, loving him, marrying him was the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.
Thank you God. Thank you for bringing us together. Thank you for creating something beautiful out of the ruins of our mutual divorces and the inevitable fallout. Thank you for placing him into my life at the perfect moment. Thank you for blessing me, loving me, forgiving me. Thank you for opening my heart.
My cup indeed overflows.
“Marriage – a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose.” Beverley Nichols
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: