I had a heck of a time getting a lid on a jar the other day. It was the exact right lid to go on the exact right jar, but I couldn’t get the dang thing to thread correctly. It was very frustrating. I really began to question whether these two items were made for eachother. I mean if this protective lid was the right lid for this delicate jar – – wouldn’t it be a lot easier to unite the two?
It turned out that each individual item had to start at the same point of entry and once they were lined up properly – – this beautiful glass jar was safe and secure to tip over without a big mess when the strong protective lid was right where it needed to be. The jar can’t protect its contents by itself and still be able to release her richness and aroma. The lid’s primary purpose it to help and protect that jar – – but it really can’t fulfill its role if it doesn’t mechanically know directly where to start.
It’s weird to me that these two things really are a match made in heaven and yet they require a delicate approach to fulfill their intended purposes. I recently spent some time looking for one more container to collect some extra sugar scrub. The most perfect container in size and function was worthless to me without a lid. . . and I will eventually pitch lids that no longer have hope of being united with a container.
And yes – I am going somewhere with this analogy. I am not just a beautiful container. I am an extremely functional container. Inside this delicate little glass jar, is a masterful potion of power. I am filled with schedules and tasks lists, meeting agendas, meal plans, continuous operating manuals, never ending to-do lists, and back up plans. I am the continuous operating manager for my family, my ministries, and professional responsibilities. I have exactly one million systems that must be maintained for everyone to have clean underwear, get on buses on time. eat a decent meal in the evening, have the proper dietary intake, get a lesson when they show up to bible study, and the list goes on and on and on and on. . . And it can get a little crazy the weeks you add drs appointments, lab draws, family illness, school conferences, extra ministry assignments, etc. . .
So this past week, I was sick in addition to being an old pregnant lady who balances a great portion of the world on her shoulders. . . I was exhausted and overwhelmed and craving rest long before the operating system “must be done” list was completed. I began to be pretty irritated that my strong protective “lid” of a husband wasn’t rescuing me. Can’t He see that I am struggling to keep my head above water? Why can’t he pitch in and just take a couple of things off of this list I am slave to? Why am I the one that has to do EVERYTHING?
I don’t think I am the only woman who can struggle with feeling a little bitterness at the heaviness of her load. For years, I have just kept this bitterness to myself. That’s been very helpful. It has allowed to unload in an attack of hateful disrespect to a loving “lid” designed to protect me. Its weird how he doesn’t feel motivated to rescue and protect me when I am spewing venom at him. It has kept me feeling isolated, powerless, and hopeless. It has made me think less of my husband and feel less blessed by what should be the joyful challenges of having such an awesome role in my family.
But before you judge me, allow me to explain myself. I have some very good reasons for my behavior. First of all the world has told me that I am a strong, independent woman who should be able to be all things to all people with no assistance from anyone whatsoever. I have believed the world. In the absence of truth, I will attempt to struggle to make my life fit the “untruth” that I have decided to believe. When it doesn’t work, I will struggle harder. Trying to make an “untruth” true is an incredibly fruitless pursuit – – but that hasn’t stopped me. . .
Secondly, I believe my husband should just “know” via his exceptional female intuition and observational skills exactly what the workload is AND how he could be helpful in accomplishing it. I clearly should not have to tell him what is obvious to me. Oh wait – – He doesn’t have the gifts of domestic intuition and social observation skills. I am the only one in my family that God has gifted with that level of information and forsight.
What an interesting combination. God made me with a need to be protected and rescued from a strong man. And He made my husband with such a strong desire to protect me that if ever given the opportunity – my husband would die for me. Only I won’t tell him how he can help and protect me and He doesn’t know without my leading.
So here’ s the truth – but once again its just not as romantic and magical as I would like it to be. If my husband would DIE for me, then he’ll gladly load a backpack, lay out school clothes or advance a load of laundry for me. We both know he would willingly give up his life for me. I will never have to ask him to take the bullet if we are in a life-threatening scenario. He is deeply wired in his very creation to do so without thought or hesitation.
He is NOT wired to tie up the loose ends of an exhausted woman’s task list. He wants me to get rest and relief when I need it BUT he doesn’t know what it takes to fulfill that dream. I HAVE TO TELL HIM. It feels like I shouldn’t have to tell him. It feels like he should just know – -but the TRUTH is that he just doesn’t.
So will my husband rescue me when I feel like I’m drowning? Yes. Absolutely. Every Single Time Without Fail. But only when I tell him that I need rescuing and explain what it will take to save me. For a woman who talks all the time – I better not be silent when it’s time to dial 9-1-1. My lid fits perfectly but it has to know where and how to get started.
Thank you Carrie for a great reminder of one of the truths of marriage that is hard to hear over the shouts of the world. Love you girl!