Thursday, March 25, 2010

End of March

I have discovered Mobile Blogging. Sweet! So as my American Lit students are doing a websearch on the Jazz Age (Capone, Prohibition, the Black Sox Scandal), I can blog! Nice.

March has... well, marched steadily on. The beginning of the month was crazy busy but wonderful. As things slowed down a bit externally, internal tensions began to rise. I think these tensions really started with the Franklin Hill church-wide focus on Love & Respect, a marriage DVD teaching that can also be applied to any male-female relationship. During that study, I realized some of the things I sometimes really miss by not having a husband. Part of the teaching explains the strengths/needs of men, and I realized that these are the very things I could get from my dad, if my relationship with him were healthier. Specifically, I saw in me the desire for a man to provide protection, leading, and counsel. There have been times in the past few years I've allowed my dad to provide those things for me, but more often than not, I try to figure it out on my own. I'm thankful for Jesus' ability to provide that directly and for my God-fearing male friends who offer that to me in friendship, but I still want the husband, you know?

Then good ol' Franklin Hill started a new series: Lost & Found. This is based on the ideas in The Emotionally Healthy Church, a stinking AWESOME book about how spiritual maturity cannot be experienced apart from emotional health. One of the challenges in the book is to take a solid, honest look at your family of origin and your extended family to see what relational patterns exist and ask how those are influencing your present. Not if they are influencing your present, but how.

This isn't necessarily a new thought for me. During different seasons of my life, I've pondered how my mom's food/eating issues have repeated in my life, how my father's bi-polar created an absent-dad-syndrome that influenced my desire to draw attention from the men around me, how my sibling relationships and dynamics have made me a peace-maker (and sometimes a conflict avoider).

So this last weekend, I had an epiphany. I realized that, while I really want a healthy equal-yoked marriage, I have a model for how to be the wife in an unequal marriage. I'm not trying to belittle my parents' relationship, but rather observe that, because of my dad's illness, my mom was often in the lead at home and at church. I have a curriculum, if you will, for how to be the wife to an ill husband. And y'all know I thrive in curriculum. But figure something out that's brand new? Freakin' SCARY!!!

Holy crap. There are other layers and implications to this epiphany for sure, but right now, I'm just trying to settle into this insight and hear from Jesus about what to do with it. The inward journey, I'm finding, can be just as scary as any new external venture. Hurray for the safety net of God's UNCONDITIONAL love and acceptance. He knows all this stuff and still loves and accepts me. I don't have to pretend these patterns aren't there. And I don't have to figure out what it is going to mean. Whew.