IN THIS TOGETHER ◽ MARRIAGE
I took a break from writing for a while. Mostly because life was just coming at me so fast and so hard that I couldn’t keep up with even one more thing. But I think I also hoped that maybe, if I took a step back, I could come back with things figured out. Or at least a step above hot mess. But, as I sit here, well past my deadline because I completely forgot, I may actually be less hot but more mess. I don’t have the first clue about marriage, other than I happen to be married, and we haven’t killed each other yet.
Some days, I feel like I may just have finally gotten a handle on how to balance the wife, person, mother, daughter roles I find myself juggling. But most of the time, I feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. I find myself failing at some or all of those things. I’m too lenient with my kids and then I’m too strict. I don’t take time to take care of myself and then I take too much and my family feels neglected. I run around trying to keep things clean and managed and then I look at the mess that’s built when I ignore it for a while, and then realize I have no idea how to find the middle ground.
Life is hard, y’all. It can be ugly and messy, chaotic and heartbreaking and sometimes it just doesn’t feel like it’s worth it.
Most of the time, I run around, trying to control things and people, protect everyone from everything, keep the peace and some semblance of calm. And then, when I stop for just a bit, thinking, maybe everything is going to be okay, it isn’t okay again and I start all over.
I do know that my desperation to control things and keep people happy is ridiculous. I know it in my head. I’m pretty sure I might even know it in my heart. But I’m realizing that while most of it is coming from a place of love, wanting to protect the people I love, a good bit of it is coming from a place of fear. Fear over someone getting hurt or angry. Fear that someone will say or do something that can’t be taken back. Fear of pain and heartbreak. Fear that everyone that I love will spontaneously combust. Not literally, but that’s how it feels when I make myself sit with it instead of running from one thing to the next.
How do we stop operating out of fear? No idea. I don’t have any answers. I’m just trying to doggie paddle through this life I’m in without drowning. But I believe that…
while I don’t have any answers, God does.
while I can’t see a way out, God does, and…
while I’m busy running around making more of a mess of things, God’s just waiting.
He’s waiting for me to turn to Him to find my rest. Waiting to replace my fear with peace.
For someone who desperately craves peace, I stubbornly hang on to my chaos. I run from conflict but it’s only temporary. What God has for me isn’t a Bandaid. It’s not triage. But I walk in and out of His plan for me like it’s a local Starbucks with a quick fix pick me up. I want to stay. Okay, I want to want to stay. I want to learn from my mistakes and never forget the peace I have when I feel safe despite the storm. But I don’t always remember. I take it back and try to control it and we start this whole mess all over again.
Someday, I hope to be able to write and tell you I’ve figured it all out, or learned to stop pretending like I can take everything on myself and trying to feign calm. Today isn’t that day, but maybe today I’ll take a step toward doing just one thing a little better. In recovery programs, they stress the importance of taking everything just one day, one hour, one minute at a time. So that’s where I’m going to start. Just taking the next step. Even if it’s just a shuffle, at least I’ll be shuffling toward a place where I can walk in confidence as a wife, a mother, a friend and a person, closing the gap between where I am and my purpose.
“Just do the next right thing. One thing at a time. That’ll take you home.”