When I woke up on this day nine years ago, the tap of raindrops hit steady against the window. Good luck for a wedding day, so they say.
The water that rained down last night, on the eve of our anniversary, was a different kind indeed. The water softener has been acting testy. He went to the garage to fill the salt and then there came an explosive boom. Without even opening the door I saw evidence: water seeping into the house from the garage. I opened the door and there he was, fighting to gain control of the slippery shut-off valve while countless gallons of water sprayed violent as a hydrant, flooding the garage.
This morning we’re left with stubborn remnant puddles and faucets that aren’t fauceting.
I’m tempted to say that days like these represent the latter in for better or worse. But I don’t think it’s true. Not when there are couples battling cancer and addiction and loss–troubles far thicker than water.
Last night, as my head was about to split in two and we were sweeping water from the garage long after bedtime, I snapped at him. He snapped back. But when he came to bed I stretched my feet across until I found his. I’m not mad at you. And then, I’m not mad at you either.
The two of us can go for weeks–months–sailing smooth waters. A place for everything and everything in its place. But there are seas of choppy in which teenagers test and water floods and the seven-year-old spills purple paint on his bedroom carpet but forgets to tell you for a full forty-eight hours. Tides will surely rise. Waters will swirl. Winds will howl and storms will rage. Seas of choppy when all hands on deck don’t seem suffice to bail the rising water.
There was a time when I thought of my husband as the captain and myself as first mate. And so when things went wrong on board, it was easy to point a blaming finger at the one who sailed us into troubled waters.
I’ve learned a thing or two within these nine years.
My husband is not our captain. He and I both are skilled sailors. Our vessel is manned by The One who rebukes the wind and the waves. The One who causes the oceans to obey. Our Captain walks on the waters. He calms the most ferocious seas. He promises that when the tides rage and we batten down the hatches, He is with us even then–always–using those choppy waters for our good. And I know without a shadow of doubt that He will sail us to safe harbors, one route or another.
With that realization firmly in place, I can most assuredly tell you that there is not a soul with whom I would rather share the boat. Captain and crew included.