There are always those moments in our lives when we stop and think back, the “what have I learned” moments, the days when we cut back and grow. Lately, it seems that every day and every moment is one of those stretching and growing moments, often painful in that very instant. Being engaged has been one of the most blessed seasons and also one of the hardest. That seems silly almost, for how hard we both fought to get to this season. And maybe there is a lesson in itself: that we are always working toward a moment that is never a plateau. That each ledge we reach and reach for, the ones that are finally reached, turn out to be mere stepping stones to even greater heights.
And those are the moments where you know there are greater things at greater heights, but selfishly, you want to stop climbing. You want to coast and put on cruise control. But the love we are called to, the love designed to precede and then produce marriage cannot afford to coast- so still we climb.
Normally I wouldn’t share a letter, but these words from Andrew so effortlessly describe with perfection where the two of us stand that they need to be shared- today I was so frustrated by life itself- by the facets and details that just keep breaking down and not working out. It seems that everything these days is another hurdle. In the midst of it all I find these words across my eyes–
Things haven’t seemed to go our way recently and the world seems to be doing its best job of turning even our best and closest allies against us. Now this isn’t a “us against the world” battle cry, we are woefully incapable of winning that. It’s a “us relying on the God of all creation” battle cry against the crappiness that sometimes finds itself raining upon two people who are just too damn tired of being apart even in the same city and want to just experience what life is like together on a daily basis. The beauty of love is that it finds itself just as ravenous as the flesh in that it seeks and seeks until you believe it will give in when it gets to another level of closeness but woe, (or not so much woe) it clamors for more.
We thought simply living in the same city would be enough but that feeling challenged us more until we sought for more. The lovely thing is that that day is nearing minute by minute.
We’ve been challenged more to unite with one another to face obstacles and for arrogance and frankly, I’m quite grateful for it even if it does suck at the moment.
We’ve had to change from facing one another (sometimes as combatants) to facing other problems and communicate through it all.
We’re not perfect but we’re certainly better than we were the day before and the day before that.
The nature of love is an ever-present need for greater proximity (or more so, intimacy). We’ll learn to serve one another better and believe me, you have been such a blessing to me through these last few weeks (you always are).
When our backs feel like breaking, thankfully we aren’t alone. This journey requires the strength of a God who is faithful when we are faithless and strong as we are week. Thank the Lord our success as a married couple isn’t dependent on how much we stand up to fulfill our inadequacies but by the moments, in anguish and frustration, that we lay down our weapons and ask for provision, peace, and joy.
A few nights ago at church, our pastor begged the question of what our communities would look like if our actions and movements were to chase the “who’s” of our lives rather than the “what’s”. And it was the most perfect moment of confirmation for the move that has still (for too long) littered my mind with guilt and doubt. The boy in my life is the greatest “who” and day after day proves to be worth moving for- worth shedding the independence I have always held so dear. To learn to serve, to learn to listen, to learn to love- in a new and better way each and every day.
And he is right- we are not perfect. But we are figuring out each day that we will continue to fail each other. We will continue to not be enough. But as we work together to seek Jesus and the way He loved the church through the way we treat each other, we have already seen peace fill the spaces and the very pores of how we love each other.
We are having our “what have I learned” moments every single day, these days. But “these days” are changing us and cleansing us. We are now, more than ever, a team. And because of that we can still say to the world that fights us- bring it on, for we are not alone.