A Letter

I haven’t been here much lately. The blog had to be set on a shelf for a period and different areas of my life had to be tended to and discovered. My journals are full though. God revealing Himself in muddy waters hasn’t stopped. It has just been a time that those things had to be dealt with privately. I wrote a letter to a dear friend who is suffering at the hands of the same dagger of infidelity this morning, and at the end of the email I realized that I had said everything that I needed to say here.

~~~~~~~~~

My sweet friend,

How are you? I keep you at the front of my prayers and think of you so very often. I hope that you find more days that have peace than not, and that the Lord is being so gentle with you.

This week has been a hard one for me. A lot of issues with the husband crept in and had to be dealt with, and with those dealings brought (and brings) new waves of panic, fear, exhaustion, frustration, loneliness, longing, and my list could go on.

I found myself searching for sackcloth, a pile of ashes, and a piece of pottery to scrape my wounds with so many times in the past few days. The ugly cry that sticks in your throat and the mountains of bricks that sit on your heart seemed to plague my nights. I haven’t had that kind of grief in a very long time. It was..well..just hard. But, true to His beautiful nature, God has been tenderly nursing my wounds and drying my tears one at a time. Some of the anguish is being replaced one sticky barbed wire piece at a time with slivers of joy and peace. He is proving faithful, yet again, to carry me through the dark waters and deep gullies.

I’m reading a book called Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. Certainly a memoir that is moving, but she also talks a lot about grace and the periods of anguish that end up growing us the most to ultimately bring us to places that allow us to look back and reflect on hardships as being bittersweet. So bitterly difficult, yet so preciously sweet because they make us better people and draw us closer to the Father if we can only choose to face those hardships in the Light of the Son and His grace.

It’s exactly the place I’m standing in right now. I hate this period of my life. I hate what it’s doing to my children. I hate that they are being cheated by this broken world. I hate having puffy swollen eyes because I spend more nights than not crying. I hate having to defend my position of waiting and mercy and faith to people who are quick to tell me things will never change and “once a cheater always a cheater.” I hate looking at the man that I love so deeply and have my mind play a dirty dance of wanting to kill him vs. wanting to run to him and just hold him. I hate it.

But…I wouldn’t trade it.

Because in this period of grief and sackcloth and hate, I’ve discovered that I’m a woman I never knew I could be or would want to be. And I’ve discovered the soft hands of the Master as He lifts me up and carries me. I’ve learned that God is big enough to handle me being frustrated with Him, and that crying out to Him in exhaustion and screaming about my lack of understanding of His sovereignty in a broken world doesn’t mean that I’m blasphemous or faithless, it means that I’ve entered a realm of being a friend of God and that we now have a living breathing relationship.

Bittersweet, indeed.

I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know if your nights look like mine. If your conversations with God sound like mine. Or if your eyes stay puffy and swollen, too. I would imagine that we’re not too different. Because this world hurts. And is cruel. And hurls darts and blows that wound pieces of us that we didn’t even know we owned. Because life is messy and ugly and muddy and bloody.

So, I’m praying for you. I’m tasting the bittersweet waters of Mara alongside you. And I’m standing beside you in full faith and hope of the time when all things are made new.

I love you.
Ezekiel Girl

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Sitting in Sackcloth

They wore itchy burlap. Shaved their heads. Tore their robes. And sat in ashes. For days. And weeks.

Universal Biblical signs of sorrow and grief.

We don’t bother blow drying our hair. Stay in our pajamas. Eat ice cream for dinner. And spin sad statuses on Facebook and Twitter.

Such is sorrow and grief in 2012.

I’ve been wearing postmodern first world sackcloth for quite sometime now. These past few weeks have been raw-edged paper cuts to my heart, and I’ve been reduced to a puddle of mangled mess. The tears come with no warning, and it’s safer to sit in solitude than to expose my dirty edges to mean-wellers and back-patters.

I’m just sad.

I’m not hopeless. Or giving up. Or throwing in the marital towel. I’m not depressed about time lapses. Or just now realizing the expanse that tragedy reaches.

I’m just sad.

Because everything is so very broken. And under attack. And Satan is alive and well and ruling this world with the vigor of a whippersnapper with no curfew and his daddy’s credit card.

My young faith once believed that being sad pointed to a lack of hope. That discouragement and grief were evidences of not believing God enough. That somehow these hearts of ours that were created in the image of the Almighty God that clearly grieves over sin and brokenness were not allowed to. That joy meant digging deep and finding spiritual happy places, and if I couldn’t do that, then I was spiritually dysfunctional and handicapped.

