Happy Monday Friends!
If you're visiting for the first time via Medical Mondays, HELLO!



This Medical Mondays seems highly appropriate, as we spent the weekend celebrating the last day of internship year. That's right - we are ONE YEAR DOWN!!...and four to go! (but mostly, ONE YEAR DOWN!)
This past year has been a roller coaster. They tell you to expect certain things, like long hours and sleepless nights, but there's so much behind the scenes that happens when you're thrown into the trenches of residency. For the resident and the spouse. By behind the scenes, I mean in the heart. The deepest part of me that has been stretched, twisted, challenged, but mostly- grew. 

If I could sum up this past year and the sentiments that both Kyle and I share as a result of it, it would be this: The greatest lesson has been that we are selfish. He's selfish. I'm selfish.

The last twelve months have shown me that as our marriage should emulate the gospel, and we've fallen short of such a high calling. However, failure is not the final word. Truly, only the start.


Last November, I was loading up boxes from our apartment, stuffing as many as possible into the back of the pickup truck. It was so cold that the tips of my fingers were white, and I could barely feel the cardboard I was moving. I was carrying a huge chip on my shoulder that could be seen from a mile away. Full of frustration, I carried one box after another. I couldn't shake the thought "Why am I doing this alone?!!When did our life become my responsibility?" As the minutes turned into hours, the bruises on my legs reflected the ones on my heart and I broke down in tears. In the mean time, Kyle was utterly exhausted, sleeping off a 90 hour work week. Still, I was angry and hurt and frustrated, along with every other emotion that comes along with realizing that most of the responsibilities of daily life now fell on me.
Kyle had no idea I was harboring such bitterness, nor did I.

I can't count how many times I've been confronted with the lie that if I serve Kyle, he should serve me. "WHATABOUTME?!" has been said and thought more than I'd like to admit.

Then one day, it hit me just as hard as I needed to hear it:  
It's not about me. It's not even about Kyle. 
It's not about our career choices or who has to do the chores,
I had begun to lessen our marriage to a tallying game.

Christ served us when we were sinners, who had nothing to offer. We did zero to deserve the grace that was given to us, and yet, he saved us. Matthew 8:10 says, "Freely you have received, freely give." Another translation states, "You received without paying; give without pay."
Yet, I found myself not wanting to give freely to my spouse. The idea of doing it all {or feeling like I was}without receiving anything in return made me cringe. Maybe it was all those feminist classes I took in college that so fervently told me that there is something severely wrong with doing the dishes, or the assumption that it somehow was expected of me. None of this was actually true, it's what I decided to be true in my slowly growing resentment.

Here's the kicker- through the cloud of my bitterness, I was missing the most important part: marriage wasn't created to make us happy. The purpose of marriage, nor the purpose of your spouse in a marriage, isn't to satisfy your every need and desire, nor to make you happy. In a world that values romanticism as the be-all , that sentiment may cause arms to flare and disagreement to abound. But the truth is- it's actually not about us. It's about Christ.
Gary Thomas writes in "Sacred Marriage, "Any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value…the real purpose of marriage may not be happiness as much as it is holiness. Not that God has anything against happiness, or that happiness and holiness are by nature mutually exclusive, but looking at marriage through the lens of holiness began to put it into an entirely new perspective for me."

Ah ha. Me too.

He goes on to write,  "To spiritually benefit from marriage, we have to be honest. We have to look at our disappointments, own up to ugly attitudes, and confront our selfishness."

Although I'd love to bid farewell to last year, I can't let it go without acknowledging the ride it took us on. It's been our 'situation' that made us confront areas of our life and marriage that needed adjusting.
We've been humbled as individuals and as a family. I've seen my husband serve me when times were difficult and inconvenient, and I've found a greater joy in serving him. Both without expectations or reservations.
Simply put, we're learning how to love one another better.

We will continue to fall short, but we always have four more guaranteed years to be challenged :)
Appropriately, Hello! 2nd year....




11 Comments

  1. Loved reading your blog. Intern year was 4 years ago and I remember the same thing happening with us. I was holding it all in but I definitely exploded in November!! Intern year was a year of growth for me personally as well as my drh and our marriage and I definitely think it shaped us into the couple we are today!

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  2. Thank you for this Meredith. I'm really nervous about this whole ordeal, and I appreciate your honestness about it. I will make sure my Kyle reads this as well. The first day wasn't so bad :).

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  3. I LOVE this post, so often do I lessen my relationship to a tally game and hurt everyone by it.

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    1. Agh, Elle, it's SO easy to do isn't it?! It's a struggle to rise above it when you're knee deep in cleaning supplies and dirty laundry.

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  4. Amen, sister! Such a good word for me to hear. I often feel this way just thinking about starting the journey this fall. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

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  5. Good luck in the 2nd year! Stopping by from MM.

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  6. Thank you so much! This really lift me heart. Stopped my from MM

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  7. What a great reminder that many doctors go into medicine for a calling and it is up to the whole family to band together to find a way to deal with the stresses! It IS a huge ride!
    Thank you for linking up for MM!!!

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    1. I love the way you put that, "up to the whole family to band together..."
      I keep thinking about that. It's certainly a team effort.

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