we are no different than most people. in fact, after having walked through pain and tragedy with so many people over my life, i think our lives have been easier than most. but struggle is always present and grief is always just around the corner.
like i said…we’re just like everybody else.
what happens to your marriage when tough times come knocking? what’s your relationship like when one of you is traveling through the dark night of the soul? what about when both of you are there?
one of the toughest things we have to do in the shared journey of marriage is to sit across from our spouse and watch them cry. to drink in their sadness and watch the expression of sorrow in their eyes is something that can take our breath away…and leave us feeling helpless.
that’s why building a lifetime of conversation is so important. hear me out…
some of the best counsel we ever give is to say nothing. i’ve watched as people botch the grieving process by trying to talk…by telling people answers…by acting as if they know what the other person is going through…or playing dime-store psychologist.
instead of simply giving presence, people feel the need to give advice…telling people what they should think and feel and believe during the time of loss or heartbreak…as if the goal is to make people feel better as quickly as possible.
although there are many times when all wanda or i have needed from each other was silence and space, there are other times when we have needed more. a lot more. that’s when we need true partnership. that’s when we need the gift of spiritual oneness.
nobody can speak truth better to me than wanda. nobody can say the difficult things to me better than she can. there are no words i am more receptive to than hers. in my darkness, she is the best light with skin on that i have. as am i for her.
that’s part of what being married is all about. a big part.
the truth is, our souls have gone through some dark nights recently. and nobody knows about them but us. this is not about getting sympathy, but about encouraging you.
we have walked every step of the way with each other. we talk. we sympathize. we get angry. we challenge each other to take the high road. we analyze. we hypothesize. we dare each other to believe the truth of god we have staked our lives on.
we make each other remember to see the bigger picture and to love as jesus would.
we let each other feel pain and refuse to cheapen the experience. we listen as we express confusion or hurt or unrealistic expectations. we laugh at each other and hold each other accountable to love at all cost.
we are not afraid to call each other out when we are wrong or off-base in our responses or unrealistic in our interpretations of what we are going through. we are each other’s worst…and best…critic. we refuse to let each other hide or sit in our melancholy unattended.
when others must sit in patient silence, we need each other’s words. along with love and understanding and consolation and quiet, gracious attendance…we are the voices that are raised in defiance over the darkness we are stumbling through.
we are god’s mouthpieces in our union.
that’s what married people do. that’s what we do.
is that what you do?