Selfish. Stubborn. Self-Sustaining. Argumentative. Competitive to a Fault. Easily Angered. Loves to be Right. Complaining. Slow to Forgive. Remembering Wrongs.
Those words have paraded ugly inside my head since my wedding day nine months ago. They make no assignment to my husband. Rather, they dance around my heart and silently gloat in their description of me. I am incredulous to think these words are new-found married characteristics. Surely they didn't just pop up in these past few months. Yet, they seem new somehow--more harried and pointed. More inescapable. And I guess, in a way, they are.
Marriage has been wonderful. It is a whole new adventure filled up with exhilarating realities and still unknown possibilities. My man is unlike any other. Full of compassion and patience, he calms and steadies the artist vibrancy in me. I am grateful, thankful, delighted to be his.
Still, marriage has pushed on my heart and stamped on my pride in a way nothing else has been able to thus far. Growing up as one of four brothers and sisters in a tiny house, always sharing and compromise wrestling, I thought I had been well equipped to enter one new house with one new boy. But this beauty, owning another and being covenant owned in love is a different kind of reality. There is no escaping, no hiding your true heart landscape, no retreating to your own room or private soul corner. I am laid open and bare where pretending (even to myself) cannot stand in the brightness of marriage daylight.
And this! This is good.
This harsh light living is the very thing I needed for the heart sharp edges skillfully concealed in corners to finally be exposed.
Marriage is less about my longing for warm fuzzy happiness and more about my deep soul need for conformity to Jesus-likeness. For an artistic idealist, this is a jagged pill to swallow. For a Christian learning to be more in love with Jesus and husband, this is a breath of fresh air.
I am thankful for the warm fuzzies and butterflies that accompany marriage. But even more so, I am grateful for the opportunity to come out from hiding, to vulnerably bare all in hopes and trusts that Jesus will continue what he started in me and my husband will continue to delight in the character that is being new birthed.
Psalm 119:68 "You (Lord) are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees."