Tag Archives: marriage

His Strength Is Mine

2 Mar

It’s funny how life comes back around in cycles. I often find myself in the same place, learning the same lessons over again which I thought I had conquered years ago.

I guess your own history repeats itself. Nothing really changes, but everything does. The universe is more circular than we realize.

And our inner selves are in a continual cycle of growth. Death to self and rebirth. Everything comes back around.

I find myself on the other side of constantly questioning my faith, back into some kind of simplicity of what it means to be a Christian.

I rejected that title for so many years. Not because I ever stopped believing or loving Jesus, but mostly because of the people, the hurt, the reputation.

I spent years rejecting the religious side of church in order to get free. And I did. But it left a void. Jesus was still there, calling me into grace, but often I let the my own cynical voice drown him out.

Now, I feel like I am kind of starting all over. These are the days of simple songs and words. I can’t stomach another blog post on what’s wrong with the church, the same words I used to feed on and write.

I find myself going back to words I used to reject because of the memories connected to them.

Basics, that I come to see aren’t so basic after all.

Love God, Love People. 

Another freeing mantra that became a cliche. (Like all things do eventually.)

And this one, often:

Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. 

It roams in the back of my head, always, leaving tire tracks in the mud of my understanding.

I say it over and over until I believe it and even then, it’s like I can’t fully comprehend it.

But I know I am so weak. 

I feel this lately. Emotionally and physically exhausted. Just tired of feeling life isn’t going the way I thought it would.

I am so ready for a huge shift, a breakthrough, a big change. Something. 

I feel like I am drifting with no focus or direction. I grasp on to something familiar because that’s all I have.

Jesus. 

(Maybe this is the point.)

I think about how in less than 3 months my body will release my son, and we’ll get to meet him for the first time.

I am excited, terrified, in awe, unprepared.

My mind goes back to those scattered moments of my daughter’s birth nearly three years ago.

The intensity and prayer. The feelings so weak and so strong all at once.

Reaching the point of knowing there is no possible way I can do what I have to do, and then doing it. 

And my daughter suddenly being in my arms.

Knowing I don’t think I could have done it without my husband being there as my comfort and my coach.

He never once doubted my ability or our decision to birth naturally free of any interventions.

I think of his words, his love, the pressure of his hands, and how suddenly,  in the middle of my greatest weakness,

His strength became mine.

Then I remember a few days later in the lowest, darkest moment of our lives sitting on a bench outside of Cook’s Children’s hospital, our perfect, brand-new daughter hooked up to so many machines, drugs running through her body trying to help her breathe.

I remember my husband, this pillar of strength and faith in my life being so broken that it was like a physical punch in the face.

I wasn’t sure how I could hold him up in that moment, but somehow I did.

Somehow God’s strength never left me, and in the middle of a crisis,

I was able to lend him my strength. 

And suddenly, I know this truth and it warms and heals me deep down in a place that’s been left bruised and vulnerable:

When one with someone, you borrow each other’s strength

 

strength

Only I am one with the creator of the universe. One who is yesterday and tomorrow, light and love, power and strength.

And I know, all those words I memorized and whispered as a child that became cliche to me over the years are true.

True enough to shake the foundations of the universe and steady my crazy emotions and become real in every moment of my life.

With God, Nothing Is Impossible.

The Same Power That Defeated Death Lives In Me.

I Can Move Mountains.

His strength is mine. 

 

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3 Things You Must Know About Marriage

12 Nov

I’ve been seeing an overwhelming amount of articles on Facebook with titles like these:

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

10 Things To Look For in A Mate

4 Things That Led To My Divorce

They are usually posted by multiple people, adjacent to comments such as:

“EVERYONE needs to read this article!!!!”

“This will change your life whether you are married or single!!!”

“SO true!”

I get it.

I do.

People like numbers.

They are more apt to keep reading when the author is counting.

(See, my title tricked you into coming here.)

We want simple catchphrases.

There are a lot of broken relationships out there, and we want easy answers.

