Exactly 2 months from the eve of our wedding day, Alex and I drove to meet our marriage counselor. A statement that holds faith and frustration in equal amounts.
(And yes, I have full consent from Alex to publically display where we are. And I do so for good reasons.)
My first impression of this man was when I called him to say, "Help." His responses were full of "Huh", "Mmhhm", and "Reeeally" taglines. His image built in my head similar to that of a large, demonstrative person with interrogative eyes and harsh lessons. So, when we walked into his office full of anticipation and nerves, and I wanted to sit in his lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised.
Not that he is round or plump, or wears thick, white beard, but he does have a smile that welcomes and eyes that comfort. He exuded knowledge before he spoke, and demonstrated hope before we sat down. And in what he said, it was evident that he knew each of our hearts, both of our thoughts, without either of us having to speak them.
Now, I can promise you that he will not be a warm, inviting, polite man every time we see him. In fact, I think he's ready to show us how God meets us in complete brokenness, even when that is uncomfortable. And this is his God-given way of responding to our cry for 'help'.
I very recently listened to a sermon about entitlement. It's a lovely idea to believe that we are here to enjoy life, experience the best, and to find true happiness. Lovely, and very, very dangerous. I believed/believe that somehow I deserved a marriage written right out of the books, mimicked in movies. I wanted the cheesy lines, intense drama and passion, and happily ever after. Technically, I still do. But, as our counselor stated, that's not why I'm here.
I'm here because God made me for His purpose and kingdom, and I am here because HE gave me life. I'm here because He says so, and because He has kept me here. Our counselor also said, "Marriage is not about two people and their journey together. It's about two individuals and their journeys with God. And each day is a crap-shoot if your journeys are matching up, coinciding. But, when they do, that's when God's love can flow through you to the other person."
Phew. I was thinking marriage was about my flesh and being in love.
And I guess it still can be, partly. But I'm much happier to know that this is not my thing to fix. It is not a direct reflection on my own ability to handle life. I have not failed, and I am not a misfit wife, I am just human. Flesh.
I can't begin to tell you how angry I was to learn that we had a million things to sort through in the first 60 days of marriage. How can it be that we're already failing? How can it be that our beginning is nothing like people told us it would be? But, if this is where God says we are, then we are. If this is how our journey looks, then this is how it looks. Someday, I'll understand why, and someday He'll use it. Maybe, and probably, He already is. Even if I am angry, even if I do not understand, and even if I want to run away, He must already be.