So a few people have asked me privately how Chris and I are doing. Because I made a sort of public pronouncement of marital problems on our anniversary, and I haven’t said much about it since. I am prone to asking for prayers and support, but I am lax at giving people updates.
We have been walking lately.
Mostly, we’ve been going to Buffalo Trace Park and walking one or two laps around the trail in the evening, whenever the weather and our crazy schedules permit it.
We walk, and we talk.
A lot of marriage is just figuring out how to stay relatively in sync. Because odds are not great that both of you will have the same level of energy, or want to go in the same direction, or be obsessed with the same stuff, at the same time. A lot of our struggles over the last twenty years have been because we were not in sync spiritually or emotionally. Our souls were out of step with each other, and out of step with the One we’re supposed to be defined by following, and when the distance gets too great, bad things happen.
So we’re walking, and we’re talking, and in doing so, we’re syncing up at least every day or so.
And there are other people walking along side both of us, in a more metaphorical sense. Wise advice is always welcome. Prayers? I can genuinely feel them–there is a lightening in both the “having more light on the subject” sense and the “burdens are light” sense. But what the church sometimes calls “walking alongside your brother or sister” and what I call simply “not ditching us in the midst of our mess” is something that I’m sure requires patience, but means a lot.
Here’s the thing. It’s fun, in a perverse way, to jump into someone else’s crisis. It’s a marvelous way to feel needed (and not as messed up in comparison). And some people have a true gift for emotional and spiritual triage. But true crises have seasons of their own, and after the first short season of intense emotion, there is a much longer season of “things are not falling apart, but they are not yet healed.” This is when many people tend to disappear. When you no longer need a rescuer; just a loyal friend.
I value the people who come swooping to the rescue. But I also value the people who simply fall into step beside you, and keep going even after you don’t need to be carried, but you don’t need to be walking alone, either.