I arrived in Chicago lost and left found. I was confident in who I was and what Abba required of me. I knew exactly what I needed to do and was determined to succeed.
Learning to love someone Abba’s way was harder than I thought. I began the Passion Pursuit study from Authentic Intimacy. I wasn’t sure how it would help, but I was willing to try anything at this point. The first day kicked my butt. Question: Read I Peter 3:6 and then list three fears that keep you from meeting your husband’s need for respect. UM, OUCH. I put the book down and came back a little later. OK. Time to write down what I know is true. My fears: being abandoned, being abused and having no voice. I knew those things had kept me scrambling for years. Seeing them on paper made me cry…then angry. I decided that if I had the power to change things I was going to change them.
Day two didn’t get much better. Let’s talk about companionship. Yes, let’s. The thing that I knew we did NOT have in our relationship. I read this statement: Companionship is lending your strength to your husband. OK then, I’ve really screwed up this whole wife thing. Day three, was about sex. Other than I felt no connection to it…this wasn’t an issue in our relationship. I’m really good at denial.
Day four Juli and Linda started getting to the depths of who I am. “As you dive into this study, you have a choice to make. Will you look intently at the power you have in your marriage? Will you be honest about how you have been using that power?” Was I ready? Was I really willing to do the hard work? What we did not have in our relationship from the beginning was an intimate connection. The one that Abba meant when he said “They shall be one.” I wanted it but had NO clue how to get it. I wrote, “I am scared to trust…to be completely honest and bare with my husband.” Fear was keeping me from love. I had to find a way to kick it out.
It took one sentence to break my will. “It may take a step of faith for you to remember why you fell in love with this man.” I collapsed. Crying, I told Abba, whatever you need to do to get me to love my husband, do it. I think even the angels screamed “FINALLY!”
We took a trip to see my family. Traveling with three kids, a dog and a 13,000 pound vehicle is stressful. At one point during the weekend I melted down and demanded to leave immediately. The husband didn’t ask, he just took me back to our fifth wheel. He allowed me the space I needed to decompress. I was grateful for the kindness he showed.
Our Family May 2014
I was changing quickly and the husband took notice. He started talking to me more and paying attention when I was around. I quit staying up late in the night and went to bed when he went to bed. I began to look forward to spending time with him.
Summer arrived and so did homeschool conference season. This year I had two conferences to attend. I went to the first one with my foster sister and her husband. It was good to reconnect with a friend from the 2:1 conference and I enjoyed being a morning greeter. I was happy and felt content. Somehow I ended up in back-to-back marriage sessions. Two hours of people who had happy, put-together marriages was more than I could handle. I left in tears.
The next weekend the husband and Bella left early for a trip south to see friends. I stayed behind because I wanted to be there for my friend who was a speaker. She spent Friday night at my house. I don’t know why, but I ended up thinking I should take a selfie and send it the husband. So I did. He responded. His response hit something deep inside me. After the conference when I started texting him, I just started talking and didn’t stop. We had one of the most honest conversations ever. I remember walking downstairs and thinking, “I’m pretty sure that was a game changer.”
When the husband got home, I was happy to see him, for reals. I spent the summer flirting and pursuing him. I began to make an effort to dress to please him. I was already losing weight and the more the weight came off, the more confident I became. The more confident I became, the more I would do things to get his attention. I found myself looking forward to him coming home at the end of the day.
My 40th birthday arrived. I bought a dress and the husband took me out to a very nice restaurant I wore the dress with confidence and spent the evening paying attention to him. I was beginning to remember why I fell in love with him. I went out of town for my birthday with girlfriends. I missed him the entire time and did a lot of texting. I would think of him and start giggling. Seriously, I was acting like a crazy girl in love.
Sometime between my 40th birthday and our 21st anniversary I fell in love with the husband. And, believe me…it is NOTHING like when we were dating. The girls started noticing. “Mom, what on earth is wrong with you? All you do is talk to dad now.” This would make me giggle and blush. Bella looked confused…Gabby just shook her head.
I was still slowly working through the study. I had begun to address some of the lies I had been taught and believed about intimacy, sex and marriage. It came down to one thought: I’m too wounded to be healed. I began to think, what if that was just another lie I believed? What if it was possible that Abba could heal the wound to my soul that kept me from giving my heart and soul to the husband? I believed it possible and I claimed it possible. Abba took notice. He made it possible. The wound was healed. I was free to be the beautiful woman Abba created me to be.