A phone call that comes at 10:30 pm (or any time after you’re almost asleep) is rarely a good thing. And this was no exception.
Last night, my husband and I had a sexual miscommunication that left my husband feeling like a failure as a husband, and me in tears and feeling sexually frustrated, rejected, and confused. I let myself feel God’s arms wrapped around me while I cried.
A brief conversation about it all this morning was both illuminating and frustrating. I felt agitated all day, and I kept going back to God. How can things be so wonderful in our marriage a few days ago and now leave me wondering why my husband I feel like strangers? And all I heard is Cling to me. And there was part of me that wondered what difficult thing was going to happen that I needed to be clinging to Him. I wondered how things would be between my husband and me in the evening, and I kept my eye fixed on God.
On my way home from work, I found myself blaming Shakespeare’s Sonnett 116 for giving me unrealistic expectations of love and its unwavering firm consistency in the face of any storm. Love “is an ever-fixed mark.” Well, then why did it seem that there was still shaking and wavering at times?
When my husband was on the way home, he called to ask me what I was wearing–usually an indication of his sexual interest. He brought me a red rose. I thought sex was a sure thing. And we went to bed and talked. And that was all. A couple things he said made me realize that I have more work ahead of me in rebuilding his trust in me. I was a bit shaken.
He went to sleep. I tried to decide which of my bazillion Kindle books I wanted to read. I wondered again why God wanted me to cling to Him today.
Then the phone rang.
As I saw that the caller ID displayed the police station, I found just enough presence of mind to say a prayer of thanks that it was not the hospital.
I tried to listen as the police officer explained that my car had been towed and that they couldn’t give me specifics since my son is an adult. Through my tears,I saw my sweet little boy on my lap and wondered if I hadn’t loved him enough, nurtured him, bathed him, taught him, done anything enough and what kind of mother was I and how could he have been so stupid, anyway? What is the correct reaction to hearing that your son has made a bad decision that will have major consequences for his future? My husband woke up and let me hand the phone to him.
He headed to the police station, and I pointed out to God that it would have been really nice to have a good uniting sexual encounter to prepare us for this. Cling and patience, I heard.
An hour and a half later, I was still trying to settle myself while sitting downstairs when my husband walked into the room. He couldn’t sleep, and he was hurting as much as I was. I asked him if he wanted to try the one thing almost guaranteed to help him fall asleep (sex). He hesitated and then shrugged his shoulders and said it wouldn’t hurt to try.
And in a flash, I knew that last night, this morning, and earlier this evening weren’t the right times for love–because this is when we needed that connection. We needed the comfort of each other’s arms tonight, after facing our son’s future.
And God said See? Love isn’t the ever-fixed mark that never wavers. I am. And I know what I’m doing, even when you don’t get it.