I was in a meeting at work today and someone said, you don’t go huntin’ without knowing what to shoot. Great metaphor, right? It came back to me as I was pouring over these photos and trying to find word glue to hold them all together.
Is it just me, or do big life steps sometimes feel like going hunting without knowing what to shoot? Moving out on your own. Getting married. Buying a house. Having a baby. In each case, the end goal waves like a flag on a hilltop, but from a distance it’s not easy to see the path that gets you there.
He and I. We had this dizzy, rebel love. Think tilt-a-whirl and Hunger Games and whack-a-mole rolled into and fleshed out in two lives. Such steeply-stacked odds we faced, going in.
One of our first official steps was for me to meet his parents and I came away crushed. We were on a plane curled into each other on the way home and he took both my hands in his and he whispered, I just want to marry you right now. I wanted that, too. And so, practically, we did.
Early on, we were short on time. Already I had three babies and babies don’t wait.
Before I gave it to him, I had his wedding ring engraved with a surprise. All the time in the world, it promised, because finally it seemed we could stake that claim. But then, five weeks in, there came a call. He hung up and there it was: Iraq.
When he made it home from the other side of the world we were walking into the mall and a car backfired and he dropped to the ground, gun shy. He got over that part but I don’t think the two of us together have ever recovered from being so short on time. Our days and our hours and even our minutes pass slow when we’re apart and so we typically aren’t.
But life has this way about it. It seeps. It wears. It numbs ever so slight.
I was doing a Beth Moore Bible study and there was this one part about how marriage mirrors Christ’s love for His bride, the church, and how we could rejoice in knowing that at the end of the story, Christ will never disappoint us the way that even the most loving and devoted husbands do. I was thinking it through one night in the wee hours while he slept beside me. I just couldn’t relate. Not my husband. He doesn’t disappoint me.
There are those who say God doesn’t listen to us but I know differently. He listens alright. And if there is a lesson to be learned, He teaches.
There was a lesson in there for me. A very sharp lesson. God used that season of uncomfortable transition and chaos and disappointment and rage to shift my reliance. To rest my hope squarely on Him.
In the midst of that hurt I became a tantruming child. I knew full well what I needed to do but I was obstinate. I had that mountain-moving kind of faith that if I would just dig in and trust Him and do the work that The After would make The Before look like a shadow. That if I’d let Him carry me through that time–however long it took–He’d reveal the most glorious thing.
I didn’t want to. I told Him so–defiant. I fought Him tooth and nail and came dangerously close to reckless abandon.
But He won. And, of course, so did I. So did we.