Thursday, November 20, 2014

For When You Wonder if You're Seen

Photo: Cedric Lange, Creative Commons cc license
Purple and orange cream sliced the horizon in layers as twilight sank into cold winter night. I scrawled a few lines in my journal during a work lull Monday night, before clocking out for the day. Twining the black scarf around me in layers and zipping my red jacket up high, I crunched through swirling snow.

A duo of pecking fights Sunday night had left us hollow and discouraged. My heart was tired from them. Sunday night's family supper had quickly soured, and the intended bonding time wasn't. We spent the evening in different corners of the house.

Monday morning we kissed stiffly and chose to hug, trying to start fresh but still fearful of communication minefields. In my journal late Monday afternoon, I wrestled and asked hard questions.

Because what we all really want in a relationship is to be seen and found interesting. We long to be sought after. And those needs? Your needs, my needs, our men's needs? They are valid and real. And the truth is, our loves have sought us out and found us interesting. There have been times of great connection and there will be again. But in the moment, the unresolved tensions or the lack of quality time together can bring out the lonely and the missing in a heart. 

I crunched through a layer of shattered snow, skidding slightly on the ice below, praying and resolving. Asking God to help me start fresh tonight, asking his help to speak kindly, to respectfully build up, to listen better, and to see my man's heart behind his choices or words, I sucked in cold air and shoved my hands deeper into silky pockets. Rush-hour cars crackled by, and the sky turned pink and violet. Almost unconsciously, I straightened my torso, threw my shoulders back, and took deep full breaths through my nose. A hope-filled peace settled in.

Several blocks later, I stepped over a pine threshold onto a red swirled rug and walked upstairs. My husband smiled and came over. We kissed, lingering.

"Let's go out tonight," he suggested, holding me close. "Let's go right now."

We hugged longer, smiling, before I raced off to gather a few supper items for the kids. Fifteen minutes later we drove on a dark Monday night, eager for this chance to re-connect, to truly see each other, and to be seen. We talked for hours, holding hands across a booth counter still oily from drippy hamburgers, laughing and seeking each other out. Happy peace settled in.

May I encourage you today that our God sees your heart? He knows that occasional lonely and missing ache, and he longs to fill it in tangible, good-for-you ways. The God, whose very nature breathes in rhythm from within a three-in-one trinity relationship, knows you and loves you. He is at work in me and in you, bringing hope and intimacy.

6 comments:

TC Avey said...

I'm so thankful that God knows me...even better than I know myself!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Dolly@Soulstops said...

Jennifer,
Yes, so grateful God knows and sees us...and loves us anyway...So glad you and your hubby had a chance to date and reconnect...I can relate to those disagreements and then reconnecting :) Blessings to you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours :)

Kara Shepherd said...

So thankful that God loves me, and so thankful that relationship is important to him. In the midst of rekindling the fire with my husband and this was the reminder I needed. It's hard work! Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Me too, TC! So thankful that God loves us, sees us, and delights in us. And I'm thankful he made husbands too. :)

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Dolly,

Thank you. That chance to get away and reconnect was wonderful and so needed. :)

Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Kara,

Thank you for your honesty. We need that more in today's world, huh? It IS hard work rekindling a marriage. I know that God is fighting and working alongside you. I love that he is a God who fights for us, and has transformative power!

Excited with you for your relationship too,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com