Changing My Name

Knew I would do it once I married.
I wanted to do it.
I was looking forward to doing it.
But wasn’t quite as prepared for the emotional aspect of actually doing so. Names, I find, are powerful. I loved the idea of being joined under one name. A similar sentiment to how a spiritual family is united under Christ’s name. There is a sense of unity, harmony and security too as each family member bears the name of the one who’ll protect them. Incidently, God has set the role of the husband and father as the main protector over his household. The husband holds the primary responsibility to God for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of his family. (Not that the wife has no responsibility, but I believe the husband is designated to hold the primary role.)

So…after the wedding, we applied to get marriage certificates. We requested two wallet sized certificates as that’ll be the easiest way to carry them to each place that I need my name changed at.

First stop, at a registry to change my driver’s license. All other places will require photo ID so this was the natural first stop. While at the registry, I changed my name on my car registration and the Health Care card. Then I hit up the bank. Which meant I needed a new set of cheques as well. At this point I started to feel a little nostalgic as I’ve held an account in my name nearly all my life…I almost didn’t recognize my account or my cheques seeing my married name on it. Car insurance came next, then my place of employment and of course, Revenue Canada. Slowly, I contacted the cell phone company, charitable organizations, doctors and dentist…etc. (I left the passport though…will do it when I have to renew since it costs as much as a new passport…and I had just renewed mine before the wedding.)

With each name change, I felt a little…unraveled. Little threads of me that has been pulled out and into the past as I get woven into the present and future with Skywalker.

It’s not as though I’m losing myself or anything…but I acknowledge that I MUST let go of certain areas of myself in order for Skywalker and I to build something TOGETHER. It’s not as though Skywalker “has it easier” in building a marriage either…he now carries the burden (and joy!) of protecting and providing for those who carry his name…just as Christ does for His bride the Church. Certainly no walk in the park!

Ultimately, marriage is more than the “on paper” joining of two people held together by some common interests. If common interests were to ever change (and they always do) then what’s left to hold the marriage together? Of course having the same surname isn’t the glue in a marriage either. But it’s a way for me to show I’m committed to building a new life with my husband. And the more ways we can show this commitment to each other throughout time, in tangible ways or not, the stronger, I hope, our marriage will be.

Did/would you change your name? Why or why not?

Before You

“But we destroyed that hard drive.”

In recent history, we had a near nuclear blow up in the house. The extremely abridged version of what went down was simply this: a hard drive that wasn’t supposed to be destroyed, was destroyed along with the hard drive that was supposed to be. Abounding amounts of God’s grace and mercy was flowing in all the affected parties and so a nuclear blow up was averted. Much to my immense relief.

I would say the main two sentences of causation boils down to these:

“If you asked which hard drive to pull out before assuming you knew, then this wouldn’t have happened.”
“If you clearly told me which hard drive NOT to pull out instead of assuming I knew, then this wouldn’t have happened.”

This of course boils down to both of us probably thinking, “I wouldn’t have made that grave error before you came along.”

“Yes, probably not, but I wouldn’t have made that grave error before you either,” is the reply that both of us would’ve probably had as well.

Fact is, when you’re the only one receiving information and making decisions with it….there just is less chance of error. When there are two or more parties in the chain of information, it almost becomes like a game of Telephone, or Telephone Charades. How one person conveys the information could be received differently than intended. Inevitably, something gets lost in translation as assumptions will play into all parties.

“Don’t you know when I do or say this, that it means that?”
“No, when I see or hear that, it obviously means this!”

Sigh. Makes one want to operate by themselves doesn’t it? But that defeats the whole purpose of marriage, which is to join two individuals so they would share one heart, spirit and mind. This doesn’t happen once you get married of course. This process of unifying two (usually self-preserving, self-centered) individuals takes a lot of time and work, trial and error, clarifying and re-clarifying, sweat and tears. I’m convinced the end result will be far better than operating by yourself. You become a better person as a result of that journey. A well-made joint decision is a BETTER decision rather than just a non-erroneous decision.

It just, well, it just takes a lot of work.
Then start sooner rather than later. =)

One

At a wedding in Vancouver this past weekend, the officiating pastor said something that really resonnated with me….and I paraphrase:

In marriage, something mystical and mysterious happens…it is God who joins the two to become one and you need to submit to that process.

Okay it was WAY more eloquent spoken by the pastor…anyways…it spoke to me because though we might do the joining of bank accounts, merging of closet space and kitchen items, joining of calendars, etc, there’s yet a deeper level of joining together. One that isn’t physical or tangible…but spiritual.

Too often I believe we fail to realize there is a spiritual joining which is the glue…and that unless this spiritual union is made complete, everything else can easily crumble. I’m not entirely sure what God does to make two into one…but I think submitting to that process involves things like practicing grace, extending forgiveness, being humble, patient and compassionate, swallowing pride, denying self-centeredness, self-entitlement and self-preservation. And I think it takes courage, bravery…and vulnerability. Ultimately, it takes trusting and obeying God.

It’s hard to submit.

But do I want this one-ness or not?

I Do.

 

All of God’s best to Myshkin & Wren as they start and navigate this Journey together!!

Unraveling Together

There’s a line in our wedding vows that read :

“I promise to respect your individuality and love our oneness.”

