Gratefully Imperfect

by Joan C Webb on August 18, 2009

Paris dinner cruise-RL-JC pix WEBSIZE 7-09

Richard and I recently returned from a dream-come-true trip to Paris, France. Feeling like stars in a movie, we dined in quaint sidewalk cafes, attended mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, gazed at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, enjoyed a panoramic view of the city from half way up the Eiffel Tower, and cruised the Seine River at night.

Looking at this photo of us during our dinner cruise on the Seine, I remember a story I wrote in It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life.

I wanted to be a perfect wife—to be all Richard desired and make him happy he married me. But my initial goal turned into obsession. I felt compelled to modify my personality, beliefs, talents and hopes to match his. It looked good, but it felt awful.Wedding kiss websize 12-31-67

Eventually my unrealistic expectations led to burnout. The outward me could no longer live in disharmony with the inner me. I had to do something or crumble. Yet, the thought of changing the way we related to each other scared me.

“What if you don’t like me or our marriage when I share the real me?”

“I will,” assured my husband.

At first I didn’t believe him. And truthfully, adjusting our conditioned relational patterns—the way we’d learned to interact with one another—felt unfamiliar and awkward to us both. Yet gradually we’ve grown more comfortable sharing our needs, vulnerabilities and desires.

We’re discovering how to combine who we are on the inside with what we appear to be on the outside. I think we’re growing into the individual persons God created us to be. We’re also enjoying our imperfect relationship–loving our everyday times together, as well as the unique times like Paris. And I’m grateful. Imperfect, it’s true, but grateful.

Normandy hotel trip 7-20-09 062

I’d love to hear from you about your travels in Paris or your experiences as an imperfect, but grateful person.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise Miller Holmes August 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

So good to know you went on your trip-of-a-lifetime with one who accepts you for who you are.

Joan C Webb August 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Denise. Fun stuff.

Allison Sebolt August 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Good thoughts…and good things for me to keep in mind going into marriage…that I don’t have to be afraid of sharing the real me with Matt.

Joan C Webb August 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm

How fun to see your comments here, Allison. Glad you enjoyed. Have a great time as you prepare for your upcoming wedding. And I love it that you are learning to share the real lovely Allison with your husband-to-be.

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