I don’t buy it.

After searching the Scriptures and sitting in the Presence for lengths of time with nothing outpouring but my tears, I feel as though I have been granted permission to be sad. And to be grieved. I think it’s Biblical.

Jesus Himself was a griever. The brokenness of our world had to have brought our Christ to His knees more times than is sketched out in the Gospels. It was, afterall, that very grief over the human condition that caused the Father to pack His Only Son’s suitcases for a 33 year trip to save us from ourselves.

Then there was David. If God played favorites, that guy would be it. He cried out to the Father so many times in anguish that I’m almost certain his knees carried permanent bruises from pounding the hard floors of caves and his palace alike, and his eyes must have been bloodshot from teary weariness. David was sad. A lot. (Read the Psalms. All of them if you have time. If you don’t, read 13, 28, & 34 — they’re 3 of my favorites.)

And, then, my main man…Job. Somewhat arrogant, but ever sincere in his grief. He lost absolutely everything except for a whiny wife and 3 know-it-all friends. And what did he do? Tore his robes; shaved his head; wallered around in ashes; cried out to God; maintained his integrity; and worshiped. (Job 1:20; 2:3; 2:8)

Hold the broken pieces of pottery.

What?

He worshiped.

And, therein lies the key to it all.

He worshiped.
David worshiped.
Christ worshiped.

Could it be possible to be sad and mournful and have eyes that can’t blink fast enough to keep the tears from flooding over and still have a heart for worship? Can I possibly cry out in anguish and praise Jesus in the same breath? Can the two marry eachother for a time and it rectify out to be okay in our over-spiritualized brains?

From this broken heart: Yes.

I get it wrong more days than I get it right, but I have found such rest and peace in the midst of the grief since I have allowed myself to do just that: grieve.

I’m not, for even a breath, advocating depression. I’ve walked down that cragged road and stubbed more than my toes on the boulders that litter that path. Depression is a dark and dank place that is spawned from the most cruel places of hell. Depression holds no light and stifles hope. It breeds morbidity and turns all focus inward. If you feel those feelings, get help. Fast. It’s not a place where Jesus would ever want you to be, and the glory of God doesn’t shine there.

No, depression is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the freedom in Christ to mourn the blasted effects of sin, and to cry out for deliverance and hope for a better time and place.

And to worship.

It may mean that the heaviness of the tears render me helpless on the couch for a week, but that doesn’t have to mean I’m hopeless.

It may mean that, for a time, I forget when to laugh and interject sassy sarcasm, but that doesn’t have to mean I’m crushed in spirit.

It may mean that I’m distracted and disjointed in my conversations, but that doesn’t have to mean that my faith is fractured.

My God is good. And real. And alive. And though I don’t understand His inner workings or the way He can ever work things of tragedy together for good, I’m desperately in love with Him. I’m humbled everyday by His tenderness and gentleness with my very broken self, and I’m so enamored with Him that I will follow Him to the ends of the earth. I will bruise myself more times than I will keep my faith squeaky clean in the process, but, blessed for me, He loves me more for it. And, I know, just as He did for David and Job, and the other beautiful Bible people that worshipfully grieved, He will choose a time to grab my hands and lead me out of the pile of ashes and restore me to a time of prosperity.

I am sad.
My life sucks right now by worldly standards.
I miss having a partner, a husband, a best friend.
I hate that I have to breathe prayers over my children that God will show up in real ways as their Father since their earthly one has failed them.
I’m tired of gossip and hushed stares in my direction.
I’m weary on all fronts.

But I love my Jesus.

So I will sit here. Soaked in ash. And outfitted in burlap sacks.

Drenched to my bones in dirty hope.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…..Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:8,16

Dirty Hope

HOPE

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I have the word hanging all over my house. I doodle it. I sing songs about it. And I overuse the word in almost all of my sentences.

Hope. Hope. Hope.

And like the picture above, which happens to be the screen on my phone, the word just looks pretty.

Pretty hope.

A pretty friend of mine who is pretty dear, sent me a pretty book in the mail the other day. (Let me interject here, too, that the amount of love being shared with me is pretty o.ver.whelm.ing. in itself.) The book? About hope. Pretty beautiful.

I opened the book last night and within only the first few pages was hit square in the jaw with a concept that I had never faced before.

Hope isn’t pretty.

