I just got back from a trip to Colorado. On the way there, I experienced the "rocky-ride" due to turbulence from flying over the Rocky Mountains. I planned for this on the way home so as to avoid an upset stomach.
Unfortunately, what I didn't expect was a bumpy ride back into San Jose because of a storm front. (I'm still waiting for my stomach to catch up. I think it took a nosedive somewhere over Nevada.)
Isn't marriage like that too sometimes? Past experience helps us anticipate the bumps of the future, but what about those unexpected roller coaster rides that take us totally by surprise? A health issue, a financial crisis, infidelity...
In the past I've firmly believed that there's a solution to any problem we are faced with—we simply need to find that answer and implement it. (Are you laughing at me yet?) Truly, I really do believe this, especially when we, as believers, are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We can affect change. And usually that change starts within ourselves.
However, I recently hit one of those bumps that I couldn't fix in any way. As Lynn and I have mentioned in previous posts, we're working through The Love Dare on the 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. One of the dares was to ask our spouse what three things irritate or annoy them. Not an easy task but a necessary one. I suspected what my sweet hubby's reluctant answer might be, but didn't anticipate the "bump" this would cause in my own personal outlook.
That bump? My faith.
Let me say first that it was not easy for him to share this. And he was very gentle and kind about it and keeping in context to how it overlapped onto him. Yet hearing this set a string of emotions into play that hit me the next day. I felt crushed. I felt rejected. I felt unaccepted. Again, let me emphasize my husband in no way intended to cause hurt, but I was faced with a mountain I didn't know how to get over.
Leave it to God to bring the answer though. A precious best friend gave me a perspective I'd not considered. She reminded me that though I saw my faith as an integral part of who I was, he didn't. My sweet hubby saw them as two very separate things. It wasn't me he was rejecting, just my beliefs. (Even sharing this with you here continues to be a healing salve, one I hope will also bring comfort to you. 2 Corinthians 1, right?)
One thing I did learn in this, and I will confess I do still struggle with because I am a recovering control freak and a fixer, is the reality that I can in no way fix this. I can't change myself to make the problem go away because that would mean walking away from God. I can't do that, nor would God want me to. And I can't change my husband. He's entirely in God's hands. I can however, be more sensitive to my husband's needs and desire to share in areas of our joint lives, and not assume he's separated from it.
As difficult as this was, it did show me that there are times that we can't change a situation, no matter how much we may want to. We have to trust God to work in the circumstances to affect change, and leave the future firmly in his most capable hands.
And ever faithful, God has reminded me of this over and over again with Hebrews 12:2, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
When the doubts come sneaking in, when the day brings "bumps" I didn't plan for, and when I find myself fixating on what I can't change, I will remember that verse and turn my eyes upward. Hope you will too.
Praying and believing,