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. We hardly know anyone anymore and it’s difficult to think of making new relationships.
But something about evening, the smaller attendance and seeing some familiar faces made me more attentive and grateful to be there. I could tell he was alert as well. We caught up with Adam afterward which was sweet for our souls. Rarely, if ever, do we get to have a conversation with him these days. There are just too many sheep. “How’s marriage?” We were honest; we’ve been struggling. He was encouraging, admonishing us to keep pressing in—it’s worth it, friends. We believed him. He offered, if ever we should need, to make time for us. I took that to heart.
We went to dinner after, just the two of us. I can’t remember the last time. Conversation was a little easier, honest thoughts were wrapped in care and respect. I thought of things to ask him. But he was still on his phone and watching the baseball game behind me throughout dinner. I was feeling patient and gracious so it didn’t bother me in the moment but I can admit that upon reflection it makes me a little sad. If he had done neither of those things, what would we even discuss? But I was still grateful for an evening that wasn’t merely superficial, one that had inspired some measure of hope in both of us.
I lost it all later that night. Sometimes I choose adamantly to believe he doesn’t love me and try to convince him of the same. It wears on him and he sees no way out so he gives up and shuts down which, in my mind, further proves my point. And I am left alone with spiraling thoughts. I become absolutely convinced that he neither loves me nor is capable of loving me because I do not think myself lovable. But how much does that really have to do with him? Only a little.
“I am embarrassed for behaving like a child.”
“It’s okay. ... I snuggled you in the night. That’s how you know I love you.”
“That’s right, you did.”