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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Day Chris Went From Roommate to Warrior - My Marriage (part 2)

Almost one year ago exactly, Chris and I sat in the living room of our pastor's house. I couldn't, at the time, put into words much of what I was feeling. And I still can't... but in short I wasn't happy. I felt trapped, I felt like so many of my dreams were dying or gone. I felt like my joy in Jesus was depleted, dry, almost gone, stolen by late nights, crying babies, long hours of Chris at work...etc. Only this time I was done. I was done just doing my thing. Just doing what I was expected to do. If insanity is doing the same old thing and expecting different results, then I was done being insane. Cause for years it seemed I had done the same old thing and nothing changed. I knew Jesus was the truth, but I didn't know what it meant to live for him any more. And I didn't feel free to explore this question, for real.
Now this is a simple summary of what I was wrestling with. Call it an early life crisis. But as far as it seemed to me Chris was fine. He went to work and was excelling, he helped lead worship at church, financially things kept looking up. Yeah, he was missing a little of the renegade adventurer I had so fallen in love with 5 years ago, but all in all it seemed he could keep on keepin' on. And I knew what I needed was a major life make over. Not because that would make me happy. But I needed to learn what it meant to have joy in Jesus again. And I was willing to do whatever it took.
And my pastor agreed. He challenged us to throw away all our preconceived beliefs and start over, taking the bible and a good dose of prayer with us. I remember driving home that night. Chris was anxious. I asked him what he was thinking, and his honest reply was, "I'm scared." He knew he needed to walk this road with me. He knew if he wanted to save our marriage he would have to not simply check in with his wife but really meet me in the thick of it. He would have to walk into the unknown and he wasn't sure where it would take us. Our perfect little world we had created with a cute house and 3 kids and awesome friends and a great job, living in a dream town, could all be disrupted. And for a few weeks I was uncertain of what he would do.

But he entered in the battle. And this is where Chris Erickson forever proved he was my knight in shining armor. He told me, "I will do whatever it takes to have life in our marriage again. I will sell all we have, give up my job (this freaked him out), or move if I have to.
I will do anything to keep you. And I don't want to keep the duty bound Alyssa, but the free, alive and living on the edge Alyssa. I want to see you smile again." And I've learned ever
since that day what it means to meet your partner where they are at. It isn't just saying you'll pray for them or try to share little 'hallmark' thoughts every now and then. But it is being willing to go the extra mile. To let their burdens become your burdens and walk side by side with them through it. It is leaving behind your safe/stable place to meet them in their wild/crazy place if need be. Sometimes it is to be their safe place. It is to provide freedom for them to share hard things, without you getting offended or trying to one up it with a hard thing of your own. It is being committed, no matter where you end up. And you could end up somewhere different...we ended up in Utah.

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