For the past few months, I've felt prompted to study up on what it means to be a man. It seemed like a strange topic to study up on, but it was so interesting that I couldn't set it aside.
Was it because I am raising a little man?
I didn't know. I just kept studying, kept reading, absorbing every word, usurping every ideal.
Yesterday I sat in front of my computer screen and met online with a counselor who said simply said:
"You need a man, Alicia. You need a man man."
During my week break, I asked my Dad -who is aware of our situation -to come and give me a blessing before my husband came home. He was more than happy to oblige. I had to update him on our situation, and he said, "You need to look around and see if there's anyone else out there who could measure up to what you've got."
I want to scream, "NO! No there isn't!"
But the truth is that there IS someone out there who won't try to manipulate, who won't push back when I stand up for myself, who will teach my son exactly what it means to be a man, who will unplug and take time to do these things. Absolutely, there is.
The road in front of us is a rough, hard road.
"Are you willing to take it? Is it going to be worth it?" the counselor asked.
These kinds of questions make me squirm. They feel like bitter pills... medicine -I need to take them to get well, but the side effects? oh, they bring me down: depression.
I need a MAN man.
There are times when I see a MAN man in the man I married. My last counseling session was a week ago. I spent three days afterward in a down sort of mood (pills, pills, emotional pills!), and then I came down with a head cold. All the while, I wasn't sleeping through the night. Add that all up and what do you get? A deliriously messy house.
Through it all, I hadn't had any empathy. I had been manipulated and I had had to set a new boundary which only added to my worn-out state.
Yesterday, I was still feeling the effects of my cold. My body was aching, my head was foggy. My husband came home and turned the news on. What was going on in Boston was of the utmost interest to him (as a cop), but the spirit it brought into our already spirit-starved home was more than I wanted to play with. I left the house and picked up my daughter from a birthday party. It didn't take me long to realize I didn't want to go home. So? I didn't. I only stopped in long enough to tell my husband that I was taking the kids west of town to our family land.
It's my Holy Places place.
He hopped in the car with us, leaving the news still on in the background of our messy house.
As the sun set, we skipped rocks into a great and spacious puddle. The kids blew bubbles and we clucked our tongue at my Dad's old horse. We had a stare-off with the cattle, we hid in the tall bushes, we watched my grandpa and his brother walking the fields out in the distance.
My husband became impatient to leave.
I was in no hurry to get back home. I knew what awaited me there.
I wanted fresh air, I wanted to breathe, I wanted to watch my kids play in the same dirt I did as a toddler.
When we pulled into the driveway, I didn't budge. I had driven home as slowly as I could get away with. In my car, there was the soundtrack to The Man from Snowy River playing. There was the last shreds of a beautiful desert sunset, there was peace.
My husband placed a warm hand on top of mine.
"What is it?" He asked. There was genuine empathy in his voice, and it brought me near to tears.
"I'm sick, I haven't been sleeping, and I really don't want to face the house," I said.
"Okay," he didn't move his hand from mine, "Get a chair, get a book, and spend some time alone outside while the sun sets. Let me take care of the house."
I really needed that. I REALLY needed that.
I NEED A MAN.
Last night, I had a man man. So my answer to those hard, pillish questions is -as of today -yes. yes, this is worth it. I hate that the answer to that question fluctuates.
But I'm so grateful for my loving Father in Heaven who has taken me by the hand -whose Spirit is constantly at my side no matter what my home feels like. There are angels on my right and left, bearing me up.
I know it.
I can feel it.
Their presence is tangible.
God will not leave me helpless, hopeless, or alone.
My Father in Heaven is a MAN.