Monday, July 15, 2013

I am married to an advocate.

My husband's job in court is to take up the cause of another, to represent his client, to fight for them. Of all the people in the world he has fought for, he has always fought the hardest for me.

But sometimes in marriage you feel like you are on opposite sides of the courtroom.

I felt like that a few weeks ago. This time it wasn't a single argument or issue. It was the little things. I had been memorizing "Likewise, wives, be subject to your husbands...." (1 Peter 3) and trying to really put it into practice. I had been trying to love my husband and please him and submit to his judgement in all the small things. After just a couple of days I found myself struggling.

God, I am the only girl in this family. I am the only person here who cares about the things that I care about. If I don't put out there what I want and fight for it, won't I always be overlooked? Will I lose even all the little things I care about? I will lose all the little things and the boys won't even know. If I don't fight for myself, who will? 

I sat and prayed and wrestled until I heard truth answer me.

Jessica, you have an advocate.  

I have someone on my team. The Holy Spirit is my advocate. I have a helper who intercedes for me, guides me, and teaches me. There is someone on my team pleading my cause for me. I don't have to fight. I just have to listen and follow.

Sometimes in a case Brandon has to ask his client to give on the small things in order to win the important things. We have to listen to the Holy Spirit and we have to submit because sometimes we need to give up all the small things to win the big thing---the heart of our husband and the heart of the Lord.

If it is important, I have an advocate and he will fight for me and I will have it. I will trust Him to know what is important and what needs to be let go and I will trust His timing. I am free to fight for my husband because I have an advocate who will fight for me.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to Win an Argument

(This one was written when I was pregnant with Joseph and we were making some medical decisions in regard to his heart and the predicted surgery he would need.)

Last night Brandon and I sat close on the couch, our warm bodies touching, but feeling so far away. That same old disagreement had stepped into the room like an unwanted visitor--squeezing between us onto the couch, settling down, kicking up muddy shoes, and begging for attention. I wonder how after 5 years of marriage that same fat disagreement still finds ways to squeeze back into our front door. Why do we have to do this again? And why right now? I felt too tired to wrestle with the impossible task of making a decision together when we had both already decided differently. With all our words spilled out uselessly in the air, we called it a night and brushed our teeth and crawled into bed and I hoped I could just sleep forever.

Sleep is mostly what I have wanted to do this year. Pregnancy and surgeries and two little boys and too much sickness can wear a body out just a bit. This year has left me exhausted and bare and no one knows it better than this man curled up next to me in bed. He is the one who married me when we wanted to share an adventure together and make a difference in the world and leave humanity a little better than it was when we found it. But it’s funny how when humanity comes to you in the form of a little human who demands you drop everything else to change diapers in the middle of the night, you realize just how much you always cared more about yourself than the rest of humanity. This year brought out so many of the ugly things in me—the selfishness, the anger, the bitterness—things I didn’t even know were there before. Brandon is the one who has seen the worst of it all. I ponder that and I know the right thing to do now—to love, to submit, to force my heart into agreement with this man who has loved me so well. But fear kept me silent a little longer. Suddenly I feel a strong arm wrapping around me and Brandon speaks, “I decided I want to agree with you. I don’t want you to worry about it anymore.”

With those two sentences, the fear that was gripping me about my unborn child and his health fled. Brandon had reminded me what Jesus is like. As the head of the house, Brandon had every right to make the final call. Instead he lowered himself and told me that he cared more about me than about being right. If he could love me so well, how much more would Jesus love us and lead us well and take care of this child I was so worried about? It suddenly didn't seem to matter now what decision we made.

It was going to be alright.

Perfect love really does cast out fear.