Y2Khaos

Written by Kimberly Green
Messy Marriage Team Member

New Years Eve 1999-2000 - Times Square
Rob Boudon

December of 1999 found me in a local supermarket purchasing a significant amount of canned goods, gallons of water, boxes of powdered milk, and a significant supply of batteries. January 1st, 2000 at midnight, millions of computers all over the world would herald the apocalypse. We would be without food, water, fuel, and Taco Bell for weeks while the governments of the world tried to sort out the “Y2K Bug.”

Law enforcement was beefed up in Time Square as the the Ball dropped, counting down the last ten seconds of civilized society. There would surely be looting and violence in the streets as neighbor turned on neighbor for the last can of tuna.

BUT …

… the Ball dropped, the lights stayed on, and America remained free and at least as civilized at 12:01am as they were at 11:59pm. The hysteria and tension were over, donations of powdered milk to food pantries were the highest in recorded history, AND it would be five years before I had to buy another C battery.

We become very tense when we perceive a threat to our comfortable status quo lifestyle. 

I only want change in my life when I am bored or in significant enough pain I can’t fake my way through. When circumstances in my life begin to shift, I feel very insecure.

My thinking is that as long as I can “keep IT together,” I can control my environment and manage the feelings of my spouse and children until “the storm passes.” I tell myself that everything is okay and deny the actual effect the circumstance (and my tension) are really having on my family.

My husband had a job he enjoyed. He felt confident in his work and trusted by his employer. The economy turned, and finding another job became a priority for him.

Preparing for the impending doom of change became a priority for me

Wise planning for a possible period of unemployment or salary cut turned into paranoia. We were very fortunate, as he found a job before an inevitable lay off, but he was grieved. He grieved the decline of the business and the loss of co-workers who had become good friends.

The best way I knew how to encourage my husband was to deny his grief. My husband was sad, and my plastic smile cheerleading was NOT helping. I felt tense and insecure, but pretended I didn’t, which fed his and my childrens’ insecurities.

The lights had not gone out, and civilization had not ended, so I could still pretend everyone was okay. Life was still happening, but it was different, and …

I had to embrace the change and allow my husband to acknowledge his hurt or I would continue to make my family miserable. 

My lack of faith in God communicated to my Beloved Spouse that I lacked faith in him. My denial had shut down the man I loved. I was worrying about hoarding batteries, instead of building up stores of confidence in those around me. Denying my own fears was not possible without denying theirs.

Programmers could not deal with the Y2K Bug by ignoring it. They established a foundation for their programs that allowed for a date of 01/01/2000.

Our marriage cannot be strengthened by ignoring emotions. 

We need to establish a foundation that allows for times of grief and insecurityto be “… rooted and established in love, so that we may grasp how high, how long, how wide and how deep is the Love of Christ, and to know this love which surpasses knowledge.”

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Linking up with NOBH, Playdates with God, Seedlings in Stone and Marital Oneness Monday

  • I remember that December of 1999 almost like it was
    yesterday. We made it then – thank God. But now many are gearing up for a nuclear
    strike from Iran or an asteroid knocking out the power grid or an economic
    collapse, and are storing up those batteries and water and food all over
    again. But emotional collapse is just as
    real, no denying that. As you say, only
    a firm foundation on Christ the solid rock will keep us steady during the
    storms of life.

  • Ignorance (or denial) never strengthen us. Such a great point. It’s easier to see that in others (it’s the nature of the beast)–I have friends I see living in denial to great problems. They surely see issues in me, too. Lord, open our eyes!

  • Kimberly Green

    Heard a song this weekend that has the lyric “just let it go and be amazed by what you see through the eyes of Grace”. THOSE are the eyes I need opened as to see what is really in front of me. Fear is so blinding.

  • Kimberly Green

    I caught a few minutes of a show on the Discovery Channel about people who were ACTUALLY preparing for a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. Fear can be a very motivating catalyst when we meet it and deal with it, or it can be a very convenient excuse for not doing anything- and it seems some people take it to the extreme of Inventing fears to avoid real issues.

  • I think sometimes the Christian culture pushes us to keep it “happy” when that isn’t always the best response. Being authentic, even when it’s hard, is the way to go for sure. And I can relate as we’ve struggled through some really tough financial struggles.

  • My husband had an incredible opportunity to take a job with higher pay and better benefits out in Colorado last year. I wasn’t sure if we should move, but we took a leap of faith. My husband was without work for three months this year. I remember complaining bitterly, wanting to move back where we came from. All that time, he felt like a failure. I communicated to “my Beloved Spouse” that he wasn’t good enough and that I “lacked faith in him.” God worked in my heart during that time, humbling me, redeeming my raw emotions, and instilling encouragement in me to boost my husband’s confidence. I wouldn’t change his lack of job during that time for anything because we were able to grow closer to one another and deeper in the Lord in ways I don’t think we would’ve otherwise. God used something evil and turned it for good. What a blessing it is to know the Almighty, Everlasting God personally!

  • Kimberly Green

    I agree, Lori. Sadly, I think a lot of women who have their main support in Christian culture feel this pressure to say were just “fine”, because what does it say about our faith, our marriage, our ministry, if we aren’t? Thank you for your courage to say NO IT’S NOT ALWAYS FINE, and feel what it is to truly stand in God’s Grace

  • Kimberly Green

    “ALL things work together”….what a great testimony! We often think that we have gone down the wrong path or disobeyed God’s will if things aren’t going the way we think they should…but typically that’s when we lay down our pride and can see what God wants to bless us with. Men have so much of their identity bound up in the ability to provide, as ours is wrapped in security. Many couples don’t endure those times of refining, but your faith in God and one another brought you through! Thanks for sharing, Hannah.

  • Thank you.

  • Love that line! Had to look it up… from Matthew West’s “Forgiveness.” Beautiful.

  • Agreed! We are supposed to be supportive, and we think that means being upbeat. My girls have brought that home to me—painfully—time and again when I would just respond to their difficulties by just saying something about looking on the bright side. They needed me to recognize the hurt, and sometimes, just listen. These can be hard lessons, but they are priceless when we implement our newly gained wisdom!

  • It’s such a hard thing when your man is hurting. Good advice, Beth. Prayerfully and authentically offering support is a tricky road but worth the effort it requires.