Starting over, 13 years later.
The water trickled down his face and the suds washed away. I pulled the plug and wrapped my one year old bundle of joy boy up in a warm snuggly towel and carried him downstairs.
Leaning my back up against the wall, I sat in his room and watched him play choo-choo trains. We were buds him and I. He was an answer to prayer. A prayer uttered many times over, even when God wasn’t the first One I was seeking.
Marrying doesn’t necessarily heal lonely heart issues, and in my own marriage we had a lot of growing up to do at the time. But this little child filled my belly with laughter and gave me a deeper purpose in life.
It was our first house we owned. A log cabin in the country. A dream, but a nightmare. We assumed since my husband served his country in the US Marines that he would have no problem getting a job when he got back home from his 15 month deployment away from us.
We bought this house, but our own “houses” were in need of much repair.
What seemed like the right thing to do, didn’t turn out how we expected. Three years of financial struggle finally forced us to put up the house for sale. The one thing we had in common at the time was that we were both ugly stubborn.
It’s a hard pill to swallow when you have to face reality. When the reality reminds you of the not-so-pretty parts of life. For many years after, our marriage would struggle. The disconnection would be almost too much to bear. We would both spiral into depression, the kind that bubbles deep, covered with fake smiles and rehearsed family get-togethers.
Before the healing came, before the light broke through the shadows, life felt heavy and without promise. But God was with us even when we were as lost children.
He was there when my water broke and there was no husband next to me, to hold my hand as our beautiful miracle entered the world.
He was there when my husband said goodbye to this seven-day old miracle as he prepared to take the flight back to Japan for another nine months.
He heard my prayers on the cold nights without propane heat, while I was very pregnant with my second child, packing firewood in to stoke what flame was left while my husband was at his third job trying to keep us afloat.
He heard our prayers during a time of marital separation, when we weren’t close to family and church didn’t make sense.
He heard our prayers when we wept and clung to one another as we watched the soldiers board the bus that would take them to the front lines of battle.
What felt like a decade of the Marine crucible, held tiny gems within that we would not be able to see until we were ready to see them.
God heard my prayers to rekindle the spark between my husband and I. But first God rekindled the spark between Him and I.
I let God take me by the heart, and eventually my husband took me by the hand again and together we both climbed out of the pit of depression together.
I’ll never forget the day I knew God was up to something.
Husband and I lay, backs on the bed staring at the ceiling, no kids at home. Finally, time alone. How would we spend this time? Would it be as all the times before? Pretending we weren’t hurt? Hovering surface level?
I believe we both wanted more but I was tired of trying to force change. As soon as I let go, God showed off His gentle care and amazing sovereignty.
Our marriage was about to experience a renewal. My husband opened up to me about inner struggles. Lies from his past that felt continually held up over his head.
So much of my mental energy was previously spent blaming him for my hurts when he was inwardly hurting so bad himself.
We cried together for the first time in a long time. These weren’t hurting tears. These were tears of honesty and cleansing. Because we both opened up, and each was welcomed.
The rekindling was happening. Our hearts are now ablaze.
We are closer now than we have ever been. We are best friends. If you are going through the ringer, don’t give up. Let God lead you. You can always begin again.
Meghan Weyerbacher is a passionate writer and backyard trail blazer. She’s sort of addicted to anything wooden and refuses to give up her bonfire habit. Once a wanderer, she is now found and growing roots down deep into God’s eternal love.
About the Series:
Have you ever heard God tell you to Begin Again? His grace is a huge do-over button, don’t you agree? Sometimes, we don’t think we have what it takes to start life over again. Starting over takes renegade faith. Renegade faith is the kind of faith which causes us to dig deep into uncharted waters and navigate through all those blisters of hurt to find our soul grace. Renegade faith is where we Begin Again.
The Begin Again series launches on March 5th and runs each Sunday through the end of May.