Sunday, March 16, 2014

I Hope You Dance

My friend and I sit across the table from one another outside the coffee shop and she tells me of three friends who are facing divorce this week.  Three.  Three men who decided they were going to go outside their marriage for intimate relationship and leave their wives and children as a result.  I tell her I know of other friends in my life in this same situation.  We sit quietly and consider the reality all around us.  Marriages shatter.  Children lose the stability of their homes in a matter of months.  These things seem to happen overnight, but truly, more often than not, life slides towards this type of destruction bit by bit until a final blow does a marriage in.  One partner, blind to the commitment, amnesiac of love, decides to pursue a thrill and abandon home and family for a lie.  

My husband and I -- really most marriages at various times -- have experienced drift.  We have let stress or just the drum of life get in the way of our connection.  We have been great roommates and missed the heartbeat of our relationship in those seasons.  Maybe ebb and flow occur in any normal long-term relationship.  The strength of our marriage withstands these periods of involuntary aloofness.  We move along as trains on parallel tracks, efficient and yet not connected emotionally. 

One or the other of us, or both of us will wake as from a stupor and say, "I miss you."  I miss what started all this in the first place when we are humming along functioning without our heartstrings being tied.  We started as friends.  We grew to love one another and our love surprised us.  Over the years I have been critical on occasion, wanting more from this man than I ought to expect from any human being.  I have taken out my aches and hurts on him on bad days.  Commitment means hanging in there.  Saying "I do" means riding out the storms and knowing there will be sun again.  We've had hard days.  We've made mistakes.  We've occasionally forgotten the treasure that is us.

Finally, we remember.  We come to our senses and we remember the goodness of our love.  In seasons like the one we are in now, it takes only a glance across the kitchen and we find ourselves moving toward one another.  We look in one anothers' eyes.  We linger.  We experience the peace of our well worn marriage which has weathered the years and traveled through both great joys and great sorrows along the way.

Just yesterday we had one of those looks.  No music was playing.  My husband heard our shared melody and came to me and grabbed me up in his arms.  He started dancing me around the kitchen.  Delight rose up contagious in our home.  Our littlest jumped inbetween us.  Marriage joy spilled over him as we all laughed, dancing together.  We danced.  Eating it up I smiled and soaked in the blessings of God's good gifts. 

I know seasons come bringing distance and stress. 
More than anything, I hope you dance. 


Barbie said...

Oh this is beautiful. My husband and I have felt the stress of distance in our relationship, especially during over 3 years of unemployment over the last four years. I wish I could say we dance in our kitchen. We have a lot of work to do, but we are committed to one another and truly love one another deeply. Thank you for sharing!

HeartsHomeward said...

Stressful circumstances can just suck the joy out of marriage. I always want my writing to be real -- we have had tangible distance at various times and when I share the highs or joys of our life, it is so that there is hope and light that no matter what any of us weather, there will be another season on the horizon. Sometimes the distance between me and my husband has merely been from my own attitude during tough times. It can make all the difference. I am savoring this season just like we eat watermelon in summer knowing there won't be watermelon (except at COSTCO) all winter long. I'm with you, Barbie. More importantly God is with you. You will dance.

Amy said...

I have told my friends several times that "today I am loving my husband simply because I promised God I would." I am sure he has said the same about me. Our marriage has not been easy but it has always been loving and I pray that we have shown our children that a marriage is worth fighting for. Thanks for sharing your dance for others to see. (Visiting from FB Better Blogs)

HeartsHomeward said...

Sometimes it is like that, Amy. I know. I am glad there is love underneath the difficulty. I write on Marriage every Monday (give or take). You are welcome here anytime. Also, I wrote a post called "What to Count on When you Cant Count on Your Husband" that may bless you. I don't write from a place of perfection, but from one of growth and growing still. You can find all my previous marriage posts under the "Nurturing Your Marriage" tab up top of this page. Thanks again for coming here, Amy. I'll be praying for you today.