Remember when I said that I’m fighting you? Well the truth is, I’m not and it feels to us both like you are winning. Sometimes I’m willing to concede to the idea because it’s easier and doesn’t require me to change my worst patterns—an impossible task. But...
He’s not a bad man. In fact, he has one of the purer hearts I have seen. His intentions and his loves are true. His convictions are firm and just. His heart is soft underneath. I spend too much time thinking about how he is not perfect.
I see you. You lie to me so often, I hardly notice. You tell me he doesn’t love me. You tell me we won’t change. You tell me hope is lost, fear is fine and comfort cannot be found. While I easily and quickly believe you, you’ve been noticed. I see you and I’m fighting you.
Last night was wonderful until it wasn’t. We went to the new 5:00 gathering for the first time. We had been discussing how it has felt difficult lately; the church hasn’t felt like home for some time, like it used to.
Sometimes marriage is flinging every hurtful word just to spread pain and ensure you’re not alone in yours. Sometimes it’s throwing things when you know you shouldn’t, and doing it repeatedly. There’s that anger again, just like when you were a kid. Sometimes it’s threatening to leave because you just want the fight to end though you never meant it.
It’s interesting that—suddenly, and triggered by a stranger saying to another stranger on the phone, “I’m really excited to see you”—my heart can be flooded with a feeling of longing for all the people I miss. The brain is _______ like that. I couldn’t find the right word for it.
It’s been almost a week now and I’m still trying to process. We’ve had such a story, he and I. A tumultuous one filled with mountain top moments and deep despairing valleys. When the proposal finally came, for us it would mark a massive and miraculous triumph, bringing an end to a long and, at times, back-breaking battle. I wanted it to feel like a victory cry and I wanted us to metaphorically cry that cry together, to the world, at the top of our lungs.
We sat on a bench in our favorite not-so-secret secret garden in Queen Anne, enjoying the sun. He said casually, “Oh I finally did some modeling for Zulily, I’ll show you.” Surprised and genuinely interested I began scrolling slowly, per his directions, to find the photo of him. He told me it would be subtle. It was not. A large, grinning Tyler with a sign in his hands that said, “Chelsey, will you marry me?” The caption read, “I do—Do you? The deal of a lifetime.” I thought it was a joke and then I knew it wasn’t.
Valentine’s Day has never meant much to me. I spent most of my life without someone to call a valentine so I came to regard it as nothing more than the day you buy obligatory cards for all the kids in your class or wish a happy day to those that did have someone special. I wasn’t bitter about it. It just wasn’t for me. But this year I forgot that my guy is sentimental and squishy inside—which I love—so I hurt him when I planned over it. But that’s not my point. He gave me a letter he had written to me four years ago. It starts like this, “You’ll notice there is a gap between my previous letter and this one.” Yes, he has been writing letters to me for years, even when we weren’t together and this is the first one I’ve ever seen.
Yesterday, February 7th, was what I’ve deemed Best Friendship Day. It’s the day that Tyler Johnson asked me to be his best friend (jokingly when we had first met). Of course I said yes but I had no idea that we would actually become best friends. Yesterday marked 5 years since that day. Let me tell you, being a best friend is hard work and each day we keep learning more and more about what it actually means. I’m so thankful for you, Tyler. Yesterday you kept me sane through a 12 hour work day and demonstrated so well what our Best Friendship Day is all about. I am thanking Jesus for you.