It’s undeniable: as a woman, we play many different roles in life. We wear various hats, one might say. Moving into new seasons of life breathes forth new roles into our character. These roles stretch us, challenge us, and nurture us. These roles allow us to love on others in ways that we weren’t able to do before. These roles bless the inmost parts of ourselves while allowing us to overflow into the journeys and hearts of those around us.
But I’m just going to go ahead and say it: I’m having a really hard time transitioning into aspects of the role of being a wife.
Why does this have to feel so shameful? Ummm…. it doesn’t have to, Addison. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having some challenge in acclimating to a new role in life-even if that role is an amazing one! Having a challenge doesn’t take away the blessing of the transition, it merely highlights our humanity through the transition.
And boy, have I ever felt human during this season of life.
So I’ve been having these dreams, right-and don’t go thinking that I’m this wonky dream analyst, because I’m not about that specifically. But there’s a pattern to my dreams lately that I just can’t shake and ignore. And it’s been so ongoing, I mean like MONTHS now. I have this running joke with my husband, often times waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, crying out in my sleep, waking up in a tousled mess full of covers and pillow as the breaking dawn streams in, while leaning over to my ever-patient husband and sneering “dream husband is such a JERK!”
He’s learned to take this in stride, gently guiding me toward the Keurig for my morning brew of sanity-I mean coffee. Oops, did I say that out-loud?
But time and time again, this dream sequence continues to appears and disrupt my slumber: these awful dreams in which my husband either takes one of 2 courses of action: 1) He decides he no longer loves me, or 2) He tries to kill me. Fabulous.
Good GRIEF. My husband doesn’t have a violent bone in his body. This is literally a man that sings child-age appropriate songs with kiddos in music classes all day long, coming home and craving doggy snuggles. He also loves butterflies and adores his wife. Sweet man.
Nevertheless, the dreams continue to pop into my subconscious and whip me from a state of reality to a state of absolute distortion, leading me to firmly believe that I am just “too much” for my husband. Which likely couldn’t be farther from the truth.
How crazy does this sound?! Literally welcome to my morning.
I think in all reality, this comes from a place of humanized fear. I’ve been finding myself struggling so much in my flesh in the areas of anger and irritability lately. And at no one and nothing in particular-yet everyone and everything all at once. Moving into various roles in life doesn’t mean you neglect all the other roles you hold in life-most times, it means you add to your load and you carry that with pride. Numerous times I’ve come home from an absolutely physically and emotionally draining day at the office, to walk into the door and be pummeled by the dog (sweet soul), but then led into hours of her nonstop barking, household duties that seem to never end (I’ve done dishes and laundry already this month, why do they keep reappearing?!!!), not to mention friends and family that desire my time and attention (no blame here, it’s just the reality of being in relationship with others), all while I’m still trying to emotionally deescalate and separate from the various traumas I’ve been immersed in throughout my day in the specific line of work that I do. Not to mention I’m tired, hungry, beating myself up over not having the energy to exercise yet again, all while feeling guilty because my sincere hubby is awaiting my arrival with anticipation and excitement.
And what do I often bring him? My “blah-ness”. I unload like an emotional dump truck, spewing my pent-up emotionality all over our home while rushing about trying to prep dinner, quiet the dog, and sometimes even forget the ever-so-simple let me shut up now, how was YOUR day?
I know I’m approaching this with my protective humor shield, but honestly, this is tough stuff.
Before, it really didn’t matter if I came home in this state: there were no emotional consequences of that toward anyone else but myself. But now, I’ve gladly tethered my life to another (bless) and therefore, the condition of my heart and soul affects them so very strongly-both positively and negatively.
In my sinful state and distorted thinking out of emotionality, I find myself thinking “maybe I’m just too much for him. Maybe one day, he is going to decide ‘I cannot take your hissy fits and exhaustion tornadoes anymore!’ “.
Gratefully, my husband and I share the same approach to marriage: devotion, commitment, unconditional love, forgiveness. He’s never given me any reason to think otherwise. This and these thoughts are not of him, this is of ME.
But don’t we sometimes feel the same about our Savior? Like on those days where you are lining up to take communion, and you find yourself thinking “Sweet Lord, I’ma need that WHOLE chalice of wine you got there to cover my sins from this past week”. Seriously guys, I cannot be the only one yet again!
We tend to feel like somehow, one day, we are going to be just “too much” for God. That He is going to throw in the towel on us, deeming us “unlovable”. That there is going to be some sin so great that God decides to cast us aside, and we are no longer worthy of his love and sacrifice within our lives. That somehow, in some twisted way, we can earn “unearned” love through our actions and hold up the scoreboard of our lives.
Now THAT’s an even more tangled web of thinking than my dreams.
As humans, we struggle with the concept of “unconditional love”. Like myself, we are often raised to work toward earning everything in this life: status, financial means, friends, approval, worth. Jesus calls us toward open arms that bear no weight or dependence toward our actions or scorecard. And that scares us! It scares us because it goes against everything our sinful flesh is telling us: I have to be ENOUGH for that.
Sweet readers, fall into the arms of the One who saw it all and still chose the cross for you. He loved us even before we had any concept of what love actually is. We are the ones He in fact was thinking of as He rose from that wretched grave and into his heavenly place of reign. It’s not about what we did or what we will do, it’s about what He has already done for us.
So stop keeping score with yourself. Love on others and take your thoughts and words captive, but not for the sake of approval or earned love: rather, out of a place of overflowing unconditional love and grace that was lavished on us. Feel secure in the unconditional love that feels more risky and involves a step out in faith. We were made for MORE than all our striving appears to give us.
Your heart, and your worth, are safe with Him.