Taking His Hand

At last our grass has been cut. It’s been overgrown and wild for quite some time; out of control and in need of attention. In fact, it has been a bit of a metaphor to me for my life. Especially my married life. In other words, my marriage. Especially in this past week. But even before that. Each time I looked out the window or caught a glimpse of the patch of yard behind our house, it was a reminder to me that it needed our attention. We needed to take care of it.

But instead of taking care of it, we talked about taking care of it. We talked about what we needed to do, but we didn’t make it a priority. Therefore, instead of a green oasis where the girls could play or through which we could walk barefoot to pick flowers from the rose bush, we had a mess of weeds and a breeding ground for mosquitos.

It’s funny how we can see something every day and even acknowledge that it needs our time and attention, but if we don’t choose to make it a priority, if we don’t choose to do something, we are saying, in effect, that we don’t care enough about it. At least not in that moment. We can wish we had done something about it that day. We can want to do something about it tomorrow. But until we choose a different response, nothing will change.

That’s how it was with our marriage. David and I both knew that things weren’t what they needed to be. We knew what they could be. We knew what we wanted them to be. We even talked about it. But we didn’t do anything about it. Instead, we continued to let it languish instead of nurturing it. Tending to it. Cutting away the things that needed cutting. Pulling out the weeds, so to speak.

We let it languish until it became a breeding ground for bitterness. For restlessness. For aloneness and loneliness. For discontentment and, eventually, infidelity.

But, like that patch of grass, we are finally tending to our marriage. To our relationship. We have found counselors in Greenville, counselors in the same office with whom we can work individually {David with a guy and me with a woman} and, eventually, together.

It will not be a quick fix. It will require much of both of us. But as we are faithful in the small steps, so we can grow and be faithful in the bigger ones. The more demanding ones. The rebuilding of trust. The re-opening of real communication. The sharing of a life together: hopes, dreams, debts, bills, parenting, fears, hurts, victories.

It will not be easy. But it will be shared. With each other and with God. That is where we truly went wrong. Where we stumbled. But as he promised, God has been holding each of our hands and he did not let us fall. And he will not let us fail.

And so it is only with him that we are walking slowly in a new direction. Together. Again. At last.