Monday, January 25, 2016

The Fall

So, this year has been so full of changes for our family and like I've posted before, I am so happy to be in Breckenridge and to be on this new journey.  The transition has been pretty bumpy for Andy, though, and I call it the "not having a business card" syndrome.  Right now he is doing many fun things, but he doesn't have a true title or job description and it has been hard on him.  (I am blogging with his permission.)

All Fall I have been really frustrated by the funk he has been in at home--his "I don't have a business card" funk.  We got to go on a retreat in October with a bunch of couples and we were the "new kids" at the retreat so there were about a zillion times when people asked us "tell us about yourselves."  Andy's answer was always about his work and my first thought was always about our family and Andy and I's relationship.  I found myself uber annoyed and hurt during the whole retreat as a result.

Why did I just take that side tangent. . . well. . . as a result of those two things (the "I don't have a business card" funk and the retreat), I've been doing tons of thinking about the way Andy and I are handling the transition so differently. . .

And here is what I camp up with (disclaimer: I am not a Bible scholar, I don't claim to be, the following is just my uneducated interpretation of a well known Bible story as it relates to Andy and I today):

The Fall.  When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden as a result of the serpent's temptation, God told Man and Woman two different things.  He first told the Woman that, as a result, childbirth would be awful (how true that is).  He then told Man that he would have to toil hard for the food he was to eat.  Okay.  So?

My interpretation based on this new phase of life we are in (you'll now see why the retreat was mentioned in the second paragraph).  I find my value in my family.  I know, I should find my worth in God.  Great.  But I'm talking about The Fall here.  I find value in my family.  I find value in the worth I perceive myself to be to Andy and I find value in how good of a mother I am.  I really think that as a result of The Fall, I struggle with finding my value in those things instead of in Christ alone.  I believe that the "punishment" is much more than just painful childbirth.  I think it is the emotional pain of being a wife and a mother (along side the great joy and fulfillment and blah blah blah).  On the flip side, Andy finds his value in his job, his title, his work.  I think that is Man's side of The Fall. Not only does he have to work, but he has to struggle with finding his value (his identity) in his work instead of in Christ alone.

Back to the retreat.  I was so annoyed that when people asked us to tell them about ourselves, that Andy went straight to what he does (work) instead of who I felt he was (family).  Right there is when the difference started screaming at me (and annoying and hurting me).  As a result I began to dig and pray and wonder and question.  When I realized (again, my own interpretation) that part of The Fall is that we would both find our value and our worth in places that would never completely fulfill us and in places that were different for both of us, I began to look at Andy with much more compassion because I know what it is like to feel valueless in my family because I'm not meeting my own expectations of myself.  Also, I had compassion because I realized that in the same (sinful?) way that I find my value from what kind of wife and mom I am, Andy finds his value in "who" he is as a professional.

So, as I have been loving the move and the change and the opportunity to play (and live and work) in Breckenridge as a family, Andy has been struggling because he is in a transition from camp to his next phase.  In this, I have two (three?) big things to work on.

1.  I need to continue to find my worth in God.  Period.
2.  I need to be more compassionate and understanding as Andy is in this transition time because I still have my family to meet those needs given to me (?) as a result of The Fall.  I need to understand that Andy is still in transition in terms of his work and therefore looking for his value in his "business card"--not because he doesn't love us (which I felt during the retreat) but because it is part of the "curse" of The Fall.

I'm not sure if it is making sense as I am typing--usually I am good with words, today I feel like I am fumbling.  But it is so refreshing for me (and challenging to me) to see that the results of The Fall are so much bigger than labor pains. . . the results are something that Man and Woman have to struggle with on a daily basis and as a result, I think we can each be more understanding and compassionate with/to one another if we see these struggles for what they really are.

There is my little tid bit for today.  Andy thinks I need to write a book on this.  I can hardly type out a blog that makes sense!

Little side note:  you need to go get William Paul Young's new book "Eve."  It is an amazingly beautiful picture of the story behind The Fall and how beautiful it was (beautiful is a weird way to put The Fall, but it was so much more than just Eve ate the apple and then life got awful).  It is also a great word picture of self-worth and forgiveness.  So, go download the book and read it this week!

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