Hope is far more a waiting for something in a hot, sticky mess than it is a peaceful, orderly affair.

Scripture calls Christ in us the Hope of Glory. Jesus’ life was not sterile. He consistently plunged into the unclean places of people’s lives and hearts.


And my favorite, when the author relates hope to those of birth pains and tells of a story of South African women whose culture lends itself to a gathering joining in the groanings of the laboring mother:

The beauty of the wail comes from a deep sense that says, “We are suffering together. We are a bloody, hot, sticky mess, but we will get through this. As we enter the chaos, we have a deep sense that it really will all end sometime. That is our hope.”

Hope is dirty.

It’s sticky and messy. And just downright nasty and yucky on most days.

Because if things are simply beautiful and right, hope isn’t needed. Hope is required and leaned upon in the most sweltering, mind-numbing, groan-inducing times.

Jesus is our Hope.

But had the world been right, He wouldn’t have had to come. And if all were right now, He wouldn’t have to come again. And when He came and when He comes again, He’s coming to save us from filth and grime and the grotesque pieces of a very dirty life.

Hope is filthy. It’s covered in soot and mud and has rolled around in the ashes.

Why else would we HOPE for beauty from ashes?

Yes, I still think of hope being the light in the dark. The rainbows after the rain. The breath of fresh air.

I see hope on the sun-kissed cheeks of my children. In the majesty of the dainty flowers that are tucked behind my ears by the chubby fingers that picked them for me. In the smell of fresh cut grass.

I see hope everytime I look into the face of my husband. And I feel it wash over me as I whisper prayers to the Lord.

Yes, hope is beautiful.

But the grittiness of it might just be more gorgeous.

Because without the dirt and filth and the hot, bloody, sticky mess….how could we ever truly relish in the comfort and peace and perfection that will come when what we are hoping for happens and the chaos ends?

I have physically been in hot, sticky, bloody childbirth labor three times. And each time I thought I would never survive. But I did. And I have absolute perfection times three that stares me in the face every day because I had the hope of the end of that labor.

People can say all day long that childbirth is beautiful. It’s not. It’s a disgusting mess of horror…until. Until the hope baby is seen. And all the tears and sweat and filth are an afterthought because the hope brought forth the prize.

The labor is long for me right now. I’m hot and I’m tired. I’ve been known to scream a time or twenty, and I certainly cry. Waiting on my husband is a hot, sticky mess.

But like the Africans from the author’s story, I’m so blessed with a support system that has chosen a hard road of suffering and groaning with me. They haven’t left squeamish at the sight of the blood.

And I have my Precious Hope of Glory, who has already walked the most dirty, bloody, sticky road of suffering and shame.

Yes, my hope is dirty. Boy, is it.

But, oh, how beautiful the dirt will be….one day.

***All quotes from The Allure of Hope: God’s Pursuit of a Woman’s Heart by Jan Meyers***

Jesus Mows Grass

Spring has sprung here in the South.

And my yard was a living breathing jungle.  I had put off yardwork long enough, and I knew that something had to be done to tame the masses of weeds and crab grass.  This was to be a first for me.  Yardwork without the husband.  I have mowed and such for years, but the husband has always been there to get everything running and just to, well, be there.  Not so anymore.

I summoned all of the fragments of girl-power that I could, and I headed to the garage.  And stared the beast in the face.  I would prove victorious today.  I would master this living-on-my-own thing.  I would mow the yard without a man.

Until I didn’t.

The lawn mower wouldn’t start.  And the weed eater had left the building with the husband.  I had nothing to do anything with except one of those old handheld weedwackers that would have shriveled up and died before it even touched the acre of yard it would have had to manage.

And so I did the only thing I knew to do.

Cry.

I plopped myself down on my front step and just cried.  Not because I felt defeated over having zero idea how to get the lawn mower running, but because I was mad.  Absolutely furious. 

How dare he leave me here to have to deal with all this stuff that is his to worry about?  How could he be so selfish?  So unfair?

God sat with me and held my hand for a long time this morning.  He reminded me tenderly of a time when all the gloom will disappear for those that are distressed (Isaiah 9:1).  And He comforted me with songs of thanksgiving.

And then He did what any Perfect Bridegroom would do.

He mowed my yard.

The smell of cut grass is wafting into my house through my open windows, and the tears are continuing to stream down my face.  Because, right now, there is a beautiful young man who belongs to a family that is so ridiculously precious to me mowing my yard.  He just showed up this afternoon.  And the kids ran to tell me that he was mowing.  And I turned to a pile of mush in the floor.

