Y’know, some of you know the story. I was praying one Labor Day afternoon…I asked God to open the part of my heart that I knew I was keeping blocked/closed. I asked him to change my heart. And well…what happened next became one of the most defining moments of my life.
Jim was leaving to go back to Summerville where he was living at the time. He was working at Joint Base Charleston on the Naval Weapons Station. He was living alone in my house in Summerville. I think he was packing his stuff to leave.
I went into the guest room where he always slept and said, “What would you think about getting married?” And depending on who you ask, the story goes on from there.
You MIGHT not know why I did the asking and not him. I asked him because I knew he wouldn’t ask me. Not because he didn’t love me. Not because he was a confirmed bachelor. Not because he much preferred living 2 1/2 hours away in a house I would probably never go back to (and haven’t, really…)
No, I had given him the understanding through my words and actions that I would never marry again. As a matter of fact, one week before I asked him to marry me, I stood in my friend’s kitchen and swore up and down to my bible study girls that I didn’t need to get married again because I don’t need a man to complete me. I was insistent I could make do on my own. So I was 100% aware he would NEVER ask me. (Why? I mean…would you ask someone to marry you knowing full well that they would NEVER GET MARRIED AGAIN? If so, what kind of masochist are you?)
Because I knew he wouldn’t ask – and because I knew God was telling me who I was to spend the rest of my life with – I had to be the one to ask. Yeah, I gave up the “fairy-tale” get down on one knee and hand me a diamond thing again…but how important is all of that in the scheme of life?
I realize now that I don’t need Jim to “complete” me – he can’t make me into something I’m not, or fix something that is not whole in me. He can love me though. And he can walk by my side as life gets more and more stressful – what with aging family members (mom & Coombsy), a distinctly hectic work schedule, and of course cooking, shopping…etc.
So, I asked. Because I knew at the moment God spoke to me in answer to my prayer, that Jim was the right man at the right time…and for all time. In the coming week, I began to feel that feeling Mom had always described when she realized that she couldn’t live without Dad (when they were just friends). I felt it. Maybe I could LIVE without him but I truly didn’t want to. I couldn’t see the fullness of my life without him in it.
I know it was the right thing to do. Not because of some oddball fairy tale of a “reunited high school (junior high) friends fall in love” kinda thing, but because this is the second time ’round for me. And I know what WRONG feels like. I know what it’s like to wake up and wonder why you are in the “situation” you’re in. I know that burying and hiding the things that are really important to me – animals, God, music (MY kinda music) – doesn’t occur in a forever match.
Not once in the past two years have I thought, “I should NEVER have done this…” I’ve never even thought twice whether or not I really love Jim. I just do. And it’s easy. It happens naturally.
So, I guess if you were to ask me for “falling in love” advice, I would say, “Don’t fall in love the way you think it happens on TV or in the movies.” Remember that while marriage takes work (and it does), love is no work at all…at least not for me. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not easy to live with, and Jim would probably say the same about himself. But, you prioritize your issues – pick your battles. Ask yourself: Does it upset me THAT much when the toilet paper hangs from the underside of the roll? Are there other things in our relationship that might just be more important to tackle? Am I getting upset about this, or is there something else bugging me I’m not acknowledging? If you make it through those questions and STILL want to bring the issue up – then I guess go ahead.
In my mind and heart, I have to say that I can find many better ways to spend my time than bickering, sniping, complaining…I would rather love my husband.
Happy Anniversary Jim – 1/26/2013.