Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Becoming an emotional woman

I think we have all heard people stereotype women as being hyper-emotional. They blame female hormones for it. (I have to disagree with that!) And as women, I think we sometimes feel like we have to apologize for it. But I believe that God created us, as females, to be nurturing, caring, and thus emotional. If we weren't emotional would we still be caring? Isn't it a soft heart that allows one to cry when someone dies unfairly in a movie or when a small child calls her grandpa to wish him goodnight on a TV commercial for long distance service?

Of course, it is. And God designed us to be in relationships with others. Men, who have less tendency to be hyper-emotional, are created to balance us out as we are created to balance them. God created woman for this purpose:

"...but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner...this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken." --Genesis 2:20b, 23b NRSV

I used to be a stay at home mom in what seems like another lifetime. When my first marriage failed, I was forced back into the workplace to help support myself and my children. I was no longer mom and wife, I was now employee and mom.

Did you notice the order of my words? Before the separation and divorce, I was mom then wife (okay, I know someone may want to debate the healthiness of this...but that's for another time...). Afterwards, I became an employee then a mom. It was a difficult balance. I was also filling most of the role of father. I lived in constant exhaustion. I hated myself on many occasions for my role in the failure of my marriage that forced my children to be raised by only one parent. I hated telling my children that they couldn't play sports because I couldn't commit the time to all the practices and games. I hated having to leave my sick children with friends because I didn't have any vacation or sick time left and I couldn't afford not to get all my hours to make the bills. And somewhere in that whole process, I learned to be like a man. I forced myself to be less emotional. I wasn't cold or heartless, but crying at the drop of a hat wasn't going to serve me well.

In fact, I had vowed that my children would see me cry, but not so much that it would upset them and cause them to cry. I didn't want to transfer my pain onto them. I didn't want them to bear my grief or feel responsible for it. I knew that the divorce would weigh heavily enough on their little hearts and lives.

I think the hardest thing was having my son tell the daycare director that Mommy was very sad and he wished I could be happy. What a tearjerker!

When I was blessed with my current husband (my forever husband), I had learned so deeply how to stave off emotion, I still held back tears. He is a very kind and deeply feeling man and will cry at times before I do. But I can assure you that when he cries, it reassures me and I am able to cry myself. At our baby girl's birth, Mr. D cried. He was so blown away by seeing and finally holding our little angel, he cried. And I cried too. I cried because I knew how much he loved her and me. I hadn't been in that place for a very long time.

We both cried while watching the "John Adams" series based on the book by David McCullough. And Mr.D was shocked to see me in tears. (He read the 700+ page book, not me...although I'm an avid reader...I'll have to wait until my SIL B finishes until I can read it..."hurry up, girl!" LOL) I was so blown away by the love that John and Abigail had for each other.

Many nights, I sit beside my baby girl in bed and watch her sleep. I am blown away by how blessed I am to have this little angel in my care. I cry. I pray that I am worthy enough to train her well.

Basically, I have finally come to a point where I can be a woman again. I have a wonderful man who loves and takes care of me and our children (his, mine and ours). God has blessed me so many more times than I could have asked for. I am still working on accepting and embracing this new side to me, but Mr.D assures me that it's a good thing.

Father, thank you for making me so wonderfully female. You have created me just the way I should be even though circumstance has sometimes forced me to avoid my natural temperament. I figure at some point, I'm going to cry a river of tears--because you love me, because you have blessed me, and because I know how much I need you. Keep your hand upon me as I continue to embrace and rediscover my natural temperament. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

1 comment:

Cheri said...

I,too, have been through this same thing. It wasn't do to a divorce, but to being a single mother. Her father and I were never married. It's a hard road and it does harden the a heart quite a bit.

It took my husband coming along with me and loving me through it all. He never left. He stayed put and put up with me because he loved me. He understood that I was the way I was because of certain circumstances in my life. He knew if he stuck with me, we would have an awesome life together.

So, today I will thank God for our good men...yours and mine!

Thanks for sharing your story with us!