Six long years ago, I faced the biggest crisis in my life. I had made some devastating mistakes that could result in my marriage ending, with Biblical grounds. I chose to be honest with my husband, and so ensued the longest, most arduous journey we’d ever embarked on. We moved our family of 4 from San Diego to Orange County in less than 24 hours, and moved in with my parents. For the next couple years we focused solely on healing. What a gift my parents gave us by providing us with space and safety while we worked to rebuild what had been broken. Not only did they give this gift to us, but they gave solidarity and certainty to our beautiful daughters. I believe that their sacrifice in bringing 4 extra humans into their home saved these precious girls from so much heartache.
One of my most favorite memories of this time may sound pretty insignificant. Often times I would turn on some music, get out a puzzle, and spread the pieces out on the dining room table and start painstakingly sorting through and constructing the finished product. Something about it made me feel accomplished. Maybe because the puzzle reminded me so much of our life at the time. There was one song in particular that was on constant repeat. “When it was Over” by Sara Groves was the soundtrack of this time. I remember listening to her sing the words “when it was over and they could talk about it” and dream about the day when that would be true for my husband and I. I longed for the day when I could say “a really long time ago, this happened in my marriage”. The devastation was far too close and far too fragile to be brought up quite yet.
Recently I realized that it was indeed over. It didn’t just come to an abrupt end. I suppose things heal over time and it just takes awhile for us to notice. I was walking up on stage to sing one last song after an amazing gospel message at a women’s Bible study, and I was overcome. Have you ever cried in such a way that the tears flowed without warning or restraint? Like a river that has no end, they poured from my eyes as I played the final song (thankfully my friend was able to do the singing!) I found it difficult to compose myself, as I was completely overtaken with thankfulness that God not only writes the story of our life, but loves us so completely and tenderly throughout the process. I am so thankful to be able to share my story now as I look at it from afar. I am thankful for the distance between me and my downfall. I am thankful for the perspective that comes with time, and the ability to discuss the intricacies and the hurts without the sting that makes you want to retreat and run.
After the service ended I went home. But first, I needed to make a quick stop less than a mile from home…my parent’s house. My mom was worried as she saw my swollen eyes, and heard my sniffles. I poured out my heart through tears of complete and utter thankfulness, expressing that without my parents love, provision and wisdom, we would not be where we are now. Oh how thankful I am for parents that walk in the ways and the wisdom of God. I praise Jesus that He has brought us into a spacious place, and that He rescued us because He delighted in us. (Psalm 18:19).
Arriving home, I fell into the arms of my husband. Our love is deeper, richer and stronger than it ever was before. I am thankful that the storm of the past is over. I’m not only thankful for where we are now, but more thankful for where we aren’t.
When it was Over by Sara Groves
When it was over and they could talk about it, she said “there’s just one thing I’ve got to know…what in that moment when you were running so hard and fast made you stop and turn for home?” He said “I always knew you loved me even though I’d broken your heart, I always knew there’d be a place for me to make a brand new start.”
Oh love wash over a multitude of things, make us whole.
When it was over and they could talk about it, they were sitting on the couch, she said “what on earth made you stay when you finally figured out what I was all about?” He said “I always knew you’d do the right thing even though it might take some time.” She said “Yeah, I felt that and that’s probably what saved my life.”
There is a love that never fails. There is a healing that always prevails. There is a hope that whispers a vow, a promise to stay while we’re working it out. So come with your love and wash over us.