The journey toward full intimacy in my marriage has required me to knock down the walls I had erected to protect my heart. Opening myself up to the joy that was waiting for me in marriage meant risking heartache and sadness.
I am all packed to go to She Speaks. I have a bit more to do on a writing project before I leave, and I haven’t packed up my knitting yet, but I am otherwise ready to go. (That’s a good thing, seeing as how I need to leave at 4 am to get to the airport.)
I’ve always been excited to go to conferences. The time away from my normal routine to focus and dig into meaningful work has always provided new energy and inspiration for me.
This conference is special because it relates to my faith and ministry. It reaches into a part of me that my higher education conferences rarely even tapped.
It is exciting and overwhelming to think about being surrounded by so many other women doing God’s work. I am a bit intimidated to think about seeing all the wonderful things other women are doing in ministry as I am very aware of areas where I struggle.
My heart is full of gratitude for the funding and prayers of people who want to support my growth. Truly, I have had several on-my-knees, tearful “I’m not worthy” moments over the past week and a half.
I am thrilled about this conference and about the people I will finally get to meet in person. I know I will come away inspired, even though it may be a while before I can transform that inspiration into something productive and visible.
Still . .
Five days is a long time to be gone from my husband.
It wasn’t always that way, though. Ten years ago I was gone for five days on a business trip, and that was an entirely different experience. I was struck by the contrast as I finished packing this morning.
Then . . .
- I was thrilled to have five days off from sexual requests.
- I didn’t expect to miss my husband at all (and I didn’t).
- I packed my pretty nightgown because it made me feel good and I knew it wouldn’t encourage him to think I might be interested in sex.
- I knew I would sleep better away from my husband (and I did).
- I was relieved that a full conference schedule would give me an excuse for a complete break from my husband for a few days.
- I was excited to get to go to a new place by myself.
Now . . .
- I am sad that I will have five days with no sexual contact at all.
- I already miss my husband. I need him in my life, and I hate when we’re apart.
- I had to search for some pajamas, as I’m pretty sure Bonny doesn’t want to see me in what I usually wear to bed these days. 😉
- I know I won’t sleep as well without my favorite live teddy bear to hold onto.
- I am concerned that a full conference schedule won’t give me enough time to call my husband and hear his voice.
- I am sad that I won’t get to share this new place with my husband.
I packed with the same excitement I’ve always had when getting ready for a conference. I didn’t expect that excitement to be flavored with sadness.
The sadness I feel inside my excitement brings me such joy.
I don’t like feeling sad. I don’t like missing my husband. The fact that I can feel this sadness, however, is a sign that my walls are down and that I have truly and fully opened my heart to my husband.
As much as I am ready to go, I know that I will be even more ready to come home to my man.
I’ll miss you, Big Guy. <3 And I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.