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In the aftermath of an intense marital conversation there is a reeling. A plucking of the heart by calloused fingers on bloodred strings. Sucking sounds in my head, as if a vacuum has whooshed the air right out of me.
It takes me a while to recover.
I hold firm to my bedrock faith, gripping the robetails of Jesus, knowing that His love for me is greater than life. And surely greater than an intense conversation.
And in the waiting, I chew on the conversation over and over. What he said. What I said. Why he said it. Why I said it. Was it productive? Was it generous? Why the disconnect? Are we always so disconnected?
Then worry pounds at my mind’s door, demanding a spot in my living room.
Pound, pound, pound.
It takes gargantuan effort to resist opening the door.
I turn, as always, to the hallowed pages of Scripture, where wisdom rests. Where intense conversations are safe, not worrisome. Where rest replaces fear, and faith replaces doubt. It strengthens me.
Growth is never comfortable, I read somewhere. There is safety, some might say, in sameness, but the risk is in the losing of what should be.
My husband is content with familiar sameness, he says; while I am never content there, and run wildly ahead, thrashing through swamps and brambles, in deep pursuit of growth.
“What is growth?“ he asked. “Define it for me.” I find it hard to define, and beg him with my eyes to understand my words. I have married a linear thinker, and he has married someone who colors outside all the lines he understands. I refuse to believe he will never understand, and feel a knowing that he and I will bumble toward and eventually fall into, oneness.
“What is oneness?” he asked. “Does it mean that you and I should be exactly alike?” I shudder at the enormity of his misunderstanding, or downright ignorance, of Scripture. I am saddened, but encouraged by his questions. Growth is always preceded by a period of tension, and it feels uncomfortable.
And so I conclude, that if growth is being birthed in our marriage, the discomfort and tension is a good thing, not a bad thing. And in the waiting, I resolve to let the tension be.
After all, who do I want to be in charge of my marriage? Me, or God?
And in the waiting, I chew on the conversation over and over.
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