Saturday, October 15, 2011

On dying and becoming

{On the sixth anniversary of his proposal}


Six years ago, Hans flew to New Haven. There, he mopped my floor and asked me to marry him. That girl who said "yes" had no idea what was coming for her.

Here are some thoughts from the past six years. They have nothing, yet everything, to do with celebrating our marriage.

1. Became and becoming.
Two months after our wedding, we moved to Trinity. Since then, we have lived in the same apartment, served in the same church, and we are still working on the same illusive degrees. In one sense, we have not gained anything; we have not gone anywhere. Yet, we are so different now. By the grace of God, we are not who we used to be. And this is a very good thing.

We became, and we are becoming
husband and wife, mom and dad, children of God.

2. Life is a string of little deaths.
Marriage and childbearing are much like second and third conversions for me. They are milestones that mark new phases of learning how to die to myself. Marriage was somewhat of a gradual death. Motherhood, on the other hand, struck me down like a thunderbolt. I am a tree in the storm, bent beneath the weight of the sky.

But feeling small is not a bad thing. Pain has been a kind teacher to me.

3. Finders losers; losers keepers.
I cringe when I think of the lofty words in my graduate school applications. I wrote something about finding myself, and helping others to find themselves. Bleh. Life cannot be found this way.

Finders losers; losers keepers. Jesus said, "Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever who loses his life for my sake will find it." I had neither the discipline nor the selflessness to live life giving myself to others. So God sent the boys, tiny faces of grace speaking truth. Their cries of hunger and outstretched arms rescued me from my self-idolizing heart. They are rescuing me still. For their sake, I want to be the kind of mother who would lay down her life for others. Though it may not feel like anything spectacular, somewhere between mastitis and sleeplessness, the dying and the losing, God gives life.

I read somewhere that blood is poured out during childbirth and at the Cross--for the giving of life, "great loss holding hands with great gain."

4. I like holding hands.
We first held hands when Hans visited me in Denver, while I was sipping on sesame boba tea (he ordered something else). I have not seen this flavor for years, until a few weeks ago when some friends from Denver sent us three pounds of the good stuff.

We are still holding hands. He still cleans my messes. And I am so happy to have said "yes." Thanks for asking, darling.

7 comments:

E! said...

or a string of little births :) happy birthday!

Seda said...

Esther -- YES!! A string of little births sounds about perfect, and a lot less morbid.
What is wrong with me?! I realize that I think a lot about death, as a metaphor.

E! said...

i'd say... death and labor are the process for Life & birth... and you think/write a lot about the process. while we are still being sanctified, statives like "be perfect" and "be born" aren't really fair imperatives. i think about grammar too much.

Sherri said...

Praise God for the wonderful insights He has given you in the past 6 years! Happy Anniversary! =)

Seda said...

Hi Sherri! Thanks so much!

Olivia said...

Happy birthday and happy anniversary! But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3: 18)

Seda said...

Hi Oli! =) Thank you. and Amen!