I don’t know where to begin, as it’s been…too long. So, like any good writer, I’ll start in the middle. I’ve been struggling to put words to paper (screen) for over two months, because I’ve been unwilling to let go of the altruistic, but ultimately fake ideal that this blog isn’t for me or about me, and since I had nothing really uplifting to say, I said nothing. And it’s in that quiet, tension-filled djinn I’ve languished the past couple months. So, I’m sorry reader, this blog is not about you, but I sincerely hope you enjoy the ride. Otherwise, please feel free to stop reading here. Don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt in the least.
So I’m not sure why it always goes downhill
Why broken cisterns never could stay filled
I’ve spent ten years singing gravity away
But the water keeps on falling from the sky.
“The Cure for Pain” — Jon Foreman
Ten years and seven months ago, the sky fell, and my family crumbled beneath its weight. That was the day my parents told us kids my dad had decided to move out. And within ten months of starting dating, Amy and I will also be married, and I will be again putting myself (willingly, this time) in the position where someone as close as can be to me has the chance to reduce me to, well, absolute rubble. As you can imagine, it’s not something I endeavor without a Mt. Everest amount of forethought.
Am I really afraid of getting divorced? No. I just understand that marriage is more than love, more than a promise. We fall in and out of love weekly, it seems. We break promises nearly daily. Marriage is neither of these things; we’re entering into an Old-Testament magnitude covenant. And I’m confident we’re both committed to that. But as a child of divorce, I’ve seen “the perfect family” crumble before my eyes once already.
Now that you’re depressed, let’s talk about the whirlwind of a sub-six-month engagement. It’s been an absolute blur. I’m more grateful day by day for who my future wife is. Why? Simply put: she makes the inevitably overwhelming more than bearable. But, in step with shedding self-deception, it’s still overwhelming this planning a wedding ourselves. Mind you, we have some amazing help, but I feel the stress of what we’re trying to do.
Speaking of weddings, I can safely say that after this Fall, I do not want to hear the word through the end of the year. That’s what happens when you decide to get married independently of both your parents getting remarried. Insert your own four-letter word here. That, in and of itself, is it’s own kind of weighty reconciliation. I suppose I’m telling you this to say that I don’t know to make heads or tails of much at this particular moment.
That doesn’t begin to summarize the past couple months, but frankly I’m done talking about the past for now. Today, I feel heavy. That’s a blatant understatement. I feel like a lead balloon filled with molasses, cooled to perfect zero. It seems like life’s cares and worries from the past couple months, specifically, but maybe the past ten-plus years, have all of a sudden caught up with me and I find they are like the oak tree out in front of my brother’s new house: massive, deep, sprawling, an unending network of little oak trees, together adding up to a network multiples greater than the branches and trunk above ground; immovable. And it is that feeling that brings me here.
I’m sure you know plenty of the feeling of heaviness. It’s something we all deal with on a daily basis. It’s not new to anyone, but for some reason this particular heaviness is just an exemplary kind of massive. But that’s what happens when you drop your head like a football running back and just charge life for months on end. You don’t have time to shed the tacklers of stress and burden; you just pile on life as it comes and decide you’ll deal with it all later. Well, today is later. Can you relate?
The allure of “powering through” is that you don’t have to deal with the stress or the pain, but that’s also the lie. Of course you deal with life, you can’t help but to take it all in day after day. Each day, you’ll suffer anew until you try and dig out yourself. Thankfully, it hasn’t been that long in my case, but it’s still quite daunting. How long’s it been for you? Forebodingly, the first part of digging out is reconciling with the stress, strain, the bitter pain. And that’s where I find myself today, ever on the brink of tears. But it’ll be a process defined by deserts, tears, solitude, and perseverance. Moreover, it’ll be a pain marred inextricably by an ever-expanding vantage of grace.
What I continue to forget is that pushing through really only happens when we are willing to be brave and face the desperate dark unknown of within. True strength is forged of breaking down the false buttresses of falsehood and using that kindle a community full solitaries. Huh? I mean that to be able to contribute to the world around us, for me to give to my future wife, it’s imperative to conduct some honest and earnest housekeeping of the temple within. So, what’s stopping you, friend?