Faith, Fun, Fashion, & Family

Faith, Fun, Fashion, & Family

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Being perfectly honest is best...

Above Artwork and Phrase
by Tabitha Seaton

My best friend & husband of 10 years passed away over 4 months ago unexpectedly. During the mourning process, I am trying to make sense of what was left behind and what I learned from our time here together on earth. We had an amazing marriage! We shared much more than some do in an entire lifetime and I know I was blessed with him. There is no denying he was the one God planned for me. I know this because I prayed for his arrival months before we met in Art Class at Sam Houston State. After many pointless and painful relationships, I decided to do something I had never done before. My heart was worn, so I gave it to God. This was the best thing I had done in my life at that point.  I put my love life in the fully hands of Christ, because love in my hands always failed. I decided to see love through His eyes and trust what He knew I needed, rather than what I wanted. After all, HE MADE ME and MADE a PARTNER for me.
We married and had 2 beautiful girls, Maisy  (2) and Madelynn (6). We got along marvelously, shared in tasks around the house, worked together well. He made me feel beautiful everyday and special in some way. We hardly ever fought... If we did it ended in laughing and love. We were perfect for TOGETHER... But not perfect individually. Shannon always seemed to have a high self esteem. He was an only child, had a lot of encouragement, was cultured. gifted, and talented. He was a drama teacher and actor occasionally himself. All of these things he did wonderfully... and he knew it too! So did I, he had every right to have high esteem... He also was a great artist, a great musician, a great writer, a great singer, speaker, debater, organizer, lawn keeper, decorator, bowler, tennis player, driver, historian, pop-culturer (is that a word? Shannon would know), house keeper, child bather, navigator, cook.... & the List goes on. We tended to be a competitive couple!  All his bragging led to me having to show him up often and bring him back to humility. My point is, Shannon did not seem to lack confidence in any area of life... I said "seem". He wanted to appear to others as confident. He wanted others to see his polished best. But he was also a good actor. He hardly ever spoke words of self doubt out loud to me, but I had clues. 
I often felt like our marriage was a fairy tale. No bumps, no bruises, scars, or tests. More laughter than tears. It seemed perfect...
I remember very specifically hearing a talk show on the radio while alone in my car about a married couple that had a specific bump they overcame. I though, " I will never have to worry about THAT, our marriage is perfect! But God, is it? Will you ever give us reality, a bump, character, hardship, anything?" Well, God was listening. That exact bump that radio couple had, that bump I thought we were invincible of.. the one area I felt totally secure in, it was the exact specific "bump" we hit in owr own marriage. (Note: The kind of bump we met has no importance, reason, or life to mention, so I will leave out too personal details.)
Till then, our marriage was a beautiful show... a happily ever after play. Only, I was the one in the audience clapping and loving every minute of it.  I was entranced by the spotlight and not worried about backstage and what was hiding behind the curtain. I was seeing the mirage of our marriage. I would soon find out that Shannon was working hard to put on this play, but it was about to get real, just like I asked for...
Shannon loved acting, obviously he made a living teaching others his passion. He directed more than acted himself. But when he did act, he felt confident in the light. He absorbed it. It gave him a confident high. He loved the applause when he was IN character. But, not many people knew this, he loathed the moment after curtain close where the audience came to tell the actors "good job", "will you sign my program?" Or whatever they say. He never wanted to crack out of character.
Although Shannon loved the light when he was acting, when the curtain closed, costume came off, and makeup was removed, my humbled friend was not perfect... He was perfectly real. . This always mysteriously intrigued me about him, cause he always seemed so confident all the time. But, this was an act. He had been hiding his shame & dark flaws from me to keep me happy, cheering, and loving him. But, in the end... when I saw behind the curtain, it did the exact opposite. It hurt. My happiness was in knowing him honestly, being included in his reality backstage; no coverup, no lies, no front, just HIM, Shannon Seaton. This man I admired much more than the strong, confident hero he was playing.
I thought our marriage was "perfect" before the bump, but the bump was what shook us to reality. Raw reality was more beautiful than spotlight fantasy. No matter how much honesty can sometimes hurt a person, it has a freedom beneath. If we let the hurt of the painful truth Go to God, He will supernaturally strengthen the bond and fill your hearts with a forgiveness for the bearer of the pain. This takes time though... Our hearts are human. When we are hurt, we retreat and build walls. This shuts out more than just the one that hurt us... it shuts out GOD! (see Matthew 6:14-15) It took a year of hiding my pain from the audience of our marriage to truly move past it. Being backstage with Shannon took some soul searching. It was a giant change, a leap into reality. When I began to expose it through writing and art, God began making my heart stronger. In turn, I opened it back up to Shannon and The Lord strengthened the trust and bond between us even more than before. 
The last year of marriage, the curtain was closed, spotlight was off, and our it was REAL. I found more honesty over perfection. More humility over pride. A curtain to the Heavens was opened that we never knew was there & God filled our home with His light. It humbly brought us to our knees as a couple. We realized we couldn't do marriage without him. He was our third chord.
 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12
In this year. We learned more about God, each other, ourselves, love, forgiveness, honesty, sincerity, grief, healing, trust, and the refreshing spirit of human imperfection linked with the deep thirst for the Perfecter.  If there's no perfect people, there's no perfect marriage. But there is a perfect God. With faith, there is a bond that holds two imperfect people together perfectly, but without it... Every marriage, every person fails. Nothing is strong enough without it. In reality, It's not about being perfect (cause NOBODY is), it's about being perfectly honesty with each other. 
God says, " "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made PERFECT in WEAKNESS."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 
2 Corinthians 12:9
I thank God for allowing me to have His beauty and heavenly light in my marriage that exposed truth... while the earthly curtain was closed. I do not regret Shannon's leaving, cause I know it was perfect timing from the Perfecter. He left when our love was at it's highest point. There were no secrets... just reality. I loved a man that was great at many many things. But those things did not impress me much. It was his real imperfections that drew me closer in the end. I know God sees us that way too. For when we boast in our weaknesses and expose truth, it allows God to show his strength and take control. In the wings, behind the earthly curtain, there is a greater spotlight for a greater glory that is eternal beyond this world. 
In my home, prideful perfection is rejected and humble honesty is expected. 

1 comment:

  1. Your faithful decision to gracefully expose truth will most definitely honor the Father! Beautiful!