Monday, October 26, 2015

My Ugly heart and marriage as a mirror.

I have to be honest. Having a broken foot the past three weeks has been a nightmare. Not so much for me, but for my husband. I am not the easiest person to live with normally anyway- but add in some broken limbs, an inability to do much for myself, and the frustration of not being able to accomplish what I want, and I can truly be a lot to handle.
The truth is, I still have a perfectionist spirit that likes to rear it's ugly head. I have worked hard over the years to give it over to God, but it is very much a stronghold in my life. I will do okay for awhile, and then something will happen where I feel the need to take control back. For whatever reason, it always seems to happen at the worst possible times. The biggest struggle with my foot being broken is that I can't clean the way I'm used to. I can only stand for so long, and there are only certain things that I can do when I CAN stand. I feel frustrated and overwhelmed and like a failure when I try to keep things in perfect order. What a joke that is with a broken foot, and a VERY energetic two year old. My husband has been amazing during the whole thing. He has picked up the slack. He has managed to keep the house clean and in order, and Justin alive. He has driven me everywhere I need to go, helped me in and out of the bathtub, and makes sure that we are all fed, and it has not been easy on him. He has numerous health issues, and my foot being broken is making it harder on him health-wise. He has put his life on hold and pushed his commitments aside to help take care of me.
Surely ANY wife would be grateful. But not me. God has really convicted me that I have not been very nice to my husband through this whole process. It could be a combination of the pain, the frustration, and the perfectionism. But more than that, it's because I have issues. Spiritual issues.  I am not as grateful as I should be, not as nice as I should be, not as thankful as I should be. I have a lot going on spiritually right now, and my husband is the one who gets the brunt of it. He is the one in the line of fire when I lash out. He is the one who gets the worst of me, while everyone else gets my best, and that's not fair to him.
I think God uses marriage as a mirror, so that we can truly see ourselves. People that we work with, ,do ministry with, or go to church with usually only see our good sides. The sides we want to show them. We can hide all of the ugly parts- all of the things within us that are not so pretty, not so nice, not so presentable. Our spouses get all of our baggage, our character defects, our bad habits, our struggles, our fears, our doubts, our frustrations. We are so close to them that we can't hide or deny these things- and I think that's why God designed marriage the way He did. He uses our spouse to be a mirror to things in our life that God wants us to fix. Things that God sees, even if no one else does. It's hard to think that you're doing well when you just screamed at your poor husband that spent all afternoon doing the laundry because you tripped over a shoe in the floor that he didn't pick up. Your own shoe at that. When things like that happen, my need for God is glaringly obvious.
That's what God wants. He wants me to see where I am weak spiritually, so that I can go to Him and have him heal it. As long as we deny that there is a problem, we can't fix it. My poor attitude towards my husband reminds me that I desperately need the only one who can fix me. My husband can't fulfill me, as much as he tries. Only God can do that. When I start expecting my husband to live up to ridiculously high, God like standards, I have a problem. I need to be going to God with my frustrations and hurts, not trying to deal with them on my own in my flesh and wounding my poor innocent husband in the process.
God has brought me a long way from where I was, but I am still messed up. We all are, aren't we? Sometimes I just feel like I am extra messed up because of how TOTALLY messed up I was when God found me. He has done miraculous changes in my life, but I still have a long way to go. Just ask my husband. When he said his vows, he took them seriously. More seriously than I could ever really expect anyone to. Deal with me until you die? Now THAT'S commitment!

The thing is, he knew what he was getting into. He knew I was messed up. He knew I had issues and flaws, and he made a commitment to love me until death anyway. He vowed to stand by me in sickness and health, for better or for worse, til death do us part- and he has paid his dues. Marriage is hard. Infatuation is easy. My husband's true love sees the ugly, broken, insecure pieces of me, and loves me anyway. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to pretend to have it all together. He loves me with a love that lets me know that I am safe. I can freak out over tripping over my own shoe and blaming him for it, and he won't leave. No amount of craziness can drive him away. It can be dangerous to be vulnerable and let your flaws be known to people, for there is always the chance that they will use them against you. Marriage, however, requires vulnerability. It requires trust on such a deep level to know the ugly parts of yourself won't be used against you, and that you can truly be yourself- the good, the bad, and the ugly- and your spouse will love ALL of you. The worst parts of my heart are safe with him. He knows the true me- all of me. Not just the sides I want to show. He knows me as a whole, and yet he still loves me for it. The craziness of all that is me is still worth it to him in the end.
Just like God. God sees the deepest, darkest areas of my heart, and he loves me anyway. Nothing I can do or say will ever be able to drive Him away, or get Him to stop loving me. My heart- all of it- is safe with Him. He saw me at my darkest, much darker than even my husband has seen. Yet Holy God wanted my ugly heart. He wants me to understand the broken parts of my heart that are there, so I can give them to Him to mend. He vowed to never leave or forsake me, no matter what.  Much like my husband.
My husband truly is one of the greatest things that have ever happened to me. He has loved me in a way that no one else in my life ever has. Even when I don't deserve it. Thank God for mirrors. Now if you'd excuse me, I have some apologizing to do.