When Your Love Life is Disappointing

As close to the edge of our bed as possible I lie with my head buried in my pillow. Eyes burning with tears. Defeat. Frustration. Hurt. Failure.

Broken pieces pile high and pierce my soul.

The door opens slowly.

I feel the slouch in his shoulders – the pain in his steps.

I don’t dare to speak, for I don’t know what will spill out. Instead I pretend to be asleep.

He crawls into bed.

I don’t move. I barely breathe.

Minutes pass, but sleep is like a dream that never comes.

It’s as though we’re worlds apart, yet somehow fumbling together to keep the pieces from completely shattering.

But maybe the pieces are already too shattered?

Tossing and turning the other way, I smile that the feet of my grown man nearly hang off the edge, yet he looks so much like our five-year old getting his pillows all situated.

My heart softens ever so slightly.

I want to reach out and fill the distance between us, pick up some of the pieces and my trusty Elmer’s glue, yet my pride keeps me frozen once again.

For I can see the creases in his face. The way he tilts his head back in defeat – maybe he’s already given up.

Maybe I have too?

love life

These past six months our marriage has taken quite the beating (probably the hardest part about moving to a new place – for both of us).

When I half-teased about the time I almost left our family in the blustery winter, but couldn’t because my husband hid the keys? Yeah. It wasn’t because of the kids.

Those six tiny humans made straight from our love were what kept me in the warmth of the house. I could just picture them scarred for life over the one wintery night mom walked to church through the blizzard and snow drifts and fell asleep on the back pew. ;)

Yeah. We’ve had some awful nights.

Two sinners scrounging around amidst the mess.

He’s felt the blow of my flaws, the ache from my sin stabbing, and it hasn’t always been pretty.

And both of our hearts have been busted and banged up – this holy softening.

For when you choose to love, you choose the broken.

No one ever told us we didn’t really know who we were marrying. That who we exchanged vows with – is not who we roll over to find lying next to us a dozen years later. That when you say, “I do!” is when the story really starts.

That the beauty is found in loving the stranger you find yourself married to – day in and day out.

your love life

And I’m a whole lot worse than I ever dreamed.

Yet real love sees the scars, the wounds, the shattered, the ugly, and yet still loves wholly.

And then I feel it.

The soft brush of his hand in mine.

The forgiveness spilling down like the tears on my cheeks as he draws me close.

A love whispered through God’s strength alone.

And we talk of where to go from here.

And the mess we make of things.

And we stay up way too late mending the pieces together.

Laughing, knowing that the six blessings down the hall will not let us sleep in come morning.

Us all wrapped in sacred sheets and holy grace.

This day in and day out of learning to love again each new day – I’d rather do it with him than anyone else in the world!

And this love that he shows me, shows me the love of Christ.

A love that knows the deepest, darkest, ugliest parts of me, and yet doesn’t treat me as I deserve – but loves me wholly.

Memorizing Psalm 103 with us? Here are this week’s verses. See how God loves us!? What beautiful grace!

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
Psalm 103:9-10 NIV

9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Psalm 103:9-10 ESV

Last week… What We Need When Feeling Behind
Related… What Love Looks Like

Comments

  1. Laurel Liebl says:

    Prayers for you and Gabe, Jessica. And your six precious blessings.

    ~Laurel

  2. I’m so sorry your marriage has been struggling, but I’m so thankful for your transparency and your encouraging words. I don’t always take the time to comment, but I am always, always blessed when I see you have posted and read the words you have written- mostly it seems like they’re just for me!
    One line that really resonated with me was, “I’m a whole lot worse than I ever dreamed.” So true!! My husband and I have been married 11 years in January, and just moved from rural NY to the south side of Atlanta, GA last month after three months of him living and working in Ohio while I held down the fort with our 3 kids at our house in NY. Needless to say, just living in the same house again has been an adjustment for all of us!! I totally understand the stress a move can put on your family, and I will be specifically praying for you in this!

    • Carrie, Your words are so encouraging. Honestly, some days have been hard, but also really, really good. I never imagined how much I would learn about God’s sweet grace through marriage. Always learning, always growing.
      Love to you and that sweet family of yours!
      ~Jessica

  3. Jessica, Thank the Lord he doesn’t deal with us according to our sins. Although we are so deserving of this. Thank you for sharing. I am sure these past 2 1/2 years have taken a toll on you both. You have been stretched and molded in ways I am sure you never thought possible. We are doing a marriage study in our small group right now and one thing that I keep remembering from that is that we DO have an enemy and it’s not our spouse. Our enemy would love to see your marriage and all marriages fail miserably. Putting two sinners together to live day to day is a disastrous recipe. Yet, somehow in God’s design and grace we do it and flourish at times. You in your valley are in my prayers friend. Keep walking, crawling, whatever you need to with God. Love you.

    • Amy, thank you for your sweet words. Oh, how I am constantly amazed at how God continues to move and breathe through us – whether we are wretched, wrinkled, or lovely! Yes, these past 2 1/2 years have been stretching. Hard – but so, so good. During those two most difficult years we clung to God and each other like never before. It’s taken me by surprise that when things got to be not-so-difficult it’s as though we’ve (I’ve) had to re-learn everything all over again. ;) So thankful for this sweet love, forgiveness, and grace that He keeps pouring out on us. Just where God wants us to be – leaning more and more into Him.
      Love you! ~Jessica

  4. I always appreciate your transparency! It’s amazing how bad we are and yet how much God loves us! I was just talking to the kids about this last night! A move is rough on a marriage. Praying for you! Thanks again for the encouragement that you are to me!

  5. I love your website Our Family For His Glory! Been reading a lot of your great ideas and decided to read your blog about marriage. Made me cry. Why is so…hard for Pastors wives to admit they struggle in marriage and relationships just like their flock? Anyway, I’m a Pastors wife for 26 yrs. and a former home school Mom and I just appreciate everything you’re doing for Christ’s kingdom and His glory. The transparency and honesty you do it with is truly a gift of grace (you favor us with a real faith story to encourage and lift us up) to all your readers. With a Grateful Heart and prayers for blessings on you and your dear family,
    Margie

    • Margie, What a true blessing to read your words, and to hear the sweet encouragement God brought me through them. Thank you! I appreciate it more than I can say. And your precious prayers are greatly appreciated.
      ~Jessica

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