I'm amazed at the difference between yesterday and today. Yesterday was not so pretty. It was rough. It felt like trying to button jeans that were definitely a size too small. Desperately trying to make them work, but inevitably having that disappointing feeling as you just can't get them to work. And then just feeling worse about yourself because you're just reminded that you can't fit in them like you once used to.
As I woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee, and sat out on the back porch, I watched leaves slowly descending from their branches - floating and twirling as they hovered down to the ground. It seemed like the morning was still and quiet even though birds could be occasionally heard squawking. The fog was settled in and stuck amongst the trees. I played my audio devotional for the morning and when the rhythmic chorus began, my heart leapt a bit. Not in an exciting way, but in a way where I knew it would be ok and today was a new day.
What happened yesterday? In all honesty, there was a point where I would definitely judge other married couples (that sounds ugly and is to an extent). Let me give you some background. I've always enjoyed people watching. In my younger days, I would look at any given person and make a wild assumption about their life. I would pride myself in the fact that I was probably spot on with at least a few things. Of course there was always more about them that I couldn't tell by my first assessment. It's pretty ironic thinking on this as my whole shtick is the fact that everyone has a story and you don't know it until you do. Regardless, my habit of judging others is pretty ugly, but I know that I only do that when I'm acting in my broken state. When I'm humble and submitted to viewing others how God views them, my judgment falls by the wayside. We live in a fallen and sinful world and I know that those habits or tendencies of mine are just a consequence of that state. Without Jesus, I'm ugly and I know that. I don't judge like that often, but every now and then I catch myself doing it - specifically it was most recently when looking at other newly married couples. The gist that all thoughts were boiled down to: "Oh, you're arguing, hmm, your marriage must not be all that great."
Here ye, here ye! 4.5 years into marriage with 2 major surgeries, 3 pregnancies, 3 miscarriages, 2 years of trying to have a family, 2 moves, 2 jobs that require an on-call rotation and responding to emergencies, 1 dog, 1 lost job, 1 verbal processor, and 1 internal processor, things can be not so pretty. Gosh. I'd like to think that maybe my immature ways of thinking were just that, but it's hard to think that my mindset was so jaded towards those other relationships. I have/had no idea what those were like under the surface. Who was I to judge? No one. I was no one to judge and I had no place doing so. Nevertheless, my gross worldly side reared its ugly head, and I judged without the grace of God. And here I am, watching my own self experience gritty moments where it's painful and sad and difficult and loving all in one.
Yesterday was foul and obnoxious. It smelled like something died and had been rotting in the back of the fridge for weeks. Like you'd turn your nose up and shutter in horror if you smelled it. I couldn't move past the pain I felt. My husband is an internal processor and I process things very differently - very much not internally. I get stuck when I can't talk out loud. I rearrange thoughts over and over in my head but I don't usually get past a certain point without speaking them out loud or working through them with someone.
Things happen during our days that impact us and it can be things both positive or negative. How are we choosing to respond when those things happen? My husband and I are working through being able to identify triggers and how we're feeling at any given point. Sometimes we're not all there mentally or emotionally and just need time, and that's ok. I'm learning that pushing is not a good answer to those moments: pushing for more, pushing to be on top of everything all the time, pushing for answers.
The kicker: for the life of me, I couldn't seem to get myself out of that ugly place yesterday. It hurt. My wounds were seeping and I couldn't get them to stop. I didn't know how to. I felt off my game and out of control (phew). But you know what?
It's a process.
And that's ok. You DON'T have to have it all together all the time. You may have heard this and know it to be true, but when's the last time you felt out of control? Did you actually practice doing what you know to be true? To let it go? I haven't always done that either and that's ok too. Today is here and it's a new day. It's a fresh start with new eyes and a chance to respond will surely arise again. And you may respond even worse than you did the day before. And that's ok too, friend. PROCESS. Spoiler alert: no one can save themselves in and of their own strength or by doing anything differently. It's only by grace. Have grace with yourself. Ask for God's grace to be made known in your life. Life can be hard and messy and it's only more challenging as your grip tightens. Will you walk with me today in the newness of the day and walk with your hands open?