Monday, July 20, 2009

Birds of a feather

Last night, I had a wonderful night's sleep. I laid my head down on the soft pillow, wrapped my husband's arm around me, and slept like a baby.

I used to have the most uncomfortable pillow and I would complain of neck pain and poor sleep nearly every day. Nothing big or dramatic, just a minor annoyance. Then my husband wrapped up a gift and gave it to me: a big, soft pillow. He knew I'd like it and he glowed when he handed it over. He'd searched for just the right one. He was right. I've loved it ever since. I would have never thought to ask for a pillow for a gift.

When I am feeling sad, wondering if my husband knows the real me, understands what makes me tick, I remind myself about the pillow he chose. He knew exactly what I needed. Sometimes what we need is different from what we think we want. When I am feeling sad, wondering if I should have married Andrew, I remind myself that God often gives us what we need and not what we want and that it is only in retrospect that we can sometimes appreciate God's wisdom and providence. Life is hard. Being single is hard. Being married is hard. Being a woman is hard. Being a man is hard. Having children is hard. Being infertile is hard. Everyone has crosses to bear. When I put it into perspective, my constant, loyal, fun, funny, stable, adventurous, principled husband not being in touch with his feelings is a pretty inconsequential cross, even if it lays open my own weaknesses. Sometimes life is too hard and I just take a time-out, go take a nap, and tune out. But isn't it ironic that I curl up on that pillow he got me? Maybe when I can't get it by being hit over the proverbial head in my waking life, I get it by having it pummeled into me one feather at a time through osmosis while I sleep.

My life and its problems, as frustrating as they can be, is really a cushy life filled with pleasures and luxuries many would by happy to trade me for. I hope I can learn that sometime soon, but in the mean time I'll just keep holding on to that pillow as my proof that it isn't hopeless and I have a pretty darn good husband after all.

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