A to-do list to avoid another heartbreak,

We want simple directions so bad we forget how messy life is.

We forget how different individual human beings are.

We like to poke and prod at these big things in life, to squeeze them slowly until they are small enough to fit into neat little boxes.

With knowledge right at our fingertips we’ve all become sudden experts on everything, and the internet is a bullhorn to yell our expert opinions.

Maybe it’s my rebellious right-brain talking, but when I see a title including a number, I almost never want to read it.

When I hear a blog or book or sermon make a promise to me that’s practically guaranteed  if I just follow their simple steps, I immediately call bullshit.

Honestly, I don’t want your easy answers.

(There is no such thing.)

I don’t need you to tell me your formulaic way of living and expect it to work for everyone else.

That isn’t life.

Life is a whole lot messier and more colorful than that. 

And two people coming together to live life, it’s not textbook.

It’s crazy and hard and wonderful and natural and takes courage and love and an open heart and mind.

Like the words inscribed on the compass necklace my husband gave me at the airport before his first of many trips say,

There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

So, I decided to give my own “expert” advice, since I’ve been married a whole three months and have become oh-so-much wiser. 😉

3 Things You Must Know About Marriage

1. Love is not a formula.

2. Love is not a formula.

3. LOVE IS NOT A FORMULA.

formula

I Took Your Name

24 Aug

I took your name

in taking  your name

I lost nothing

but:

loneliness

the lie I can live life alone

the confusion that happens when

I attempt to make sense of the world by myself

 

I lost

any desire to search for someone else

my cynical views of romance

that tense, gnawing sense I am still waiting

 

I took your name

in taking your name

I lost nothing of my identity

Instead I am inclined to fall

more into myself

the real, undiscovered self

I see reflected in your eyes

miles and crowds of people

and words and dreams realized

 

I took your name

and gave you myself

a frightening and beautiful process

of wholeness and abandonment

an awkward yet synchronous dance

we continue to learn

for the next ninety years

 

I took your name

and gained the world

you see so brightly

and call ours

IMG_3987

You’re My Adventure

8 Aug

Two weeks ago I married the love of my life.

As I walked down the hill to a beach on a lake where my friends and family waited, and saw my handsome, grinning groom, I felt like I must be in a dream or the happy climax of a really great movie. It was such an out-of-body experience, I couldn’t even shed a tear, so I just giggled joyfully.

It was perfect.

Perfect days are often followed by writer’s block. Nothing I say can describe the beauty of the moments I experienced. Here are the words I struggled to birth to share my promise to my husband that day.

Jean-Thomas:  I knew right away:

We had something beautiful.

Something full of magic and wonder.

I knew the pages of our stories would merge together.

I knew you would be my greatest adventure,

and you are.

Our love has grown in leaps and bounds since we met 4 years ago.

And I will love you always.

With God, in me, giving me His love,

I will love all of you.

The whole deal.

I will love the paradox that is you: The creative genius. The fighter. The lover. The  dreamer. The doer.

I will help you see the good in the world.

I will point out color and light when all seems dark and grey.

I will remind you to “stand on your head.”

I will help resurrect your dreams when they seem dead.

I will be that ridiculous, random girl when you need to just have fun.

I will never, ever, ever tell you to “grow up.”

I will give you grace.

I will forgive.

I will listen.

I will seek to understand.

I will hold nothing back from you.

I will always support you:

Even when the distance seems overwhelming.

and when I long for nothing else but for you to be next to me.

I will wait for you.

I will be your home.

I will grow with you,

Explore the world with you,

Create an epic life together.

I will stay in awe of this:  that we get to be with each other.

I am reminded of a line from a poem that begins,

“Speaking of marvels, I am alive
together with you, when I might have been
alive with anyone under the sun…” 

I know that God, in his sneaky ways, brought us together,

through all of time and space

to this very moment, here and now.

To begin our life together.

Jean-Thomas, you are a gift.

I will never take you for granted.

And I will love you with everything in me, and beyond.

 

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