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?
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.
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