On our very first date, my husband asked me the question, “What are you passionate about?” I shrugged, and didn’t answer, partly because I didn’t know my answer and partly because I just didn’t want to participate in any conversation on our date. (It was a disastrous date, but hey, we’re married.)
He still asks me that question and I still don’t have an answer. But I’m trying to find my answer.
We’ve been arguing a lot lately, which is unusual for us, and it’s good for us, too. It seems we are no longer able to coast through our life together, letting things roll off our backs or pile up in our hearts and minds. I’m bucking up against him having a hobby or a passion that, in my head, could lead to him liking something more than me. (Remember my issues??) That’s a big part of my problem, but another is simply that I don’t have a hobby, a passion, an interest, so it’s not fair that he does.
We’ve delved into this a lot lately. Lots of tears, lots of anger, lots of repentance, lots of forgiveness. But the fact remains, I don’t have my answer.
We’ve talked about the “disadvantage” of me getting married at 21. I went from my parents house to a dorm room, to a small house with roommates to being married. No time alone. No traveling. I went from student to wife before I even graduated. And then I went from part-time Instructional Assistant to full-time mom at the age of 24. No career outside of my home. No real reason to even leave my home.
Would I change any of my story? Nope. Not a bit. But do I sometimes wish for more experiences, a bigger sense of the world beyond my doorstep, and a clearer sense of who I am and what I enjoy? Absolutely.
My family is an idol. There, I said it. My family is the place that I find my value and my worth and my sense of wholeness. I give up myself for my family. I set aside my own desires and wishes for their own. I deny myself every day for them. And I’m beginning to resent them for it.
But I am the one to blame. I am the Pharisee who has created a law which keeps me “blameless.” I have decided that the decisions I have made are the most holy, the most glorifying to God, and that anyone who does differently is just not as good. A woman who chooses to exercise and put her kids in the gym’s daycare? Selfish. The woman who goes back to school and leaves her kids with someone else? Selfish. The woman who loves her job and pursues it passionately? Selfish.
The woman who loses herself completely in her mothering career and convinces herself that she’s doing what she’s called to do? Delusional. Wrong. Confused. Me.
Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.