You think Jesus didn’t send him?

I know He did.

Because stuff like yardwork matters to my Husband.  And He’s going to make sure it’s taken care of.

Because He loves me.

He Texts Me; He Texts Me Not

Every morning and every night.

Like clockwork.

I think I did miss one night because I fell asleep when I was really sick, but I think that’s been my only slip up.

Every morning and every night, the husband gets a text from me that tells him that he’s special and that he’s loved.

Somedays he gets the text even if he’s been awful to me, and other days he gets the text if the last thing I want to do is tell him he’s special. Because there are a lot of days he doesn’t act special.

But, it’s something that I feel like I’m supposed to do. And not because I’m being clingy or needy or holy.

But because I want him to know he’s special. And loved no matter what he’s done.

Plain and simple.

I texted him the first time with that message the night he left me. I can’t remember my motives that particular night, probably passive begging for him to come home. But, for whatever reason, I sent another the next morning. And then that night. And so on. For almost 5 months now.

Sometimes he texts back. Sometimes he doesn’t.

But I can’t make myself not send them. I’ve tried.

Just a few days ago, I thought I had had enough of this whole watching and waiting thing. I was ready to check out and move on. I had decided that I would stop my texts cold turkey, and that, among other things, would cause him to realize that I was done. That he wasn’t going to get to continue to feast at the table of adultery, while resting easily on a pillow of knowing I’d always be around.

But nighttime came and my hands grabbed my phone and a text was sent before I knew what I’d done.

Same thing happened the next morning.

So I prayed about it and begged God to guide me. Pleaded, really. Because I, in no way, wanted the whole texting thing to become about me and something I needed to do.

I neither received any Scripture reference to texting an infidel nor writing on the wall pointing me in either direction; I just felt like it was okay to text him that night. And so I did. And again the next morning. And on and on. And I texted him this morning, too.

Hope you have a good day. I love you.

That’s it. Nothing flowery or profound. Sometimes I tell him that I’m praying for him. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I tell him that I miss him. Sometimes I don’t.

I don’t know what he thinks when he reads them. He may think I’m a crazy stalker. He may secretly love getting them. He may dread them. He may look forward to them and wait for them. I don’t know.

But I think I’m supposed to keep sending them.

Because it’s important to know that you are loved and that you are special. That your sin and faults don’t dictate your specialness to someone who loves you unconditionally. That no matter how badly you hurt someone that loves you so much, they don’t quit on you.

I can, with almost 100% certainty, say that the husband isn’t in the Word right now. I, however, am blessed to be. So I only have to open the pages of Scripture and set my mind on the Lord to remind myself of my worth and beauty. He’s not taking hold of that privilege right now. So, if I can serve to be a reminder of unconditional love (not only mine, but Christ’s), then so be it.

I continue to have days that I feel like dirt. Like trash. That I wasn’t worth enough to fight for, so it was easier and better to just trade me in and set me out for garbage. It’s not an easy feeling to go to sleep swallowing. Let alone wake up the next day facing.

What I don’t want is for my husband to ever feel that way. No matter what he does, he matters to me. And I don’t want him to ever feel like he’s trash or not worth the fight.

[Insert lectures on boundaries and criticisms about making things too easy for him here.] I get it. Nine out of ten people probably disagree with what I’m doing. And, like I said, I wanted to stop, too. It does seem like he gets the best of both worlds. He doesn’t have to know what it’s like to do without my love, because I continue to give it freely. Again, I get it.

But, just as I said before, my hand continues to reach for the phone to do it. I’ve prayed against it, because it’s not easy or comfortable for me. And yet still, the texts log.

Because maybe it’s important to him. And it is making a difference for him. I don’t know what God is doing in his heart and mind (and that drives me crazy, because I want to know!!), but maybe my text messages are being used for a greater purpose. Or maybe they aren’t.

But, for now, all I know is that the texts will probably keep being sent. Morning and night. Like clockwork. Until God tells me otherwise.

Because he matters.

And he needs to know it.

