As I sat typing a response in the comment box to a Billy Coffey blog post at Katdish’s place regarding the survival of love separated by both time and distance, my phone rang. Either my husband is calling to say “hey, love you” because I was a turd this morning (yeah, he does that cuz I had my knickers in a knot because I erroneously and stupidly got riled about something trivial and dumb) or the ring is because something not good has happened.
It was the latter reason.
When the first words outta his mouth are “I, uh, need you to pray for me,” I initially think okay, sure. He must have forgotten to tell me about something going on at work today. But, more words tumbled out, slowly at first, then in rapid-fire succession.
Went off the road.
Swerved for a skunk.
I need prayer.
Spun a few 360’s right in the middle of the freeway.
Don’t know why I didn’t flip.
Thought I was going to flip.
Car was outta control.
Why didn’t I flip?
And then he followed it all with another, “Will you pray?”
Yes, baby I will, I did, I will. Tears drip now. That man is my love. And despite being separated on two different occasions (initially for 125 days of complete separation in college soon after marrying and then the recent relocation separation than spanned close to one year with sometimes weekly visits), our love continues to grow stronger and deeper.
Sure there are times when I wonder who this man is. But I reckon he wonders the same about me. As he likely did this morning when I bolted outta bed with nary a kiss nor a hug because I got in a twit over his response to my question about trying to find the clear report covers in our myriad of boxes.
Our love history’s short version is that we were best friends in high school before realizing love was knocking around in our hearts. We were not Christians at the time. No. That perfect love of knowing the Lord enraptured both of our hearts while I was pregnant with our son. He came into our lives at just the right time. Of course.
We had no good examples of marriage in our families, nothing to draw upon when times got rough as new parents, and new Christians with a whole lot of re-learning (how to live and think and act and thank and love). Thank the Lord He was there in our midst, holding us together when we thought we would burst into a million pieces. So now, we are beating the odds. Started dating in high school, me 17, him 16. Married five years later while in college. And today? While he’s losing his hair and mine is turning up some random whitish-silver sprigs, we are still married 16 years later. Here we still are. Us, with God at the center.
So, now I sit at this keyboard crying with thankfulness that the Lord saved my husband after he swerved to miss a stupid, stinking skunk. Why did He do it? Why did He protect my man? Oh, thank you God. And (God and husband) please forgive me for being a poop at 4am, soon after the alarm sounded. Even though I didn’t start the morning right, neglected the undercover hug and cuddle, I am thankful God helped me straighten out my heart before my man left for work. But did my husband know I did? Did he realize my feeble attempt at a funny was my way of offering a pathetic “sorry?” Did he feel my devoted love in the doorway hug?
As usual, I stood at the window and prayed for his safety as taillights dimmed in the distance and darkness enveloped me. The wood stove crackled with fire and my heart surged with heated love.
My man holds not only the key, but my heart. And thankfully the Lord holds it all.
Praise God for travel mercies. Praise God for the kind man who stopped. Praise God. I will be thanking Him all day. And I eagerly will be anticipating my husband’s return tonight and the husband-n-wife doorway hug and ensuing family group-hug (including our 6-year old son who adores and copies his daddy every chance he gets) and drop-to-our-knees-with-gratitude prayers that will also ensue.
Ya know, during our relocation separation and the hearts-flung-underneath-a-truck-tire feelings associated with it all, our love actually grew. Despite what some may think. A friend had the audacious gall to say to me, “Oh, I don’t know how you can do it. I would not survive. I have never spent a night away from my husband. We love each other too much to be separated.” Okay, I admit that I wanted to smack her. Right upside the head. And even yell, “Do you think we chose for his mill to downsize?! Do you think we chose for a job to open 5 hours away?! Do you think we chose to rip our family apart?!” But what really irked me was that she seemingly had no idea of our love, nor that God holds it in the palm of His hand. How can someone only measure and validate love by the time spent in each other’s arms?
What I should have said was, “Ever since we met the Lord, we have sought Him and tried to heed His calling and follow His plan. Upon hearing of the job losses, we prayed for doors to open. And a door opened with a job offer. What were we to do? Disregard God’s provisions? I think not. Even if we don’t understand or like or agree with God’s answers, He answers.”
And on another note, it is true that sometimes when two are separated, love becomes an ideal thing. Meaning that you forget about the pesky and/or quirky habits of your loved one and only focus on the entangled heart strings. That is okay. I reckon God made us that way for a reason. The real test, when you know the love is true and will endure, is when you are reunited and the heap of dirty socks, annoying snoring spurts, or forgotten honey-do list items don’t strangle you with your entangled heart strings. But rather, hold you together with a strength that allows for continued growth.
So, Billy, I must say thank you for that love post. I see now that it was written just for me.
Last Sunday after church my fellas were still looking sooo good that I needed to snap a couple of photos. Here is the instant replay of getting them to stand still in an area where the light was just about right… And really, my people-photos leave a lot to be desired. My guys are way more handsome than my camera captures, because unfortunately it can’t show you their hearts…