Have you ever injured your dominant hand? Maybe as simple as a paper cut, maybe a broken arm or stitches or a sprain. I’ve done it a time or two and had to use my other arm which feels like some sort of cruel joke. I wonder sometimes why God gave us dominant hands. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to make both hands just as useful all the time? In my wisdom I think so. But then there are times when I have to use my subservient (but certainly not submissive) hand and think to myself, Lord, I’m so grateful I don’t always have to do this because it’s hard, but it makes me so grateful for that one useful hand.
Learning how to be married is a bit like that. Not the lovely parts of marriage, the friendship, the laughter, the good, deep, and cleansing renewing conversations, the dreaming, the sex, the shared goals and visions. Those are so lovely and I wish every bit of them on everyone I know. I mean the parts I don’t know how to do, the being a wife, the being a home-maker, the working from home wife, the being alone or having to do so many things by myself I never envisioned were a part of marriage. It feels like using my left hand when my right hand is all I’ve ever used.
Last night, after staying late into the evening in the District for some work things, Nate was taking the last train home and, as commonly happens, his train was stopped and they recommended finding alternate forms of transportation. I had just settled into bed with some apples and peanut butter, Manor House, and my pup when his text came asking me to drive and pick him up. I threw on my slippers and a hoodie, glanced at my phone which only had 5% left on it, hoped our car charger would work (it hasn’t been), and set out for a 45 minute trek through unfamiliar roads to a train station I’d never been to.
About halfway there, though, my phone died. I pulled the car over, breathed really deeply, knew I was about to cry since I had no earthly idea where I was, it was dark, my phone was dead, and I knew somewhere in this big bad world my husband was waiting for me. Common sense took over soon enough and I just kept driving until I found a convenience store to ask directions. I finally got to the train station and found my dear man waiting for me and we began the trek back home—this time with his GPS on.
I felt one handed on the drive there, unprepared for the night, without a navigation system, dressed only in my pajamas, dependent on strangers (drunk ones) to give me directions, on which they couldn’t agree and nearly got into a fight about because, as it turned out, they were giving me directions to two different train stations.
This feels like marriage sometimes, I thought this morning. I feel woefully unprepared, without a navigation system, and at the mercy of feuding strangers on the Best Ways to Do Everything. Of course I’m not woefully unprepared and I do have a navigation system, but it’s not always as neat and organized as the books, or Bible, make it out to be. It often feels like I knew how to do singleness very, very well, but now I have to use this other, unused part of my brain, heart, skills, everything, and learn from the ground up. Marriage isn’t more sanctifying, it’s just different sanctifying.
My friend Haley and I got married a year apart and we’ve been able to talk through some of these challenges, joys, sorrows, together, along with some other aspects of life. We’ve started a little blog together called Tables and Miles: Friendship, Food, and Finances from Far Away. The premise is just that we’ll write a letter to one another once a week on it, talking about those elements in a way that interests us, and might interest you. If it does, here’s the link. We just using the free Wix platform because who has money to spend on hobbies?
My friend Hannah Anderson wrote a great post on writing that I thought worth sharing, for readers and writers.
Lexy Sauve wrote an excellent piece on new years and cleaning routines and our hearts. I cannot recommend it enough.
Along the lines of Hannah’s article, someone shared this and I found it convicting and interesting.
The Rabbit Room writers shared their favorite music of 2016 here and I made a playlist on Spotify (though, please, for goodness sake, buy some of these albums and support their art. The amount of work I do as a writer and don’t get paid for makes me realize how little our world puts actual value on art, and I want to do better about giving toward faithful artists.).
I hope you enjoy your weekend. Perhaps think about some ways you’ve been called to use your less than dominant hand in life these days, and what the Lord might be teaching you through it.