Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Love and the Crazy that comes with it.

The longer that I am married the more I realize that the times I feel most loved, the times when I feel like my husband is most for me are very rarely found in grand gestures or perfectly planned out romantic evenings....although I love those things too.  Real life does not leave much time for those sorts of things to take place regularly. I find the most love and the most acceptance in Brian knowing me and loving me anyway.

We are all quite unlovable on our own right, aren't we? We are most often selfish and self-seeking, it is easier to take care of ourselves than to allow our hearts to be loved by another because there is risk involved there.  I mean what if we are let down, hurt, mistreated, not thought of....what if?  I have lived a lot of time in the what if.  It has at times made me a hard person at best.  An untrusting, self protected, crippled woman.  Much of that baggage and response was created from relationships with others too not my relationship with my husband.  My natural tendency to self protect and hide has caused a lot of damage to that man and in the end to myself. But we are learning. 

I am finding the more I allow myself to be loved by Jesus the more I can allow Brian to love me. And the more Jesus can be found in the center of our marriage as well.  The more Jesus is in the center of our marriage the more I can more fully love my husband.  It all seems so simple.  The truth is  the last couple of years have been anything but.  There have been a lot of torn scars and scraped out hearts.  Confession and honest humbleness has been granted and given and that has been hard. Pride has had to melt and I have had to come to grips with how awfully sinful I really am on more than one occasion.

This morning I woke up to the sound of water, this is very rarely a good thing.  Brian had left extremely early for Boise and I was alone.  And now I had a roof leak, awesome.  But then I smelled the most pleasing aroma and that roof leak turned into the smell of coffee coming from down the hallway.  My first response was fear, my second feeling was love.  It was a simple gesture anyone could set the self timer to make sure that they have coffee in the morning.  But my husband took an opportunity this morning to make me a pot of coffee because he knew it would bless me.  Not to earn anything because he will be gone just simply to bless me.  To most this may seem mundane maybe but to me it made me feel like the most loved woman on the planet.

You see the Jagers are entering into their 13th retail holiday season.  I know that not everyone can relate to this but I think the holiday season alone and all that comes with it can be a common thread in what I will share here.  The holiday season for us does not bring a ton of parties and joy and all of that what it does bring are countless hours of work, unrealistic sales goals, crazy schedules and not a lot of family time. In most ways we are used to it, we know what to expect, but can't say it is very comfortable.  And I can not most honestly say I do not handle it with a lot of any grace.

About 6 weeks ago I started feeling the affects of PTSD.  I felt myself beginning to self protect, to prepare my heart to not feel in order to push through. But I could feel the spirit prompting me to pray, to ask for something different and as I did, my heart began to soften. And the prayers that came out were not for my survival but for my husbands.  I began to pray that he would not feel the incessant tugging that comes from both sides of his life.  Work and family. That he would feel love and acceptance, that he would rest in the truth that he has been given, that he would not feel the need to strive but that he would feel the peace that comes from his salvation in Jesus.  I prayed that the spirit would remind me of my own freedoms when I would feel the need to nag and complain or pressure.

The blessings that have been poured on us and through us in the last six weeks have been immense. My tendency to first love and accept, to forgive as God forgives, to not hold grudges or base my actions off of past experience has been freeing to both of us.  As I allow the grace of God to fill in my wounds and holes and cracks and crevices the grace is more freely given to those around me. Because its not about me anymore or what I need, its about Jesus and what I have been given.  And it feels incredible to even be able to say those words but even more to mean them.  When wrapped in the spirit I have need for nothing more.

And so even though a pot of coffee would seem like something so small.  To me it was an incredibly sweet act of love as I know that making a pot of coffee for someone else at 4:30 am is not an easy thing.  I know that for my husband when he gets out of bed he is for all intensive purposes already at work.  It was two seconds he took to bless me before he entered into the other half of his life, his work.  Because it wasn't about him in that moment.

This posture is so much more valuable to me than a ten step process to be a better wife.  Truth is I pretty much stink at it on my own.  And if there was a ten step list I would only feel more failure as I am positive I would fail all ten steps at one time or another.  Without Jesus my love for Brian is easily all about me and what I receive, with Jesus my love for Brian is all about Jesus love for Brian and what has been done for him on the cross.

I am sure to many of you this seems simple.  I pray that you would know that if you too struggle with these things that you are not bound by your failure to love.  You are freely forgiven and not expected to get your poop in a group.  You are free to love others because you are incredibly loved and sought after.  God never once has turned his back on you.  You can love your spouse out of this very place and it will not be easy but it will be good and full.

The disclaimer here is that I am by no means an expert on any of this.  It is a daily struggle to claim this truth.  But I am thankful and humbled by the forgiveness I receive daily as I struggle to accept the love I am given to move forward. And for a husband that loves me in light of it all.  We are not perfect and I am so very glad!

Walk in love friends you are loved enough that someone died for you, not for the perfect put together you.  But the severely broken and sinful you.  You were loved in your very darkest state to be loved into the brightest light imaginable.  

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