Sunday, October 6, 2013

General Conference Takeaway #1: I Can Love

While unpacking tonight, I found some old journals. One was from when Jack and I were dating. I found some important entries that I knew he wanted to read (long story there). They were about the decision to marry him. I had always kept this from him because I felt the decision and process I took to decide to marry him was deeply spiritual and personal. So much so, that I didn't want him to read about it in my journals. However, for some reason, that didn't matter tonight.

I passed my journal over to him to let him read, and he got uncomfortably quiet. I didn't proof-read first, so I wasn't sure if he had read something offensive (our relationship at the time was rocky...and I was deciding whether or not to marry him or another guy). The thing that got him, though, was a statement at the end of an entry describing why he was perfect: "No red flags." It made him depressed because it reminded him of how much I had trusted him and how much that trust had been broken by something that would have been nice to see red flags for.

I did think he was perfect when we were dating. I know now he was too perfect, but at the time, I had specific things I was looking for in my future spouse. He did a very good job at keeping the addiction from me, and he filled everything I wanted. Like I said, deciding to marry him was deeply spiritual. I included God very much in that decision, and I knew it was right.

Sometimes, that inclusion of God and knowing marrying Jack was the right decision haunts me. It haunts me when I get depressed about how the addiction has the power to destroy what we have. It makes me ask God why? Why me? Why should we be together? Why would this be in the plan for me?

Now, keep in mind that I am deeply grateful for the growth we have experienced. I really and truly am. But, you know, sometimes it's just hard. And I have the right to question. It's good for the soul. Haha.

Anyway, President Eyring said something in his General Conference talk this morning that answered that question perfectly. For those of you who are not LDS, every six months, the authorities of our church speak in a conference over the weekend. There are five two-hour sessions. It's beautiful. No other words describe it other than beautiful and sacred. I LOVE General Conference. This one was especially good and gave me some direct inspiration and answers I've been seeking.

President Eyring told this story about a grandma going to visit her grandson in jail. On the way, she was praying and asked God why, after everything she had done to live a good life, He would give her this grandson who ruined his own life and caused her so much pain. The answer that came to her was, "I gave him to you because I knew you could and would love him no matter what he did."

That statement completely resonated with me. It rang in my heart and pierced my soul. I knew, in that instant, that even though the story was different, God was speaking to me. He wanted me to marry Jack because he knew that I could handle this. He knew I could and would love him. No matter what.

That's the first time I've heard/felt it put like that. Whenever I've wondered why I'm with him, why God wanted me to be with him, I've always had a similar feeling. But that feeling was more along the lines of me being special and being the best person to help him overcome his addiction, repent, and fulfill his divine potential as a son of God. This is the first time I've felt/heard it said that the reason was my ability to love him.

I do love him. I love him on a very deep level, which is why the addiction is so painful. Sometimes, I feel like I don't love him on the surface, when I'm struggling, but there is always that deep love that lies beneath. And I'm always dedicated to helping him. I mean, that's why I do the things I do. That's why I try to enforce certain boundaries and why I am blunt at times and have high expectations for him.

I can love him. I do love him.

Now, that doesn't mean that our marriage isn't at risk. It is. There is still the possibility that at some point down the road, he will have majorly crossed a line, and our marriage will be over. BUT this gives me hope. It gives me a little bit more courage and strength to know that God wants me to keep loving. At least for right now.

AND... I'm excited for the Togetherness Project!

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