And, even as the husband and I packed up the car to attend the Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage retreat in St. Augustine that a couple at church had gifted us with, I was doubtful that we could ever be a we again, that fixing us was even a remote possibility.
We dropped off the Supergirl with hugs and kisses and drove east in relative silence. He slept half of the way there, which is customary.
I am still struggling to find the words to describe the intensity of the event, for both of us. I don't think either of us have ever cried or laughed so much in a 48 hour period. I don't know that in the 18 years that we have been together that we have felt as closely connected as we did when we were leaving there.
We learned so much. We have shifted our view from the smaller picture that our culture encourages us to see (me, mine, I, etc) to the larger picture that GOD wants us to be a part of (we, us, our, one). We are tired, exhausted really but so, so, so much better than we were.
I have also realized some things about our marriage and myself.
- While I could point the finger at the Hubs and say, "Look, here, here is this evidence of all of the sin that he has committed against me and our marriage. I never did anything wrong, it is all his fault that our marriage is crumbling." In actuality, I was just a big of a sinner, maybe even more. I was a community group leader, I was proud and boastful of this "relationship" that I had with God, but a lot of the time, I was just walking the walk and talking the talk and NOT really in relationship with him at all. I was not reading the Bible, or praying, or submitting to my spouse or my marriage.
- I never let myself submit to God, the Hubs, or marriage because I was prideful of my independent nature, my I-can-do-it-all-by-myself attitude. I think the last four months have blown that pride, that attitude completely out of the window. Practicing humility is hard, and for me, it will be a daily struggle.
- I never let myself believe that I was good enough for the Hubs. This is leftover crap from my childhood, but I have been saying it out loud to him for so long, that he really started to believe it too. Refocusing on each other as unique gifts that God has given us to spend our lifetimes with, has changed both of our perspectives on our marriage.
- Once the Supergirl came along, I completely shifted my focus off of my husband and placed all of my focus on her. In the first two years of our marriage, I brought him dinner to work every night, I left him notes almost every day declaring my love, my affection for him. And then we had a baby, and he lost me somewhere between the diaper changes and the breastfeeding. Our children are second to our marriage, they will leave us and have their own family one day. We should focus on the one that we have been gifted to create our family with.
- Finally, and most importantly, I am his cheerleader, his encourager, his shelter in the storm. I have to let him know every day that I believe in him, that I trust in him, that I have faith in him. Otherwise, he will lose faith and trust in himself and we will be right back in the same spot we started in - broken.
I am amazed and reeling from all of the emotion, information, and work that happened in such a short amount of time, but I am eternally grateful and overwhelmed that people would gift this to us.
This, this is what it is to love and be loved.