i was reminded of a time not long ago in my marriage that was incredibly hard for us.
i wanted a baby more than anything.
and my husband wanted me back.
i was gone.
i was lost in despair of not being able to conceive our child.
ethan was sad, too, and still we have no idea why. but he was more saddened that i had left him. my heart was overcome with sadness and selfish desire that i just emotionally checked out of being his wife and became a hollow shell.
one night with an aching heart he asked me,
“am i not enough? if God never gives us a child, am i not enough?”
and my heart broke.
last night i read first samuel chapter one verse eight and my heart broke all over again for this husband in the story, and was what reminded me of our story. hannah’s husband says to her, “why do you weep? and why do you not eat? and why is your heart sad? am i not more to you than ten sons?”
poor hannah. barren. tormented.
poor elkanah. missing his wife whom he loves deeply.
i’m punched in the gut.
remember when i was grateful?
remember when i adored my gift of ethan burt as my husband and i just snuggled him and smelled him and promised to do life with him and whatever God has in store, whatever comes our way, we would do this together? it was so easy to say in that moment of romance and love, when nothing bad had happened yet. day one of marriage is so easy.
it felt like a lie, really. my promises.
ethan was remaining faithful on our vows while i was ready to just do whatever it took to get me what i wanted, this perfect baby of us i had created in my mind, for myself. i would justify it and say obviously it was for us, e will be the perfect father (which i still believe is true) but it was all for me. my happiness. my desire to mother. my adorable baby filling me up with joy.
i had forgotten ethan. my promises. our oneness.
i was caught. found out. ethan saw through me.
i took my eyes off of our promises and our faith. the focus was one hundred percent on me alone. first i was hot with anger. then i tried to justify it and find a way to make what i wanted OK and even good. then i melted into God’s grace and love and was granted forgiveness.
that was an extremely harsh, freaking rough time in our marriage. and it lasted a couple years.
it is hard to come back from such selfishness.
ethan is patient. the Lord is gracious.
and back to today. years later and i still cannot conceive.
sure, it does feel at times like why me?
i don’t know, and now i don’t care as much. wonderfully so.
on a walk one afternoon during the healing time, hand in hand with my husband, the Lord sent his words on a sweet breeze that told me he loves me so much for this to be my story.
don’t you see, my daughter, he said.
trust. let go. live. i love you. i am faithful.
it’s not for me right now. maybe ever.
but what is for me today is this amazing marriage. constantly flowing with the most intense love. repairing every day from anything that’s ever been done wrong or hurt us, as we carve out our selfishness and replace it with our work that was set before us to be ours.
my life is not my own.
i did not know how much that process would hurt.
i did not know, either, how beautifully worth it it could be.
if i’ve given my life and soul and heart to Christ, which i claim i have, i cannot have both.
God has been faithful. i have been ungrateful.
this new morning i see his mercy. i feel it in the air.
his mercy is new for me, this morning.
gratefulness fills my lungs.
the sweet smell of morning.
ethan and i have traveled well beyond the years of me weeping and him not being enough.
i am endlessly thankful we made it through that time. but it is a part of our story. it did happen, it did take its toll on our hearts, our marriage. but we have been repaired, body and soul, together as one. and it has created a stronger bed of foundation for the many more years and many more hardships that will certainly come our way.