Today at Mass Father said “If you think 40 days of Lent is hard, trying being joyful for every one of the 50 days of Easter”. HA! He must have known that I was at Mass today.
Usually Lent is hard for me. Mostly because I fail at all my fasts and do nothing to get closer to Jesus and I end up eating meat on every Friday after the second one. (Ok, until last year it was after the first one.) But this Lent was a good one. I missed some Masses because I was sick, but I didn’t eat meat on any Friday and I ended it with a bang: therapy, confession and Mass on Holy Thursday. Plus, thanks to a friend who found me a Breviary, I started praying the Divine Office. All in all, compared to most years, it felt like a successful Lent. Confession on Holy Thursday was really good; I realized that I have lived the last 4 years telling God how to do things. I‘ve been giving Him orders and telling Him which way would be the best way to get me to heaven. I confessed it and got some great advice from my pastor and left feeling like I had conquered a small part of my pride. Then, on the way home I realized that something seemed sketchy. Therapy, confession AND Mass?! That kind stuff usually means that shit is about to hit the fan.
I don’t know what it is about my relationship with God, but usually when I can feel the Grace pouring down on me; it means something out of my control is going to happen. I’ve noticed this pattern for a few years now and at first I thought that I was just paranoid, but it’s true. I don’t know why it happens; I just think that God realizes that if He doesn’t pour Grace on me that I will flip the freak out.
I was right. Easter has not been that much fun. Things are out of my control and all I can do is scratch my head and wonder what happened.
Kind of like everyone at the first Easter. Mary Magdalene, the disciples and apostles were all walking around scratching their heads a little and freaking out a lot. Yeah, basically, that is me this Easter.
I have written a bit about the fact that there are struggles in my marriage. I am still struggling, my husband is still struggling and my marriage is still struggling.
I’ve been to daily Mass every day this week, I’m reading Heather King’s book “Redeemed” and I had an hour-long therapy session today and after all that I have realized that my husband is struggling with something and I need to get out-of-the-way and let God help him. I have no clue how to do that. Truth be told, I have had about 3 other people tell me this very thing for months now and I have ignored their advice. I just don’t know how to stop myself from micromanaging God. Or my husband for that matter. I lay it all out for both of them. When they will be where and what will happen and how it’s alllll gonna go down.
When the heck did I become a control freak? I wondered as I sat in my car.
I’ll tell you when: when I decided that being happy is the goal of my existence.
For so long I’ve been walking around seeking “happiness”, thinking that my kids, my husband, my marriage, my faith, my God, my friends and my work should make me “happy”. Like being happy is the end goal of existing. Which it’s not. Getting back to God when we die is the goal of existing. Heaven is the goal, happiness just happens to be what you are when you get there.
My marriage isn’t supposed to make me happy, it’s supposed to make me holy. That may or may not mean that I’ll be “happy” while I am becoming holy. I can tell you that it won’t, because I’m a selfish witch with severe pride issues and changing to serve others and not seek out my own good makes me unhappy. Very holy people have been unhappy. I’m sure that the Blessed Mother was not happy when she was watching her son being tortured to death even though she knew that it was what had to happen in order for Him to do what He came here to do: save us.
Marriage is about helping your spouse get to heaven and raising children who know God and choose heaven for themselves. It is about loving them when they are unlovable, when they are rude to you, when you get no thanks or praise. It is by loving them at those times that we are a witness of Christ to them.
Sometimes that means allowing your spouse to struggle with their demons and loving them from afar (words of a wise friend) while praying for them and living your life.
My husband probably does need some space to breathe. Being married to me is like being a puppy that is hugged so tight by a 2-year-old that your eyes are about to pop out of your head. Nothing scares me more than losing my husband. I love him. I love how he laughs, how he makes me laugh, how he listens to Ice Cube and Jason Aldean, how he looks in wranglers and a cowboy hat, how he calls me “sweetheart” with that homegrown Texas twang, and I love just being in the same room with him. Nothing scares me more than living my life without him in it. That fear makes me crazy. Literally. So I squeeze and hold on to him so tight that he can’t breathe all the while thinking that somehow this will make him submit to my god of “happy”. I tell myself that it’s me “loving” him, but really it is me being afraid and putting my want of not losing him above his good, and that is not love. Love always seeks the good of the other first.
I may be the only person on this planet that is getting this kind of Easter lesson instead of drinking wine and eating chocolate. If this is what happens with a successful Lent, then consider this the last one that I have. I thought that the lessons were supposed to come during Lent and Easter was party time. Rude.
I just realized that the first thing that I read this morning was this post in my NewsFeed, it really was the springboard to my day.