This week, my husband further helped me to be the person that God wants me to be. God has gifted my husband to see things about myself that I could not even if I looked in my bathroom mirror (that lighting exposes everything!). After a little over three years (of being together), my husband can already see my limits and knows how far he could push me beyond them.
I didn’t want to have my first panic attack in front of Lenny until we had been engaged. At least. But how long was that honestly supposed to last? Really? I had my first panic attack in front of him the week after we made it official. I lasted one week without having a panic attack. Looking back, that’s pretty impressive, but that panic attack definitely wasn’t the classy lady that my boyfriend (at the time) expected me to be. God has shown me that He did not allow me to hide my anxiety from Lenny because He wanted to use Lenny to help me find healing. There is healing in community, when we bring our brokenness to one another and allow them to pray for us and meet our needs. Lenny started doing that for me after a week of dating.
As we’ve gotten to know each other and have shared our hearts with one another, we’ve both pushed each other to be more of who God wants us to be. I’ve gotten to see the culmination of our accountability through this week. Our week started with Lenny encouraging me in my career, which led me to apply for a handful of freelance jobs and to write a couple of prompts on a website I’ve joined. Our week ended with Lenny comforting me on line for a water slide.
I hate waiting on stairs. I was totally fine while we waited on the ground, but once we got to the very middle of the stairs, I couldn’t breathe. I begged Lenny to take me off the line, but I knew he wasn’t going to do that. I could tell he was frustrated with me because I picked the worst time to have a panic attack. I don’t blame him. Although he’s great at calming me down, he’s still human. He was hot, thirsty, and impatient after baking in the sun waiting for a five-second ride. He was not about to hop off the line, so he calmed me down and helped me survive the rest of the trip up the stairs. (Spoiler alert: We made it!)
I’m speaking from my own experience, but I also help Lenny accomplish his goals. Over the years, I’ve encouraged Lenny to apply for his first job, walk for college graduation, and stand up for himself. He has told me on more than one occasion that he would not be who he is today without me.
We not only hold each other accountable as individuals, but also as a couple. We read the Bible together and pray that God would keep us united. The other night, we wrote down our goals we’d like to accomplish as a couple. We attend church together every week, and we attend a small group together during the school year. At our wedding, our pastor had told us that it is impossible for us to be apart when both of our eyes are fixed on Christ. When we have the same goal, to honor God in our marriage, that goal will draw us closer together.
Your spouse is your life partner, your life coach, your accountability partner. While your spouse shouldn’t be your only accountability partner, what better person to have help you grow than the one who knows what your morning breath smells like? Lenny knows pretty much everything about me, even things I don’t know about myself, and as we discover new things together, we learn how to deal with them in time.
Your marriage should improve you and your spouse as individuals and as a couple. If it does not, maybe you can have a conversation about what’s working and what’s not. Start by creating some goals that you would like to accomplish in your individual lives as well as in your marriage. Here are some prompts to get you thinking:
-Where do you see yourself (and your family) in 5 years?
-What would your dream job be, and is it something you want to strive to get?
-What are you going to do to improve your marriage on a regular basis? (eg, date night, joining a small group, praying in the morning, etc.)
-If you don’t have children, when do you want to start a family, and how many kids do you want?
-If you have children, what goals do you have in raising them?