I don't want Christmas to come. I want it to just be coming. I don't want it to actually happen, because then it would be over, and I like what Christmas coming does to people. I like what it does to me.
It's probably not some big secret that this has been one very hard year for my marriage. I don't know what it is about me (well, that's not all the way true. I am learning what it is about me, and I'm working on it), but marriage is hard for me. I don't want it to be. I love being married, and the marriage ideal, and the theory of marriage. I'm a big fan. But there are all kinds of things about me (and the men I pair up with, according to my therapist) that make marriage more work then it seems like everyone else is doing. In a way that kind of bugs me. In another way, it steams my locomotive with the desire to make it up yet another hill. I think I can. I think I can.
I am the oldest of nine children. I am fiercely independent, and I have a tendency to think I can do everything better than the next guy, and that my ideas and ways are superior. They may be, but this does not make for a happy husband. It's taken me about 15 years of being married to really get that, and I'm not saying I'm totally abandoning the philosophy (cause I do really like the way I do things!), but at least I'm aware now. And I recognize that the dangerous voice that appeals to me when times are tough is the voice that whispers, "You can do fine without him. You can do better without him. You don't need to put up with this." I say 'dangerous' because I know God didn't design me to do it all. I know that the greatest happiness I can have in this life is the happiness gleaned through a partnership with my husband. I know that (even though it often feels like it) Moms just can't do everything. Dads are necessary, and without them, children suffer. I know that without the lessons I will learn in this marriage, I will not be all that I was designed to be. Neither will he.
But man, is it hard. I am really, really good at forgiveness, but man, this is hard.
Thank goodness I'm not left to my own defenses. I am humbly grateful to a God who knows every recess of my heart. I'm even more grateful that I've learned to recognize and listen. Christmas is a time of coming together, not pulling apart, and much to my chagrin, marriage, it appears, (especially second marriages) are works in progress, not instant heart balms.
Even when his name does mean 'consoled'. It isn't past tense yet, but at least it gives me hope in the promise of what is to come.
Christmas makes it so much easier to serve, and service makes it so much easier to love. Funny. I think someone else gave his life trying to teach that.