[This is for me. It may not be for you. If you’re the victim of infidelity, God may not lead you to wait and watch and send text messages. I would never question your stance on handling your spouse in an adultery-victim situation. We’re all different and called differently. Waiting just happens to be what God has called me to do. It’s not easy nor fun, but it’s what stares back at in the mirror right now. Please don’t judge yourself or me based on what God asks the other of us to do. And if you have never suffered at the hands of adultery, please don’t lay judgement at the feet of those of us who have. Survival takes many shapes and colors, and if there were a cookie cutter formula then we wouldn’t be facing this epidemic in the first place.]

Once a Cheater….

Yesterday I received a text from an old friend who was checking in to see how things were going. My support system is precious, and I’ve been lavished upon with a pretty extensive one. So “hey, how are you?” texts are beautifully frequent. And they make my days so sweet.

But for every couple of hardcore supporters, there is someone who doesn’t understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. Some are more vocal than others. Some are quick to tell me I’ve lost my ever-lovin’ mind. And on most days, I tend to agree with them.

After a few pleasantries with my friend yesterday, the text came through that I could feel looming in the air.

You know, once a cheater; always a cheater.

Wow. Those are heavy words. And I’m pretty sure that I’ve had the very same verse escape my lips more than a time or forty. But those words couldn’t have hit me harder had he taped them to a ton of bricks and hurled them at me.

I understand statistics. I do. I really do. I’ve read book after article after journal on the subject of infidelity, and it does seem that the adage proves true more often than it doesn’t. Once a cheater; always…

But, the thoughts started to swirl, and it made me so very glad that God doesn’t listen to statistics. Because I’m pretty sure that if I had enough minutes to spare, I could make quite an extensive list of adages that would give plenty of reason for God to give up on me.

Once a gossip; always a gossip.
Once a liar; always a liar.
Once lazy; always lazy.
Once a skipper of her Quiet Time; always a skipper.
Once a girl who lost her temper and yelled at her kids about dirty clothes in the floor; always a girl….

Silly?
Yes.

But how ridiculously grateful I am that God doesn’t deal in statistical analysis of my sin. The Word says He throws our sin into the depths of the ocean (Micah 7:19) never to be thought of again because He has compassion on us. And Praise Jesus for that.

Let me interject here and say that I absolutely believe true repentance is a part of that whole redemption process. I don’t want to come across as if I don’t understand the complex and intense significance of confession and making the 180* turn.

I most certainly do.
And believe that is that the first and foremost key in restoration of my own family.

What hits my heart with supernatural force is that the possibility and HOPE that it can happen.

It’s the same hope that allows for alcoholics who now celebrate days, weeks, years, and decades sober. The same hope that produces gorgeous testimonies that glorify God in the most beautiful ways but were bred from horror and evil on the streets. The same hope that allows for a tired mom who dishonored her child with her words in the heat of an exhausted second to be placed back on her pedestal the next day.

And it’s that hope that spurs me on to wait and watch and pray for this man that I promised my life to.

Because I believe in the power of Jesus to change hearts and lives. And the use of absolutes like “he’ll always cheat” or “he’ll never change” seem to deny the power of the Almighty God and His miracle capability.

I absolutely do not expect people to understand the stand I’ve taken. Because, like I said, I don’t most days. And I’m absolutely aware that my position is not the only position to take for spouses in my spot. I’m not mega-holy or a martyr for staying. Divorce is certainly Biblically justified for cases of adultery, and I believe whole-heartedly that it is justified for many marriages who have walked the rocky roads of infidelity.

It’s just not for me, right now.

Right now, God says, Wait for this big gorilla of a man.

He hasn’t told me why I’m waiting. He hasn’t promised restoration for my family, but there must be purpose.

Once a cheater; always a cheater.

Realistically, maybe. Free will in this very broken world could lend itself to that.

But, I know my Jesus.

And my HOPE lies in Him. In the One that is fully capable of making this the new story, the story that I pray for without ceasing:

Once a cheater; now redeemed.

Empty Beds and Full Floors

There is a set of bunk beds in the room across the hall that hasn’t been slept in for four months. Four months. The camouflage jungle animal comforter on the bottom bunk has only been pulled back and crawled under during games of hide-n-seek, and the blankets with the BMX bikes on the top bunk only catch dust, not dreams.

There’s another bed down the hall that now is more of a wrestling ring. It used to hold a pre-teen who needed his space, and now it holds three brothers who can’t stand to be near or away from each other.

And I love it.
And hate it.
All in the same breath.

