When Chris and I were in the thick of trying to reorganize our mess, I wanted so many things. I wanted to feel like we would really be able to conquer the demons we'd spent a lifetime learning to dance with. I wanted a love story that didn't contain so much hurt and felt more like all the (Hip Hop) love songs I knew by heart, literally and figuratively. I wanted to feel confident about choosing to stay. I wanted to stop comparing myself to his former lovers, and I wanted to stop comparing him to mine.
What I didn't have sense enough to want was a chance to see myself clearly while seeing my husband in the way that God does. It had become so easy to view his transgressions through the impact it had on me, while viewing my own shortcomings through the gracious eyes of my intent. To be clear: I could view myself with the needed doses of grace and forgiveness, because… “I didn’t mean it.” Meanwhile, I crucified my husband, because no matter what he meant - I was butt hurt.
Let that be the reason that 2018 is my year for developing humility. Straying away from learning the harder lessons is a thing of the past, and I’m done keeping my breakthrough on queue in fear of realizing my shit stinks more than I thought it did(n’t). I’m fully aware of what it means to ask God for something. So, I recognize that asking to grow in my humility means I’ll be tasked with experiences that require me to demonstrate it. (Jee-zus!)
I think a lot of myself, y’all. I really do. It takes more than a little bit to concede when I'm wrong. It takes just as long to push an apology outside of my mouth. It takes even longer to acknowledge my flaws and how they may contribute to the detriment of things I'd rather build than destroy. Doing that feels like brain surgery, and doing that within the boundaries established by my marriage feels like resuscitating a body without ever taking a course on CPR. I “know” what it takes. I know what it should look like. But in reality - I haven't a clue. More so, I haven’t cared to figure it out, because thinking a lot of myself feels good. It’s familiar, and it doesn’t challenge the notions of myself that I’ve built on shaky ground.
The trouble is that I'm someone who lives out loud. I'm the girl that shows her love in a very public way. Whenever I experience goodness, I want to share it with everybody and their mama, inter-webs included. Yet, I've also learned to process my less admirable experiences in secret. And though I try to present my marriage in a balanced way, I recognize that what's typically seen is the resiliency of what we’ve decided to overcome. The struggles we’ve endured at the hands of my refusal to do the work is often neglected, and I’m to blame.
Because if the story is mine to tell (and it is), I do it a disservice by leaving out the parts I'd rather have overlooked. It is not my responsibility to consistently air us out. Nor is it my responsibility to publicly crucify myself. However, it is my responsibility to come to my husband whole. To be forthcoming about what I lack. To allow him to see me for exactly who I am and choose whether he still wants to help me grow into the potential that’s also present.
TD Jakes preached a sermon this month encouraging listeners to put a light to the places they neglect or keep in the dark. Lord knows there's a gang of darkness clouding the areas of myself I don't like acknowledging. But having flaws ain't fatal, especially if I can put a name to them and work on undoing them in time. Thank God I chose a husband whose equipped for the work. Thank God I don't have to be perfect to be loved well.