I’m a couple weeks away from the day a year ago that my husband first left me. It doesn’t sound quite right to call it an anniversary, but I can’t deny that the date, Nov. 8th, carries weight for me. I’ve been thinking a lot about how each segment of this marital breakdown and restoration has it’s own distinct musical score. I’ve had to let each piece of this score be played through to completion before the next one could begin – there’s no fast forward, no skipping over parts I didn’t like (or downright detested), and no deletions.
Psalm 62:5-6 (The Message)
God, the one and only – I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life.
What does that ‘wait as long as he says’ look and feel like though? For me it felt and looked like fermata’s; some discordant, some beautiful, often being held simultaneously. This past summer for instance. I don’t know what my husbands inner processing was like so I can only speak to mine. We were on the go a lot, land and water, reconnecting with friends as a couple again. I don’t know how to even express how incredible the restoration process has been. Surprising gifts from God that I could not have even envisioned. Hang in here with me, I’m keeping it real, trust me! 🙂
A specific story. My husband bought a long desired boat. I’m more of a kayaking/canoeing kind of gal and my experiences with power boating to date had often been uncomfortable, if not downright frightening. It’s almost incomprehensible to me even now, but I have embraced and thoroughly enjoyed the boating experiences. Parking the vehicle and trailer, launching/retrieving tying off, . . . these have all been and will continue to be new challenges for me, but I’m learning within the framework of encouragement and appreciation. My husband wants me to get my boat license so I can drive for him to water-ski. That feels completely daunting, but I’ve started the studying – well I started and stopped so I’ll restart. 🙂 We have made incredible memories on this boat together, with our kids and with friends! Little did I know that what would emerge was a new mode of hospitality. Floating picnics surrounded by stunning views. Hospitality is one of my joys! So where’s the discordant fermata here? Well, here’s the thing. Maybe all the goodness was the treble clef, and the base clef was playing right alongside in my mind. Recurring themes over these months have been, “this is too hard”, “I need a break”, “don’t you know I have questions, lots of questions?”, “why couldn’t you have gone about your crisis differently – was all that shit necessary?”, “are you going to reject me again sometime?”, “do you know that I am looking for changes in you too?”, “do you honestly expect me to drive this flippin’ boat and pull you on waterskis?”.
There is no human way of understanding the stability, rest and joy that comes with waiting on God and knowing that He is at work all the time. He has been at work in all the stages of our marital breakdown and restoration. I don’t know what stage you’re at, but if you’ve got a marriage worth salvaging please draw strength from my story. I can honestly say that those recurring minor key notes of the ‘base clef’ have been lessened greatly and some notes even dropped. It truly is getting better and better and I dare to desire even more!
Something that’s working for me. I have an envelope that contains several 3×5 cards. On these cards I’ve written questions (the ones above included!), statements and desires. I feel like I can lay them to rest once they’re written on a card. When one of the questions, statements or desires gets answered or addressed (not always the way I envisioned) I write the date and a few key words to frame it up in my memory bank. This is helping me to wait and also fully participate in each fermata. If I’m to ask or say what’s on a card then I know God will advise me to do so, but for now the envelope is where they reside.
So how will I mark, how will we mark, November 8th? I have a few ideas, but I’m holding those ideas loosely because it’s way more interesting and meaningful to hold it open palmed. Chances are Nov. 8th isn’t even on my husbands radar screen so it will be kinda fun to see how that weekend unfolds. God knows I thrive on fresh, vibrant new melodies washing over the deeply etched dirges. He provides breathing room for my soul. Please give God the opportunity to do this for you too. He’s okay with messy.