It’s 11:03 p.m. as I’m typing this, and I have the feet of a tiny seven year old in my face. It’s his turn to sleep with me tonight, and he fell asleep with his fingers wiggling his two loose teeth. There are two pallets in my floor, one on each side of my bed. The other two boys are snoring and sighing in their sleep. The one with the freckles has a death grip on his wolf, Wolfy, but would kill me if he knew I told you he still slept with a stuffed animal. The pre-teen with his peach fuzz and disdain for deodorant fell asleep after he kissed me gently on the cheek and told me I was beautiful. A good husband that one will be.

And so we have slept for many a month. Taking turns rotating through the pallet/mom’s bed cycle. Snoring breathy baby snores in gorgeous unison. And leaving perfectly good beds untouched and unslept in.

There is safety in numbers, I guess. And all four of us are feeling a bit unsafe. We’re scared. And unsure. And it’s just a little easier to stomach the fear if you know you aren’t sleeping on it alone.

I’m asked often how the boys are handling all this madness. And my answer is honest. They’re doing great.

Considering.

We haven’t experienced rage or silence or violence or tragic rebellion with the boys. The textbook is proving wrong with my three so far. And I throw my hands in the air and push them as high to Heaven as I can in an attempt to voice praise and thanksgiving for it. In fact, my kids are better kids now than before. They’re more attentive, kinder, more respectful, and more appreciative than I’ve ever known them to be. And I’m, for the first time, truly truly honored to be their mom. I’ve always been proud of them. Now I’m proud of them.

They’ve stared devastation in the face and were faced with a choice. And, so far, they have chosen to choose to hang on to Jesus with all the grip their tiny fists can muster. And I love it.

These three precious young men have witnessed miracles of Biblical proportions. They know our faith story, and they have been active in watching God provide for us. Their prayers have transformed from asking for grace over green beans and for winning baseball games to fervent pleas for their daddy’s safety and protection and for milk money. Nothing will bring the salt water to your cheeks like hearing a dear one who can’t say his “r”s ask Jesus to “bwing” his daddy home or thank God for “miwuhcles.”

And it’s not me. Don’t pat me on the back for perfect parenting. Not for a second. My children witnessed more horror in the months last year than anyone should ever have to be exposed to. Their father was an icy statue in their home, and their mother was on a spiral of self-destruction that almost left them orphans. They somehow picked up the pieces of their crumbling home and took the burden upon their tiny backs. Those children carried this family and were strong enough to grab hold of their mama’s hand and love on her instead of rebel against her. Jesus has carried my boys tenderly and has given them the strength to dig deep. No, it had nothing to do with me….

So what do they know? They know that “daddy is making bad choices.” And they know that their mama sounds like a tired jukebox stuck on one song when she repeatedly climbs her soapbox and rattles on about God’s plan for husbands and fathers being that they are to stay with their families. I have tried to share truth with them, yet honored my husband. I don’t trash talk him, and I have to bite my words when giving my “bad choices” speech, but I try to show respectful honesty. They know nothing about another woman, and my prayer is that it remains that way. To feel traded in and cast aside is a feeling that I will go to my grave bearing and protecting my children from if I can. Oh, that they would never feel such grief.

I’m a mom. A woman. Raising men. And praying everyday that God would reshape their legacies. That they would grow to respect and honor the model of husbandry and fatherhood set before them by the Perfect One, and that they would ache to become that kind of man.

It’s safe to say that the boys and I are all taking one day at a time. We pray daily for their father’s return to our family, and their childlike faith believes it will happen. We don’t dwell on what we’re missing though, and that is definitely done more out of self-preservation than forgetfulness. We have developed new habits and new ways of doing us. The majority of pictures scrawled in crayon of our family don’t include a daddy; and though it saddens me, it is our reality we’re living in at this moment.

It’s almost midnight now. I still have feet in my face, and I can hear the rustling of the boy by the door shifting positions.

The beauty of the moment isn’t lost on me….

You may remember my very first post here. The very raw, blood-curdling Sleeping By the Door. That post was written when our bed was still warm from a husband who had just left.

Four months later, I still hate sleeping by the door. And I’m frustrated that I’ve been placed in a position to have to. But how beautiful is it that God very silently urged this new co-sleeping pattern?

Because not only does a mother hen love having her chicks brooded in tight to the nest, but there is a primal feeling of security and safety in numbers.

But, also, God knows my resentment towards doors in the night. So He decided to step in and handle it. I believe with all my heart that my Perfect Husband Himself is standing guard at my door, but the beauty of what is happening right now is almost too much.

Because there is right now a strong, gorgeous man-child that is sleeping by the door.

So I don’t have to.