Right as I sit down to write it starts raining.
I baked, cleaned, laundered, dished, mommed all day. All I wanted was to tap keys on a dry deck. But here I am having done my duties feeling discouraged by not being able to take my pleasures now. So, I’ve scooted under the awning. While I’m pouting about it a little, words are flowing over here like they would out there.
Thank you, Lord.
Marriage. I want to write about it today. Derek is aware and urging me on to do it, so our story sprawled out here has his exuberant okay.
Let’s not begin at the beginning though, as that would be arduous and boring and it wouldn’t serve us well. Let’s start a few years in.
We had been married for three-ish orbits. We had been parents for one.
We didn’t know who we were, what we wanted, or why we were there. He wasn’t much interested in me or anything I had to offer, and I wanted to cut loose over it. I’d already left in my head, my heart just needed to follow, because there are few things worse for a woman than being over-looked by the one she loves. So, why linger? I had other options, if I’m being honest.
But, I also had fear and respect for the vow.
And I had an underlying hope for the future.
Unfortunately though, I also had an unhealthy belief that if I was just better, smarter, prettier, sexier, more exquisite… I wouldn’t have had to suffer the neglect, that it was all my fault somehow. That last part there was nonsense. That first part – about the vow and the hope – that was good.
And it’s what got me through.
There are a lot of God-stories I could tell you about the years that followed. I’ll spare you their detailed descriptions.
Just know that Derek was undone and then redone again. It felt like a reweaving.
I had a whole host of issues to work through too. Still do. But D’s change was fast and dramatic. Sometimes when I watch him preach I feel a happy pang of whiplash. How did we get HERE? How is he doing THIS? Who is THAT person? I’m married to A PREACHER? The man that hated public speaking and despised reading books is teaching every week and soaking up his Bible all the time now? Has been for ten years? It’s weird and fun and terrible and strange and amazing and divine all at once.
A few nights ago I was lying next to him in our bed as he read a book, and I watched in silence, wondering what would have happened if I’d have left. I would have endured the worst days only to have missed out on the best. I would have traded his struggles and fallacies for new ones. I would have lost. I never could have imagined then, this man I have now. He is far from ideal (as am I), but in pursuit of my heart, and that draws me in.
Before I close, I feel like emphasizing that one word there: missed. Again, if I had jumped ship when things were lonely and rocky back then, I would have robbed myself of the relationship and oneness I have now. And that would have been a devastating forfeit.
If someone is reading this who did leave, please don’t feel condemned. We all have our own reasons and seasons and stories, and glorious things are ahead no matter what. If someone is reading this that is in an abusive or unfaithful marriage, this is NOT your cue to stay. If someone is reading this who is having a hard time, feeling hopeless, wandering what to do – maybe it’s for you.
Prayer and time will tell.
May your marriages be strengthened and filled with power and turned right side up again. Amen.