Anniversary

In another life, or so it seems, I was married to another man. He was my high school/college sweetheart. (I hate that term because there really was nothing that “sweet” about us, but I digress.) We married 3 days after my 22 birthday on the last day of the month. Though our union did not produce any offspring, thank the LORD in heaven, our wedding fell on a date that is difficult to forget, no matter how much I would like to.

Every year, I take a few minutes to reflect on my life then and now, and use the blasted date as a reminder of how far I’ve come as a person. Hmmm…let me revise that. I use the date as a reminder of returning to myself after a nearly 10 year period of disillusionment and aimless wandering with time spent trying to be everyone’s savior.

I came across a sketchbook the other day when cleaning out some drawers. I opened it to only find writing on one page. It was a poem I had started and never finished. Really though, it almost doesn’t need to be finished. It speaks for itself.

Someday, when you’re all alone

And wondering why

Look back on the many moments

you chose your ego

and need for control, over love

Someday, when you’re all alone

I’m not entirely sure I wrote this about my ex-spouse or my husband’s ex-spouse. The date is ambiguous and it applies to both, really, but no matter, I like the reminder. Loving someone fully and completely isn’t easy. It means doing what the Bible terms, complete submission to each other. It is dying to yourself and serving another. It works both ways.  Look back on every argument you’ve ever had with the person you supposedly love and I will bet you, it can be traced back to you, your partner, or both not wanting to relinquish control. Ask yourself then, is it worth it? Is winning that argument so important? Is proving with mountains of research from the Internet to justify your position worth it? Is hammering and hammering and hammering at someone over a personality flaw worth it? Is avoiding conflict because you’re too cowardly to deal with  your own deficiencies worth it?

I groan every year it inevitably dawns on me that I would have been married to my ex for “x” number of years. However, with this groaning, every year I grow in appreciation towards my husband and the marriage we are building. I appreciate that he doesn’t allow me to withdraw into myself and shut my emotions down. I appreciate that he lets me call him out when he can do things or say things in more constructive ways.  We use moments of personal ego and hardness as opportunities to grow together and listen. We take timeouts when we see ourselves grasping for control that is self-serving and come together to explore why we are clutching to that control so tightly.

I hope to look back on my married years with my husband and think the following:

Someday when you’re still together

And wondering why

Look back on all the many moments

You chose to serve and

relinquish control, in order to love

Someday when you’re still together.

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