My husband and I are in a very different season of life. We have raised three daughters who are semi-grown (19, 21 and 24 years old) and our youngest two are in college, so our house is mostly empty. It's "our time" as people like to say. The only issue is that my husband travels every week for work. He leaves on Monday and returns on Thursday or Friday (depending on how work goes). We have always been somewhat transient in our marriage. I am a flight attendant and for the first 19 years of our marriage, I had layovers. To start my workday, I had to commute to my assigned base which was in a different city, so one-day trips weren't an option. Back then, Jeff's job didn't require him to travel so it worked for us. Now things are reversed. He has overnights and I don't. The good news is that we have a routine that we are used to and it's just become part of our rhythm. The bad news is that some weeks I really miss him a lot. There are times that I can't wait for him to walk through the door. Every Saturday, after he's come home from a long week of work, I try and let him sleep in and relax when all I really want to do is go jump on the bed and yell, "What can we do today??!! Let's go to a movie! Shopping! Work out together! ANYTHING as long as it's together!" Needless to say, sometimes I get so excited to go and do whatever, but he is just exhausted. Bone tired. I really try my best to make the weekends about him so he can recharge, but it's hard because I want to be with him and have fun too.
Luckily, I decided a while ago that there were two men in my life that had priority: God and Jeff. So when I have trouble with one, I talk to the other. When I am struggling with my faith, I talk to Jeff. And when I am annoyed with Jeff, I talk to God. Works like a charm!
So a while back I was having a tough week and I was really looking forward to the weekend with Jeff. He makes it home fine, but he has had a tough week too. We stay in on Friday and relax and I think Saturday is going to be awesome. We are rested and have the whole day to have some fun. Yay! Except it doesn't go that way at all. Do you ever have a day with your spouse when you just aren't on the same page about anything? Literally ANYTHING? If I said it was black, it was white. I said stop, he said go. We were seriously not gelling at all, and after a week of missing him, it was making me mad. Like, how can I love you so much when you are away and then you get on my nerves when you come home?!! I decided God and I needed to get out of the house and take a little walk on the nature trail to sort this out. I took my music and hit the road.
Here's a fun fact about me that only my old running partner knows: I can't stand to shuffle my music. I don't like not knowing what's next. It's very unsettling to me. Well this day was going so badly that I decided. . . what the heck, I'm going to shuffle my music. What do I have to lose?
So I did and I began to walk and talk to God about how my weekend wasn't shaping up to what I wanted it to be. Jeff and I have so little time together that I have very high expectations about the time we DO have. I think it should be perfect, and when it's not, I begin to feel that old sense of doubt creeping in. Are we losing touch with each other? Are we really hearing each other? Marriage is a constant fight for connection in the middle of the craziness of kids, jobs and other commitments. As I was walking and thinking, I heard a new song from our mutual music library. It was by Pink entitled "True Love" but it wasn't mushy at all. Here are the lyrics....
Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face
There's no one quite like you
you push all my buttons down
I know life would suck without you
At the same time, I wanna hug you
I wanna wrap my hands around your neck
You're an a**hole but I love you
And you make me so mad, I ask myself
Why I'm still here, or where could I go
You're the only love I've ever known
But I hate you, I really hate you
So much I think it must be
True love, true love
It must be true love...
I was laughing out loud on the trail. It summed up my feelings perfectly. When I got home Jeff and I were still doing the "I'm mad at you so I'm gonna ignore you" dance. We were in the same room together and I sent him a text that said "I think I found our new song" with a link. When he hit the link and played the song we both busted out laughing! God always helps me see past the fear and worry of what things should look like to see the truth about what I really do have. Sometimes God also has a sense of humor and knows when to lighten the mood just enough for us to see His love in action.
April is wife to an amazing man, mother to three beautiful girls, and grandmother to the most precious boy EVER. She began to recognize God's chase at the age of 44, in a season of major change. April continues to search for God daily in the middle of this fast-paced, over-stimulated world, and when something makes her uncomfortable and challenges her she knows that God is knocking and she should listen.