I have been thinking lately about our 21 years of married
life, and I made an interesting discovery.
At this very moment in time, I am more independent than I've ever been
in my life, and yet I feel more one with my husband than ever before. Just the other day, someone even told us that
we are starting to look alike. We have
been finishing each other’s sentences and even anticipating one another’s next move
for years, so it stands to reason that we would also start to look alike. But the flip side of that is also true. We are really nothing alike in temperament or
interests, and so there are times when it seems like the other person has just
stepped off the mother ship from a galaxy far far away. Those moments usually end in a really good
laugh and we go back to our normal in-sync ways.
I pondered this concept of my independence, and how 21
years of marriage would lead me to feeling more independent now than when we
started. That sort of seams counter
intuitive. Some of it is easy to figure
out. Like the fact that I couldn't drive,
and it took John two years of marriage to convince me that it was a necessary evil
and then teach me to do it (something my parents couldn't do in the five years
previous). I seem to have a stubborn
streak that surfaces rarely but is the emotional equivalent of a person going
limp when someone tries to lift them.
But he did it. Truly though, it
is more than just what John has taught me over the years, it is about what he
has encouraged me to discover on my own.
When John found me, I was young and sad and scared. My dad had just been kidnapped two months
before and my whole life had turned upside down. Not only did John handle it, he handled it
beautifully. In those early years I was
afraid of the whole big world at large, and always felt like an outsider
looking in on everyone else who knew what to do and say. Over the years I have had full time jobs and
have been a stay at home mom – by now it’s been about equal parts of both. Looking back, I can clearly see what I didn't
always understand or appreciate at the time: that my husband gave me an
incredible gift. He didn't mold me into
a form of his choosing. I think that I
probably would have been easy to mold (aside from the occasional toddler-like standoff). Instead, that wonderful man just sat back,
hands off, and let me explore, think, create and discover at my own pace, with
my own (sometimes very strange) rhythm. Rather
than try to make me into the wife he wanted me to be, he has watched me grow
and build myself into the woman that I want to be… and more importantly, let
God continue to shape me into the person that He is designing me to be.
It is an interesting thing to see my life in halves. The first half gave me a firm foundation – thanks
to loving and supportive parents who instilled in me a deep love for God and
others. It was marked with grief, but an
even greater love. The second half gave
me myself. It too was marked with grief,
but also with confidence in the love of a God who would never let me go… no
matter how dark the days. And the pure
love of a wonderful man. The kind of
love that gives my spirit wings to soar to new heights, but has a built in GPS
that is hard-wired to home. I now know
that I could do this life alone – but I don’t want to. I want to be right next to that man.
Now if I could just find my reading glasses so that I can
post this. Oh there they are… on his face!