Some would say I bought the “wrong” dog.
My friend, the dog trainer, would say I got “the dog I needed.”
I certainly didn’t get the dog I wanted.
My dream was a dog just like my other dog. A friend of our family, gentle, sweet, protective, fabulous running companion, best of all…OBEDIENT.
Instead, I got a high-energy, gentle, sweet, hyperactive, friendly dingbat dog that thinks she’s a gazelle half the time and is NOT nearly as consistently obedient as I want…and requires more patience than I can muster sometimes. I literally found myself being angry at her – when she was just doing what she’s been bred to do, and doing it at the age she is with the limited experience she has. And sometimes, I feel like giving up on her completely, after 5 months of consistent training. But I haven’t done EVERYTHING the way the trainer suggested, nor have I done it as OFTEN as I was supposed to… so yeah, this is my own fault. She IS wired to be more difficult than our beloved Daisy, however. Bleh.
And I thought I was actually pretty patient as a person, and while I can recognize the seriously great work God has done in my life in this area, I recognize as well that I still have LARGE room for improvement.
When I look at my marriage, I also see that stark contrast. I didn’t get the husband of my dreams (you know, the one inspired by the Leo DiCaprio’s of the 70’s and 80’s) but rather, I got a nice smart cute guy who was just trying to do what he’d been raised to do, doing it at the maturity level he was/is, with the limited experience he had/has.
And 20+ years in, our marriage is starting to reflect Christ and His relationship with His church, only because we’ve BOTH grown up some, and because I’ve stopped trying to turn him into someone else. Actually, we’re better friends now and our marriage is better now than it was when we were first together (you know that six month twitter pated period of hormonal delusion that wears off when reality sets in? J).
And he calls me last night, just to suggest that he takes us out for dinner, because even though he got 4 hours of sleep a night all week and has been working his tail off, he doesn’t even mention this, but rather, doesn’t want ME to have to deal with dinner, because he knows I’m going to be exhausted from the day I had (that’s another story).
And that’s the best part – knowing and being known by a great friend, released from the expectation of delighting me, because that is God’s hole to fill (and only when I find delight in Him and obey His Word with a heart bent on living my life for the Audience of One) and I can RELAX in my marriage and just enjoy the journey.
And now he does things like dump the kids at home and takes me on an ice-cream date… LOVE this. J
And I nearly destroyed this opportunity about 15 years ago.
Know two things: 1) It’s not the guy you married (you, like me, got what you NEEDED), and 2) with God, ALL things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose – so. Don’t. Give. Up.
I realize when I write about my dog and the horses, not as many people are inspired. I apologize for that, but know I write what He gives me. I pray you can see His teaching in the midst of every aspect of your life – He’s always speaking! We just don’t listen all the time.
At any rate, I’m glad we’re on the journey together, glad you are here.
Love to you,