The silence was so thick, it pressed on my heart like a vice. I would sit at the dinner table and inwardly fume at all of the imperfections I felt were looming in the man at the head of our table. Hearing him rise and leave in the morning turned to relief for me, giving my mind a break from the reasons we were not seeing eye to eye, or why all of our time together seemed to turn to conflict.
Was I falling out of love with…..
The man I pledged my life to?
No one told me that I could have such lonely, silent times in a marriage. What happened to the days that seemed all so bright and beautiful, and with such “promise.” I didn’t know that the arguments would be heart-breaking and our selfishness would loom in front of me as I washed dishes or folded the laundry, walking babies and being “the wife.”
My loneliness, the disagreements and the love that we had joined together – seemed to slowly fade into busy lives caring for children, filled with exhaustion and short fuses, and a weariness that would cause us both to ignore the problem or “give up,” all together. Because after we said, “I do,” life happened. And it took over. Completely. Until there was (almost) nothing left to the man and wife that God joined together from the beginning of time.
And then this….
The holes that were filled with loneliness, anger and fear of living in this repeated cycle of ” living out of love,” for the rest of our lives, sank so deep that the bottom hit hard. And we woke up one day knowing that we were going to have to grip hard to the only truth we knew.
God’s Promise of hope and renewal.
And my heart took a slow, very slow turn one evening when I was pressing garlic into the soup crock, and heard the front door open and close with the same rhythm I knew to be my man. I could hear the familiar sounds of him sitting on the steps in the foyer to untie the long dusty laces that kept the heavy boots on his feet all day while he hammered and lifted and built. His sighs and the moan as he stretched his tired body off the steps to wash up for dinner sent a so far away tingle of familiarity into my bones. If this was yesterday, I would have walked into the other room to avoid conversation or any approach of his presence.
But this very night, God was moving in my spirit, and I waited at the stove. He walked slowly from the sink, and the scent of lumber, sun and air were fresh in his passing. I never knew that sun had a scent, a fragrance – until I loved for the first time. God gave me a builder. A craftsman – working with his hands and with the elements. And I grew to love this as much as I loved my man. But, falling out of love didn’t take away this memory. And it was another notch in the softening of my heart.
I can’t take one ounce of credit for what God was doing in moments like those. He was chipping away. Some might look back and think what a mess we were. They are right.
Falling out of love is messy, and it is not reality. Your love is like a strong cord. It never really breaks, or goes away. We just let go of the rope, or let it coil to the ground in a loose pile.
The pull and strain of life, babies, work, finances and marriage can shear away at the strands of the love you have with your spouse until there seems to be nothing left to hold onto.
But the love that God joins together cannot be broken.
This series will continue with more of our story from years ago to present, filled with ideas, go-to points and hard-pressing questions.
The authentic walk and talk of my christian life would not be a testimony to God’s sufficient and redeeming grace if you could not see the layers peeled away and the love that abounds today twenty-fold if I did not share this story.
We are all in this together. To God be the glory.