I specifically picked that line out of a long list of “I promise…” lines for our vows. It’s very easy to use those “two becoming one” clichés without a further thought of what that means to live it out on a day-to-day basis. You have two individuals…hammered and shaped by their own life experiences…enclosed within their own skin…possessing different ideas and triggers…with minds that will never be completely known by the other…committing their lives to merging together to form one functioning unit. It ain’t easy.

I’m seeing now what our officiating pastor meant when he said “Love is a form of dying. It takes a lot of dying to yourself. It takes a lot of, sometimes painful, unraveling of who you once were so you can start weaving two tapestries into one fabric.

I confess there’s been some more-painful-than-expected moments where we found ourself saying to each other, “You have to respect ME for who I am!” But then what? What’s the process for moving from respecting each other’s individuality to loving our togetherness? How do you celebrate stubbornness coming together?? How do you move what seems to be opposing elements so they’re in the same direction?

I know it’s only been a year and a bit of marriage, and I know there’ll be even greater struggles to come, but there has been and we’ll continue to have “frayed at the edges” moments. And the frustrating thing for the Blue/Green personality in me is that there are no checklists or procedures to follow to make this togetherness just happen. We just had to talk, ask questions, get frustrated, cry a little, ask more questions, talk more, sort emotions from fact, clear pride, identify insecurities, ask questions…and repeat. And then we found, as we gained clarity and understanding, that a thread has been woven from me into him…and vice versa.

Yes marriage changes you. But it doesn’t change you into a different person altogether….your individuality is still there…just woven into each other. In a new and richer way. In a gracious and more self-less way. When I see that happening…it’s totally something to love!

Any more tips on how to “respect individuality but love our oneness”?

 

I Wish I Knew…12

…Personality profoundly influences behavior

This is the last chapter of “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman. And while I know personality affects behavior…I didn’t know how it would come out in my marriage. I didn’t completely know Skywalker before we got married. Who really ever does though right? I’ve heard it said that getting married itself changes you as a person, and you continually change through time, so it’s impossible to fully know your spouse. Some people use this as an excuse to end a relationship. “I feel like I don’t know him anymore” or “She’s no longer the person I married”. I think those are selfish and lame excuses…granted some changes in people become very harmful (i.e. addictions, abuse) and separation is waranted…but believing someone will never change or that you know someone 100% is a little naive.

Skywalker first entered my consciousness four months before we started dating. (Though interestingly our social circles have been overlapping for 10+ years). We dated 8.5 months before getting engaged. We were engaged for another 9 months before getting married. Can I say I completely know Skywalker? No. Do I need to completely know him before deciding to marry him? No. Am I aware that I’ll be discovering a lot of things about him/me/us along the way? Absolutely. It’s why we wrote into our wedding vows to “love who you are. And love who you’ll become.” That’s actually something I’m looking forward to! It’ll take work. It’ll take effort. It’ll take a little unraveling of myself (and him). But changing together is something that will weave our marriage tighter.

The book brings up these personality pairings:

  • Half full or Half empty :: The classic optimist/pessimist pair with the optimist more willing to take risks and the pessimist being more cautious. I’m more of an optimist compared to Skywalker.
  • Neatniks and Slobs :: Pretty self explanitory. If the “slob” can’t do something exactly the way the “neatnik” wants it, then either the Neatnik takes care of that item from now on, or accepts how the Slob takes care of it. Thankfully, we’re both pretty neat.
  • Dead Sea and Babbling Brook :: This is the observer, who takes everything in and divulges little, compared to someone who’s compelled to speak everything they see, hear or think. I think I babble a little more than Skywalker…but neither of us are super talkative.
  • Pointer and Painter :: One gets straight to the point and tells you only what’s necessary and the other describes the complete picture…with all the detail and context you could possibly want to hear about. We’re a little of both…and in slightly different ways. For example, I give brief instructions but will paint how I’m feeling. Skywalker gives detailed instructions but is brief about his emotions.
  • Passives and Aggressives :: Passives wait for things to happen, aggressives make it happen. I think we’re also a little of both in that some things we’re passive on and other things we’re aggressive on. Sometimes when I want to make something happen is exactly the time Skywalker wants to wait on it. And vice versa.
  • Professors and Dancers :: This is talking about the logic versus intuitive minds. Skywalker’s definitely all logic. I’m a bit of both.
  • The Organizer and The Free Spirit :: Lastly, this describes the scheduled/organized verus the spontaneous. We’re a little of both, but again, in different areas…just to keep us on our toes.

Often opposites attract each other. It seems to balance out great at the beginning when everything is tempered by the euphoric “in love” feeling. “I love her spontenaity!” “He’s such a good listener!” But when the daily grind of life together in marriage carries on, you may find your spouse’ personality restrictive. Or dull. Or irresponsible. Etc.

We’re learning that at the end of the day, you are who you are and your spouse is who s/he is. Marriage isn’t about YOUR comfort and happiness as much as it isn’t about HIS/HER’s comfort and happiness….it’s about finding unity as ONE couple. We need to respect and empathize with each other’s comfort zones. Love never demands the other person to “do it my way”. Loving someone means doing what you can to find out how you can accomodate the other person better. Loving someone also means to graciously accept what can’t be changed.

Love each other. Love who you each become.