Tuesday, February 14, 2012

on marriage: true love waits

Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit - Who Killed Time?
click photo for source

Amber and Seth Haines started a Monday series on marriage, penning letters about the grit and the grace of it all.  this week's topic is "patience."  link your marriage letter here.


dear ryan,

you were there.  you saw it:  the newlyweds canoodling on our couch.

we’d invited them over because we get a contact high off the newness of their love … the way they can’t bear an inch of couch to come between them.  the way they punctuate sentences with cupped face smooches.  the beauty in their  
just beginning.

i want to smile wryly, tell them:  just you wait…

i once told you the same, sans smile.  that day we sat a full two couch cushions away from each other and stared slack-jawed at two pink lines and decided to become a marriage before becoming a family.   i looked at you steady and i said, with more brave than i knew i had:

“don’t say that you love me.  not yet.  just you wait, until you can mean it.”

i held your gaze, my jaw, my breath … knowing the tiniest facial twitch might betray me.  might make it plain as day how much i wanted you, how greedy i was for your love.  how my hands trembled, even as they pushed you to a safe distance.


you nodded, understood.  and because i’d drawn that line in the sand, you kept your word, even on days i would have begged you to lie to me.  we spent our first year of marriage like two sticks making a fire from scratch.  we earned, the hard way, our scout badge in patience.

i don’t remember how many days – weeks – months -  it took, but i remember long nights of watching your shoulder blades rise and fall in sleep, tears sliding round the backs of my ears, and me there beside you while you breathed, waiting.

i don’t remember the moment you finally said it, either.  there is no commemorative photo. this love wouldn’t make a very good Sandra Bullock film, but it could be an installation manual on grace.

for patience is a fruit of the Spirit, we’re told.  and Spirit – that wedding gift given to us, the bride - has always been our secret superpower, our go-to, our enough.

i don’t know what the future may require of us, and i don’t pretend that we know enough of marriage to wax poetic.

but i said it plain to those newlyweds on our couch what truth was written in our first chapter:  how the sweetest victories in marriage are most often things that you’ve bruised your insides hoping for.  and waiting.

and after watching those two newlyweds skip lockstep down our sidewalk, to their car?

you kissed me like someone with five years of practice.

and it was good.



thank you for making those three words worth waiting for,

keLi

19 comments:

  1. sandra bullock's got nothing on this. you two, with your hard-won love, are straight up beautiful.

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    1. thanks, nic. if they ever do decide to make it a film, you're my pick to play me. incidentally, how do you feel about blonde?

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  2. Beautiful. Gives a day like today some back bone and helps me see that the solid love that matters is still here in a hard time. Thanks, friend.

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    1. so glad i got to hug your neck on saturday. and yes, i hope it helps. we're all struggling - but we're in it together, sister.

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  3. your words are always a treasure trove. and He will keep your future. i promise.

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    1. your words? i trust. thanks for encouraging, always.

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  4. oh my word. This is beautiful. "most often things that you’ve bruised your insides hoping for. and waiting" - - perfect. Thank you for writing.

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  5. This was really beautiful and poignant. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. i really appreciate it, alex. thanks for stopping by to read...

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  6. How are there not 500 comments on this blog?

    This: we spent our first year of marriage like two sticks making a fire from scratch. we earned, the hard way, our scout badge in patience.
    Gracious, girl, you can write.

    This. This is romantic - a patient love.

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    1. amber, you make me laugh. and you make me miss the south, but that's another issue entirely. thanks for encouraging, friend - and for stirring up good words on marriage. these posts bless.

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  7. Dear KeLi the honest and true, your words are real, and always reveal the strength of the One who carries our burdens. Thanking God today for your writing gift.

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  8. KeLi, this letter is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it and reminding me that the tears behind my ears and the inside bruises do lead to sweet victory through patience. Bless you.

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  9. I'm with Amber, this is a stunning piece of writing. Love your metaphors and the way you painted this in the shadow of the newlyweds. These words you penned, inspire me to write . . .better! Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  10. KeLi, i don't know you and you don't know me but i didn't feel like i could leave without telling you how this touched my heart. this line touched me especially: and Spirit – that wedding gift given to us, the bride - has always been our secret superpower, our go-to, our enough. He is this for us. our superpower on the good days and enough on the bad.

    beautiful words. thank you.

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  11. Yes 5 years practice is good. And then 12. And then? You wouldn't turn back to newlyweds for anything....
    Love it here...as usual.

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  12. isn't the waiting worth it?!! I never whispered the words I love you to my husband until the night he asked me to marry him. I knew that when I was going to love, I was going to love all the way, without restraint or reconsideration. hmmm, and that holy spirit, our enough...powerful reminder! love your words here!

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  13. btw, I just noticed you're in or near St. Louis. born and raised there...nice to see another blogger from there! :)

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