WHO I WAS, but not who I am…the old Julia that most of you have never met...changed by unfailing love.
During this season, when thinking of the things I am most thankful for it is only natural that my thoughts would turn to my husband. Particularly when my dad e-mailed us a video that also happened to come on TV yesterday as we were getting ready for the day. My dad suggested that it would be a good marriage “refresher course”, as it was something they enjoyed watching themselves. In it, Joyce Meyer & her husband Dave, were speaking on marriage. They discussed how Dave decided to be happy no matter how Joyce was acting. He so reminded me of Matt. I used to get furious with Matt when he would refuse to argue with me. He would say, “I’m not going to argue with you.” Then he would just be silent. No matter how much I tore into him, he would only love me in return. In fact, at times, he would come & wrap his arms around me & just hold me when I was being my ugliest. I just stood there still as a statue…on the outside anyway. What he couldn’t see was that on the inside, my hard crusty shell was melting. That is so humbling to me. I was much like Joyce in the fact that I was guilty of putting the blame for our life’s hardships & failures on Matt, instead of asking the Lord to “change ME”. I had a part to play in my own life & I wasn’t meeting my end. I so appreciate that every life decision he made for our family, was with the intention to bring blessing to our lives & follow God’s plan for our lives. When I grew up & quit looking for Matt to meet all my needs, I found that I was complete in Jesus Christ alone. When I think back on all these years…I can’t help but want to give honor where it is due. Nobody knows what I put him through. I am truly thankful that he didn’t give up on me. I am so aware that he could have at any time said that I wasn’t worth it…and he would have been right. For some reason, the comment by John, from John & Kate plus 8, has really bothered me. When they divorced, he said, “This is not what I signed up for”. I KNOW what Matt experienced with me is not what he signed up for! Everywhere I look I see men leaving their wives. Even now, after almost 20 years of his Christ-like-ness, if I let my mind wander I begin to feel insecure. I am thankful that he let the Lord guide him & show him what to do to reach me. His example has changed ME. It is only someone who is determined to love with the unconditional love of Christ that would have the strength to do this.
My daughter & I were talking yesterday about how absolutely CRAZY that was for her daddy & I to get married. We were barely 17 & 18…the age of many of her friends….and we had only dated 6 months! I am so amazed that at such a young age, he would have had the wisdom to have what it takes to keep our marriage together. Really AMAZED! Have you ever been around a 17 year old boy!?! He thought he was getting this sweet, kind, soft-spoken wife. I know that, because that is what I thought I was too! Not until AFTER we were married, did the real Julia appear. I just never had anyone to argue with before that point. Talk about, THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!
I don’t stay ornery & argumentative CONSTANTLY. I have my nice moments. We say often at our house, “I love you…and I like you too!” There is a difference you know. We all have people that we LOVE….but the thought of spending any amount of time with them sucks all the energy out of you. We discuss this sometimes, how awful it would be to dread the little time we get to spend together. I look forward to every minute I get to be in his presence. My love for Matt is nothing new. In all the ups and downs of life, & even the times of emotional struggle, that has remained constant. He is my very best friend. In fact I wrote of the darkest times in our marriage not too long ago. If you were to read this, \”The Journey is…dark\”, you would find that the darkest time in my life was not just in our hardships & losses, we had many of those before my darkest days. My darkest days, were when I felt that I was loosing him as well. The closeness, friendship & time that we had always had together was forced to change. All that I knew & was comfortable with was leaving. But life is full of stages & changes, you adapt & move forward….or grow bitter & die. In the changes, I learned to love myself. So, in what is considered loss…the Lord is bringing gain. Again…I am thankful!
When I watch the \”The Pursuit of Happyness\”…my thoughts always turn to Matt. I believe that is the life he has been and is living. When he was a teenager he had a dream to have a real family, unlike the home he grew up in which was full of turmoil. As an adult he has that dream and a dream in the business world…and he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his dreams & make them happen. I cringed as I watched the wife in the movie…it was a familiar scene when she angrily told him to go get a real job. Only because shamefully, I have said the same thing to Matt before. In the movie you see the true life story of Chris Gardner….you see the long hours, the running, the sacrifice, the struggling to provide for his family, the disapointments, the utter hopelessness at times…and the dream…the action, the do-ing, the creativity….and then what I would say is the hand of God that comes along to provide, to give divine appointments…faithful to bring success. In the movie…the people on the outside had no concept of what the man actually went through in the pursuit of his dreams.
It is my personal opinion, that my husband deserves such honor & respect. He is living, walking, talking unfailing mercy & grace. This is my goal…the same sacrificial love that he has never failed to show me…is the same love he deserves in return…and SO MUCH MORE! It would be my dream to possibly give back to him what he has taught me through his actions.
Unworthy…but so very thankful!
Here are a few things I have been meaning to transfer over to this blog. I wrote these on FB, before I started blogging.