Realizing her own brokenness has been leading the way, Jen Scheuermann considers a solution.
Words, wounds, and weapons
I looked across the table, glanced into my husband's eyes, and felt my heart quicken. I wish I could tell you we were on a date, my heart fluttering in response to our romantic evening. But that’s not how it happened. It was actually a quick flash of anger that sent my pulse pounding. Anger because of a comment my husband had just made. A lighthearted joke, tossed up by my husband and certainly not intended for ill will ... but one that landed directly on top of an old wound in my heart. And before I realized it, my inner self jumped to attention, assuming a position of self-defense as it fired back with sarcastic words aimed directly at old wounds I knew existed in my husband’s heart. A sudden war, and words were our weapons. Needless to say, the rest of our evening left a lot to be desired.
A visible sign
Several days have passed, but the memory of this exchange continues to replay. This is not how I want to interact with my husband. And since our marriage is a sacrament, a visible sign of God’s love for His church, I’m certain this is not how God wants us to interact either.
But I am human. And so is my husband.
The love we offer one another is imperfect; the hearts we present to one another carry wounds - some big, some small. Some old and scarred, some new and raw. Some present before we met, some that we’ve actually given each other. And because of our scarred hearts, there is no way I can love my husband as he deserves – or as God calls me to – without help from Above. Because on days when my own heart feels empty, I know it is the love I receive from God that I am called to pass on to my husband. And when my patience is spent, when anger is my first response, and when I’m tempted to keep score … it is only God’s grace that will enable me to truly love my husband.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated,
it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
He came … and He’ll come again
With Advent upon us, I am preparing my heart to celebrate the birth of Jesus - His first coming. And so many of our recent Mass readings have spoken of the time when Jesus will come again in the future - His second coming. I’ve even been blessed to experience a more personal encounter with Jesus, where He has come to me individually, calling my heart to unite with His – a third coming of sorts.
But I wonder … what would happen if with great intention I called Jesus to come to me again and again, specifically during times I’m struggling with my own inability to love others? When my feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and discomfort have lifted their heads and threaten to roar in defense of my tender and fragile heart?
Could deliberately calling Jesus in these times somehow prevent my hard feelings from catapulting me to a place of frustration and anger, of unkindness and arrogance, of comparison and judgment?
Could it help me lay down my weapons of sarcasm, rudeness, and anger?
Could two little words, whispered silently when the wounds of my heart are suddenly exposed, allow HIs grace to flow IN instead of my own brokenness to flow OUT? And could this make all the difference when I struggle to love with my wounded heart?
In this season of Advent, as I prepare my heart to celebrate His birth, I suspect there’s no better time for me to begin … Come, Jesus.
Copyright 2021 Jennifer Scheuermann
Images: Canva Pro
About the Author
While living out her vocations of marriage, motherhood, and health care provider, Jen is often found on the sidelines of a ball game, searching for shade while cheering on her sons. An early riser, she sits with Jesus while it’s still dark and blogs about their conversations at Early Morning Coffee With Jesus. Get to know her more on Instagram or Facebook.