Becoming Kindred Blog

Learning to Love

I heard this song, Just Give Me A Reason, last week and rolled my eyes at the first couple of lines. But then the lump in my throat grew as I heard these words,

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

That’s us. That’s probably a lot of others as well. It’s my friend, Beth’s 10th anniversary today and she wrote a beautiful and honest post, New Kind of Sexy, that I’d love for each of my readers to read. I don’t want to take away from her post and originally, I wrote what follows below for Dan while listening to the song that I mentioned; it wasn’t something that was going to make it to my blog. After I read Beth’s post (where she included this song) several times this morning though, it made me realize that there are so many of us struggling in our marriages. Struggling to keep it together, wanting so badly to love and to make it work, and feeling so very alone in the struggle. Often we don't see the broken pieces in a marriage until they are irreparable. Sometimes in the past, I have felt like I was going to choke under the perfection that others seemed to indicate that they saw in our togetherness. Few, very few, will ever hear the details of our story; there’s no need really. But I/we will never choose to put up a front that is not us and we've been blessed with some who will guard our story as they walk with us. Many will never see beyond the Christmas card smiles to see the fight, prayers and determination that have gone into those clasped hands, that loving smile. There will always be those who believe that love has been easy for us. And that’s okay for perhaps on a scale of comparison it has been. I don’t know. I only know that staying together, choosing love, and choosing one has been hard. And good. And worth all the fight because we’ll keep learning to love. We aren’t meant to do this alone, we need the support of others if we’re going to make to the next fifty years. I hope that this little glimpse into us, into our story gives hope to another in their story.

We talked and talked. We laughed. We touched. We fought and we apologized. We made babies and laughed through tears as each one was placed in our arms. We wiped each others tears as they fell for the loss of one baby and then another. We told our secrets, some in the choked murmur of shame in the passing years. And the battering rams began. We were alone, just the two of us trying to raise our babies, trying to live our simple life, trying not to drown in fear, in lies, in hurt, and in the darkness that seemed so thirsty for our light. There was nowhere to go. Nowhere to turn. Never enough time, enough sleep, enough money. Never enough. Just two broken people standing across from each other at a kitchen island in hopeless defeat. There was an ultimatum. One so broken, wanting to please, wanting forgiveness, and quick to say, “I’m sorry”. One so broken, steeped in anger, filled with fear, determined to live in honor, and wanting to forgive. It doesn’t really matter who made the first step, who picked up the phone, who made what mistake. What matters is that hands met and made new promises, that there was wisdom and grace answering the phone call that’s been repeated many times since, and that Love can make right.

 

The story isn’t over. The scars remain. The deep rooted weeds need digging out, over and over. Two broken people. The breaking point never seems far off. The tired in my mind is reflected in your eyes. Harsh words flow too easily and blame is an unattractive, itchy sweater. But somewhere between the prayers, the honesty, the words of those who’ve been there, done that, and the choice to keep going, we remain. When I wake in the night to face the ugliness of memories and old scars, your arms hold me close. When you tell me that you booked that wedding job, I start the high-five.  We commit to a month of affirming each other and laugh at the ridiculous things that we say. But it works even if it was ridiculous. Slowly the things that we believe and appreciate of each other begins to come out. I don’t know if two broken, messy people ever make a completely beautiful whole in this life, but we get glimpses. And the glimpses are glorious sometimes. Love is a word often lightly tossed around like in the way that Cecily says, “I wuv green beans.”, when tomorrow she might not. Love is often seen in the red roses that Aneliese pointed out to me the other day and said “They were wayyyy too expensive to buy.”.  But Love, it drips with blood. It’s dragged through the dirt and the rocks and is surrounded by ugly, but keeps going.  It pulled two people who felt destroyed into each other’s arms. It keeps trying. It keeps going. Sometimes the love of two is held up by the love of others. Love is hard. But sometimes it’s all there is. It's what holds us together.

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