Monday, June 20, 2016

Breathing Through - The Fight to Believe

So much breathing through lately. I find myself shushing out loud as I try to fall asleep, as if I am trying to calm my own mind and heart the way I would a child. Here on the verge of tears because I'm separated from my husband on the airplane.

Breathe, child. You're okay. Just breathe.

My jaw hurts. It was hard to sleep last night. I'm annoyed. I went to see my therapist a couple of days ago. Walk in discouraged and heavy. I had thought I was ready to move on alone. I thought maybe I didn't need her to walk with me every other week anymore... And then I had to call and ask her to move my next appointment up on the calendar. I tell her how it feels like I'm back at square one. She assures me that I'm not and I agree with her. I just don't really believe her. Story of my life lately - I agree but I fight to believe.

I just had to tell myself to exhale again. I'm aware of the muscles in my jaw. I picture myself turning a bunch of tiny vice grips, loosening them one by one. Yes, we all do have our vices.

It's been more change recently - big change, hard change, painful change. It's been more grieving, more fighting. I choose fighting for joy far less than I would like, and I choose fighting against my husband far more often than I would like to admit.

Exhale. Loosen. Release the vices.

Nagging. Criticizing. Fixing. Controlling. White-knuckle gripping. All so much easier than the sitting, waiting, listening, releasing, breathing. I get a choice though. I am capable of choosing grace and doing the hard thing. He can make me strong. I agree, but I fight to believe.

I have to wait a moment for the plane to steady itself in the air before I can continue writing. Strange idea, that - a plane steadying itself on some invisible air stream, the tension of the lift and the drag lending balance somehow. The tension could steady me too, anchor me to the One who saves and make me stable. I agree, but I fight to believe.

My breathing is becoming easier, but my muscles stay tight. One thing at a time. That's how this journey works. One thing at a time.

I feel like we're under attack, my man and I, like we just can't seem to catch a break. No respite from the struggle. Sometimes, when I know he won't notice, I look at him and I wonder if we haven't made a mistake. I know. I haven't been his wife for six months yet. We should still be in that blessed honeymoon stage, all googly-eyed and love-struck. But some days it feels like we're being struck by something else entirely... something painful. And I just wonder if maybe we weren't....

Her voice stops me. God is providential and omnipotent. The marriage covenant is ordained by Him and sacred. He would not have allowed you to make a mistake. He would have stopped you. He loves you both too much to just let you go. It is hard. It takes so much more work than anyone ever warned you. He may even be allowing an attack on your relationship, but it will all come to an end that you can't even imagine - for His glory and your good. I agree, but I fight to believe.

You are loved. I agree, but I fight to believe.
You are valued. All is grace. You are safe and where you belong. He wills only the best for you and His will will be done. I agree, but I fight to believe.

And this journey? It's like recording over a tape that's been playing in my mind forever. I got the first part down and went to play it back only to find that there's more. So we'll start here and keep going. Yeah, it's the same old tape we're working on, but we're not back at the beginning; this is a whole different section. That's fighting to believe.

Or maybe it's like if I decided I wanted to paint those red dining room walls in that little old house I used to rent... If I just decided they needed to be white instead. One coat isn't enough. Put it on. Let it dry. Go again. That's fighting to believe. And that is how I will walk this path. I will keep layering it on. I will keep fighting to believe.

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