Chris Edward had been doing general contracting for years. He was that strong male who just took control of the room. Somehow, he could get away with telling crude jokes and made instant connections with those men around him. He made savy business decisions and was known for his straight forward, cut to the chase attitude.
Jeanine was an independent designer. She was a hot shot from an early age but chose to put her career and ambitions on hold to raise a family. Together Chris Edward and Jeanine managed to raise three active boys, the first of which just graduated high schoold.
For years, Jeanine struggled with hitting brick walls with her husband. She had learned to skirt topics like excessive business expendeture and long hours outside of the home.
But just like nesting kicks in from the biological clock, with Billy leaving home and George only five years from graduation, Jeanine was now growing considerate of what the empty nest would look like.
It was then that Jeanine started to pry into what she had known all these years but refused to face. Self denial for her own protection.
Extra nights at the office with who? Why was her husband so stone cold in the house, grabbing the beer to numb out the stresses of life and tune her out. She decided, after all these years that things needed to change. So she started to change.
But the more she did, the more she realized it was hopeless. Years and years of neglect could not be reborn. After months had passed and Jeanine putting pressure on her husband, Chris Edward, he finally opened up.
I am having an affair, was how he put it. And the words didnt matter. The build up, the fight. What mattered was that reality finally struck Jeanine in the face. You know that brutal reality that strikes so hard, the weight of frustrations so heavy, that you fall to your knees in desperation. That was where Jeanine found her self. Tears, anguish, despair, a mess. She found herself in front of her husband of twenty two years, and his confession, a mess on her knees, asking, a straight cord from her heart to her lips, Am I not enough?
It came out of nowhere, barely audible, yet ear piercing. It silenced the room and Chris Edward. Am I not enough?
It was a sincere question, coming from years of dedication, serving tirelessly for her family. It was a question wrapped within it, the repressed memories of her dad, her mom, disappointments and never being good enough. Of letting others down and the freedom she found in designing, thrown to the side, to serve her family. And the sinking feeling that despite her best efforts, she just wasnt good enough. The defeated surrender in realizing she never would be enough.
The night subsided. The fight faded. But turmoil remained. The words that can never be taken back were already uttered into existence. Forged forever into the memoirs of history.
Jeanine struggled to rest, tossed and turned all night. Hes probably sleeping like a baby, that... words of frustration and hatred and shock plagued her mind.
That morning, Jeanine walked into a church. The first time she had walked into church in a long time. She sat through the first service, crying. The second service, crying. Worried about the kids, she almost got up. Her mother had picked them up for their biweekly visit with the grandparents. What would she do without her parents, she thought? Nope, today she would be late.
As the third service started, she closed her eyes. Third service had a modern band and a special worship time. She prayed. It had been a long time but she did.
As Jeanine sat silent, dazed and in a fog of life, the music went silent and she heard this:
Daughter, you were never supposed to be enough. I was. I have you. I am with you. Look to me for your approval. Look to me for your worth. Your husbands actions have to do with him. They have nothing to do with who you are. He is broken and needs me just like you have been broken. Put him aside for now. Look to me. Trust me.
How can I? Jeanine went into conversation with God.
When Jeanine opened her eyes, she found the room empty and an usher tapping on her shoulder. It was time to go home.
Somehow, Jeanines external circumstances didnt seem to define her. And though her ego still screamed out, you deserve more, how dare he, she decided just for a few moments to set that aside. She had three boys who needed her, a loving family who she knew would help her through this. But most importantly, a God in heaven who was watching over her.
<SI> Scott Izu, PhD
© October 2015