When I learned my husband was up for a significant promotion at his work, my first instinct was—regrettably—not excitement. Instead, fear and doubt filled me.
Although the intellectual side of my brain was excited for Luke to advance his career in a job he loves, the emotional side knew it would require a great deal of his time and energy. I was anxious about how our marriage would stand up to that kind of strain and anxious about where a promotion might eventually lead. We’ve been through less-than-ideal jobs, prayers answered with “No,” and discontented dwelling in forests of question marks. We have only grown together through all of those situations, but this seemed like something new I wasn’t sure I had the skills to handle.
When I feel that kind of worry coursing through my mind and emotions, no amount of talking it out—no matter how many vanilla lattes may be involved—is going to cut it. I must write, and I won’t admit here how many journals I have filled through the years. My typical journal entry is a prayer, usually spilling out all the worries and fears crowding my mind, then making some requests about how I think the situation should be resolved. If I write long enough, I may manage to end with some form of, “…but I will be content with what You make happen because You know best.” Sometimes, that’s just how life works for us Type-A planners.
God must have known I needed a while before I could get to that place of contentment because two weeks passed before we got the results of the interview. Through all those days and pages of journal prayers, I started to feel a reshaping of my thoughts and emotions. I realized that my fears of the unknown were keeping me from supporting someone whose track record proves his commitment to our joint cause. He has always put our relationship ahead of work and never made me feel like I was less important…or that my work was less important.
I think so much of early married life is lived in the Great Unknown. No one tells you that you won’t get your dream job right out of college. You have to learn how to make decisions about work together at times when it might seem easier for a single person. For example, when we were both offered great jobs an hour apart within the same week, we had to decide where we would live and who would become the commuter. In that case, Luke traded his man-truck for a Honda and found a lot of books on tape. In this case, I may have to give up some time at home with my husband, but I bet we will find other great ways to keep our marriage strong because we are both committed to doing so.
My biggest lesson in this whole situation was that my support for the job will strengthen our relationship more powerfully than if I were able to prove the new circumstances would hurt us. My choices now are to complain and be the source of tension or cheerfully decide to make this a positive experience.
Luke got the promotion and is already doing an amazing job at it (in my completely unbiased opinion). Maybe it will eventually open a path that takes us away from the town and job I love, but maybe it will lead somewhere better than what I would have dreamed if left to my own devices…and in that unknown lies the adventure.