I flopped onto my bed in tears.
When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday I was honest with him. No jewelry, no clothes, not even a big party, all I really wanted was a peaceful day at home: him, the kids, good food, my favorite dessert, blue skies, good weather, and maybe a bike ride later in the day would be delightful.
To me it sounded like the perfect day.
To him it must have come across as boring because he decided to come up with a better idea. He took pleasure in suggesting a drive to the city and a huge festival by the lake. There would be lots of people, lots of food, music, and fun.
I told him no, in no uncertain terms, then reiterated that what I really wanted was a peaceful day together.
He didn’t take it well. He agreed but I could tell he wasn’t happy and didn’t understand my desire. I could tell how unhappy when he began to take it out on everyone around him. The yelling began when the boys weren’t moving fast enough to clear the yard so he could mow the lawn.
“Nobody ever listens to me!” he bellowed. It was a scare tactic to get us all scurrying; my husband in the flesh. As the yelling continued I made my ascent up the stairs in tears. My thirty-fifth birthday was ruined. I’m a bit dramatic that way.
So there I lay on the bed and as the tears flowed I cried out to the Lord, “Why did you let me marry him?” The gracious, all-knowing God that I love, fully aware that tomorrow I would be thanking him for this same husband and asking him to never take him from me, breathed a sigh of frustration over me.
“How is this different from what you do to me? You asked your husband for something and he wants to give you something else and for you to be pleased regardless. He wants to give you what he wants and thinks it should suffice.”
The argument continued in my mind.
“How am I doing this Lord? With what?”
“I ask for you to trust and you are filled with fear and worry. I ask for…”
I cut Him off. I didn’t want to hear anymore. This is different, it has to be. I asked for a peaceful day and my husband gives me strife. It’s not the same.
“Yes, it is the same. I demand repentance, a change of heart and attitude towards the ways of this world and you hate that. You’d rather give monetarily than sacrificially. You despise sacrifice. I ask for faith and you give me lip service. You’ll talk the talk but won’t walk the walk. It is the same, Beloved. It is.”
The tears stopped. It was the same. I wanted more from my husband than I was willing to give to my own God, my Creator.
It took such a difficulty to teach me that I need to approach the troubled days in my marriage with faith in the God who united us. By faith, God will use my marriage to stretch, mature and grow me into His Son’s image. By faith, He will use my marriage to fulfill me, sustain me, thrill me and satisfy me.
I sat up, dried my face in my shirt and did the only thing I could do. I walked downstairs to join the family in a peaceful celebration. By faith!
And Julian and I have been walking as one by faith ever since.