What Lies Within



When I entered into my marriage, I anticipated many things—sleepy Sunday mornings, stolen afternoon lunch dates, all the lovin’ in the evening. What I never thought I’d find myself anticipating? The day he would leave me. My husband is genuinely kind, honest and undeniably devoted. He has never made me question the sacredness or durability of what we have and yet, there were so many nights that I would lie awake, a newlywed woman, anticipating the unrealistic end to something that had just begun.

As a child who grew up in a home ridden with both physical and mental illness, stability was not something that I was able to grasp. I remember tapping on the walls inside my dark closet hoping that a magic door would open up to a secret and secure place that I could stay for a while. The same, fragile growing pains continued into young adulthood where I faced relational challenges that left me feeling abandoned, time and time again. This ongoing pattern evolved into a story that I began whispering to myself here and there—I am not worthy of stability.

And then, the stars aligned. I met the love of my life—someone who was ready and honoured to commit to a real, reliable forever with me—and I became a bride. But unfortunately, the reality of planning a wedding in an imperfect world would turn out to be yet another season of instability. Family and friends who I hoped would be supportive and involved checked out. Our modest budget which I hoped would provide us with our dream day was repeatedly rejected by vendors and venues for not being enough. My body that I hoped would look perfect for my wedding day could no longer fit into my gown because of the weight I gained from stress.

When the ground beneath my wedding boots fell through, the same story that I once whispered to myself felt more like my personal anthem—I am not worthy of stability.

I would lie in bed, a blissfully happy, married woman next to a loyal man whom I adore with every fibre of my being, consumed by an insecurity of abandonment that had no place making our bed its home.

Throughout life, we all experience pain and suffering in its various forms, and as a result, adopt fictitious stories that we are convinced must be true. For you, that might look like a story of failure or rejection. It might be a story rooted in social anxiety or perfectionism. It might be a story that claims the value of your soul is based on the appearance of your body. When we strap these wounds of insecurity onto our backs and carry them around for years, they aren’t going to magically disappear once a ring slips onto your finger or words are sacredly exchanged at an altar.

There is no shame in carrying your insecurities into your marriage when, in fact, most of us do. But without the conscious awareness of these insecurities, they may start to seep out in places where they are not welcome and cause damage in places where there should only be healing. As a woman who has spent hours envisioning how, when, and where her husband would finally say, “Just kidding! Bye!,”

I’ve struggled with scepticism, jealousy and trust, punishing my husband for mistakes that he has never made and weakening areas of our relationship in the process.

The effects that our insecurities can have on our communication skills, intimate lives and emotional bonds are cunning—permeating little by little until real damage has been done and it’s hard to pinpoint when exactly it began. I will not pretend to know the answer to dealing with every type of insecurity within marriage, but I do know what has worked for us. Conscious communication, grace and gratitude. Our gut reaction when it comes to insecurities is to hide them. They are, after all, vulnerable in nature—wounds that we want to keep covered. But insecurities thrive in the darkness. It is only when we pull them out of the dark corners of our hearts and into the light of open conversation that they will lose their power. By letting your partner in, they will be able to dispel the lies, speak the truth, and reveal to you your true, authentic self.

From there, grace. Grace that is relentlessly extended to one another for stumbling under the weight of deceptive stories. Grace that we gift to ourselves for being human. And we blanket it all in the warmth of gratitude. Gratitude for the road that led you into the sweet arms that you get to call home today, and gratitude for the safety of that home in which your insecurities can be put to rest.

For it is within marriage that we receive the gift of participating in the rhythmic healing of one another.

It is something that I still have to battle on the daily—allowing myself to sink into a reality that feels risky and vulnerable and try to grasp that it is in fact safe and secure. But by remaining steadfast in my willingness to vulnerably share, extend grace, receive truth and express gratitude, I have begun to tell myself a new story—I am worthy of stability. I dwell within stability. This love is here to stay.


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