Today is my 41st wedding anniversary
Sooo many significant events in 41 years! First home, built from scratch. First baby, then a 2nd both with risky pregnancies. Relocations to 4 different states. So many job changes! Leaving the work world to raise those babies then returning to help with their education expenses. Illnesses, surgeries, too many extra pounds! And added to all of that are the natural disasters, Mt. St Helens, CA 89’ earthquake and of late,
World Wide Pandemic!
Last year we celebrated in Mexico with a luxurious trip at our favorite resort. Rest, pampering, beauty and sun were the order of the year.
Today I haven’t even bought a card…
As the years come and go, emotions wander. Early in our marriage I revised my expectations of what an anniversary should look like. It served me well as my husband isn’t a huge celebrator of almost anything. He always remembers, he wishes me happy anniversary and usually wants to go out to dinner, sometimes even flowers arrive. But spending a lot of $ to mark the occasion (other than the above vacation) haven’t been his go to moves.
I’ll take his eternal devotion over diamonds (though I wouldn’t turn those down) – always
I recently read an article by a columnist in a magazine that I enjoy regularly. She spoke of a statement that the Scottish reformer John Knox made in the 1500’s.
“A Man with God is always the majority”
I’d been wrestling with some issues, ones that had me feeling like I was lost in a cycle of behavior that couldn’t be broken. One that for 41 years has cost sums of money, heartache, brokenness and pain. It’s left me feeling like there was minimal hope for change. In my heart I knew that it wasn’t true, but on the ground, where my life is lived, it seemed impossible.
Until I read that statement…
I wonder how many women see themselves as the one person that can be the instrument for God to heal, deliver, restore and change their spouse?
If my own life is any indicator, not too many…
I was raised in a culture that elevated marriage into a fairytale of romantic love. It conditioned me to imagine myself as a cherished girl/woman who would always be able to rely on her husband to be strong and faithful. A man who always walked in the ways of God, knew his worth and calling. Lived as a leader of our home with integrity, courage, gentleness and love.
No surprise that neither of us were perfect!
Sinners marrying sinners is the norm for any world, including the church. Fairytales are simply that. And growing up to learn about life and the reality of how you live out a vow of commitment has taken a lot of Holy Spirit intervention.
But never, in my wildest imagination, did I see myself as a ‘majority of one’ on behalf of a man wounded by childhood trauma,
Until this week…
God has a way of changing us to see ourselves as he does. 41 years ago I saw myself as a girl in need of a strong rescuer. Someone needing of unconditional love, adoration and protection from the dysfunctional dynamics of my own upbringing.
Today I am trying to absorb what it means to be a ‘majority of one’ for my husband. He has loved me with a kind of steadfastness that is often unknown today, but his love has always been hampered by his internal voice of pain.
We talked about what it means to ‘leave your father and mother and cleave to your wife’. I’d had a brief thought run through my brain that he’d never fully been able to leave his parents. He is in the process of finding a new counselor to talk to about how trauma has shaped him and he shared some of the preview questions with me.
My brief thought became a potential sermon
How many of us can’t separate the voices of our parents from the needs of our current lives? Each generation has it’s own worries and woes and the times call for adaptation. So many of the concerns are universal, but often they are affected by new research, new methods of coping and even scientific discoveries.
Trauma is one of those things
What my parents experienced from trauma shaped their lives and affected mine. But help for healing from it was limited. Today, there is so much more available! That a 66 year old man would seek help for this is nothing short of miraculous.
There is nothing weak about this man!
I am starting to think that being someone else’s ‘majority of one’ can be a life calling. Ask any mother who is grappling with an adult child who is in the midst of an addiction and I think you’ll see a ‘majority of one’. But when it comes to spouses, not so much. I think we’re conditioned to think of marriage as a contractual agreement rather than a self-sacrificing covenant. But I have a sense that being that majority of one for a spouse is a high calling.
Maybe even the highest one…
I’m praying that I can continue in this vein, to love and serve him. To protect his heart, walk with him as his wounds heal. Watch his life continue to free and see him face the fears of his past. He’s already done so much work with his mental health, I pray that this journey is one that heals his emotions and body. I can’t fully imagine what he will be like on the other side of it.
But God can
I hope that it leads to a richer and more fruitful life for us both. I imagine that it will take a bit of time and be hard, even painful. It may mean making some amends to others. And it might even feel at times like giving up, but I don’t think so…
“A person with God is always a majority of one”