I have often struggled with the uncomfortable feelings of dissatisfaction with the unrealized expectations I have had about aspects of my life, particularly about my exceedingly high expectations of the beauty and joy of marriage. The daily evidence, at least according to my perception, of failure to achieve the feeling I desire of constant connection with my husband in our unity in love for God and for each other and our family; unity of purpose and direction; and unity of desires for righteousness, have led me to many moments of dissatisfaction and disappointment. I have often faced moments where I begin to feel the stirrings of doubt in my ability to humbly and contentedly accept and follow the leadership of my husband as he continues to strive to lead in righteousness.
I have realised that I do not have this same challenge constantly in other aspects of my life, so there must be a way to apply that ability in my role as a wife. Through many callings (voluntary assignments) in the Church, I have learned to follow leadership humbly and contentedly even when I perceive weakness or very different points of view--somehow I am still able to feel one with my Church leaders and follow their counsel and direction. I am able to see past the struggles of the moment with faith in the inspiration from God which led to each person being given their particular assignment within the "family" of the Church. I sustain those people in their callings by following them. I have also been able to face my own weaknesses and lack of confidence and meet the challenges of my responsibilities within those callings with faith and endurance. That ability has continued to grow over time and through the varied callings I have experienced.
How can I apply that knowledge and experience to my most important callings (President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign May 2012) within my own family? I believe that the answer lies in having enough faith, hope and charity to accept the "enabling power of the atonement" (Elder David A Bednar, Ensign, April 2012) in my own life and faith that that power extends to every member of my family who will choose to accept it. I must remember that I am at the beginning of the journey of marriage and "happily ever after" doesn't happen while in this life but right now I am in the work of creating that "happily ever after" during my own "once upon a time" at the beginning of my marriage story ("Your Happily Ever After" by Dieter F. Uchtdorff, Ensign May 2010).
Maybe the level of challenge I face with my calling as a wife is because of it is a calling of much greater importance? Perhaps it is because I have had expectations of perfection during the probationary and practice period of marriage? I know I made the correct choice in choosing my husband and in choosing to marry him for eternity within the temple. So now, I must continue in faith that through the Atonement of Christ, I do find joy in marriage now and will find it even more fully in the future as long as I never stop striving in faith to be a worthy wife.
Related Article: "Celestial Marriage" by Bruce R. McConkie