Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat on my rump in the parking lot. I glared at ice through my tears as if it was its fault I slipped on the it, shattered my CD, bruised my tailbone, and was made late for work.
I don’t normally cry like that when I fall on the ice. I mean, I’ve done it enough times; I’m not really embarrassed anymore. Usually I just laugh at myself. But on this particular day, I think the reason I was so disheartened was because I felt that in my life currently I’ve slipped and fell right on my rump, emotionally speaking that is.
Falling on the ice can be a humbling experience. But falling emotionally is even more so. It always comes during the times I think I’m doing pretty dang good and then BAM, I’m on my rear end.
I’m in one of those “BAM” times right now. But I’m learning a lot from it. No, it doesn’t feel good to be humbled, but some how it just wouldn’t be as effective I don’t think if it was fun.
I love being married. It really is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I honestly had no idea that it would be as amazing as it is. I also honestly had no idea how revealing it would be. And I’m not talking about revealing of who my husband really is. I’m talking about how revealing marriage has been for me, about me. Make sense?
Before I was married I always thought I was a catch. I mean, I didn’t consciously walk around thinking “Oh my gosh, I am AMAZING!” But looking back I realize I did think quiet a bit of myself in the back of my mind. I felt like I was very loving, unselfish, humble (ironically), easy going, never angry, and not like other super emotional easily offended girls. Writing this now makes me a little bit ashamed at my pride; I didn’t really realize I thought so much of myself but I did.
Now that I’m married I have come to the rude awakening that I am exactly the girl I never wanted to be. Exactly the girl I thought I was much better than. I get angry, offended, prideful, emotional, and all the like. When I first started to realize that I started to panic. WHO AM I REALLY? WHAT’S GOING ON? I’d ask myself. It’s like hearing all about a movie and really building it up in your head and then when you see it, your like “Shoot that was no good.” I did that to myself. Because of the perfect creation I had in my mind, when I came face to face with myself, I was horrified. Then this quote I found as I was pondering al this gave me some comfort:
"The pressures of life in a family will mean that we shall be known as we are, that our frailties will be exposed and, hopefully, we shall then work on them. … It is an encounter with raw selfishness, with the need for civility and taking turns, of being hurt and yet forgiving, of being at the mercy of others’ moods and yet understanding, in part, why we sometimes inflict pain on each other. … The home gives us a great chance to align our public and private behavior, to reduce the hypocrisy in our lives, to be more congruent with Christ.”
So I’m not crazy. This is one reason why marriage is so wonderful. It tests me at a deeper level than I’m tested at with friends and roommates. It allows me to see myself for who I really am. And then, once I gather up enough courage to face the woman I see in the mirror, the real me, then I can start to “reduce the hypocrisy” in my life and truly become the woman of Christ I’ve always wanted to become.
But facing myself is a daunting task. As I do, I come to realize “my own nothingness” as King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon states. I come to realize this amazing girl I thought I was is really nothing but dust. But wait, that seems so…depressing. Am I really nothing? Is this really what God wants me to think? Yes, and no, I come to find out. Yes, we are to always remember we are nothing. We are weak. Yet, I don’t think that is all King Benjamin wanted us to get out of his sermon. The reason I have to remember I am nothing, is so that I can humbly, unreservedly, lean on my Savior. I am not capable of being anything on my own. I need Him. This is what humility is. Not only thinking we are nothing, but remembering we are so that we can continually rely on our Savior. I am nothing, but He can make me something. He can help my pride melt away, temperance enter into my heart, understanding flow into my mind, and unselfishness overcome. I need Him desperately though to be this kind of person, this kind of wife and mother. I cannot do it on my own. None of us can.
And though we are told to work as hard as we can, we cannot ever let ourselves forget that we cannot work our own selves through it. Another quote that touched my heart “I have found the Lord is willing to aid my feeblest effort if I sincerely ask him to do so. He wants an honest effort. Not a perfect one.”
So when I am faced with that monster of myself in the mirror, rather than getting discouraged and wanting to hide, I can turn my mind and heart to the Prince of Peace. I can beg for His grace. I can pray and beg for Him to melt away the me that I despise. I can ask Him to fashion me into the woman He knows I can be, and only He can turn me into. I do not have to despair.
One last quote that sums up my experience “When we turn to Christ in humility, exercise faith in him, repent, and seek his spirit, we no longer see ourselves as helpless victims whose only alternatives are to let our feelings out or suffer in silence. We began to see that the Lord is with us and that we can truly improve our lives and our relationships.”
Now I know I don’t have to sit in despair. I can stand up on my own two feet, and with the help of the Lord, be the woman I’ve always wanted to be.
May we all turn to Christ and let Him fashion us into who He wants.
All quotes from a talk called “No room for Pride” on LDS.ORG