April 10, 2012

The Story of Us : Part 2

By February of 2007 there was finally a shift with us.  By then, I had started reaching out for help.  I started meeting with a woman in my church.  I was attending a group where we talked about pieces of our story that had left us wounded.  I felt some things in me starting to come to life.  I was starting to feel less crazy and more than anything, I felt like I had some real hope.  I had been heard and seen in new ways.

But before I could really move forward, I knew I needed to lay it on the line with Todd. We needed to have this make or break conversation.  It was evening on a Saturday and we began to talk.  He had waited so patiently for me to open up to him. His face for me that night is unforgettable.  His eyes so full of longing and sorrow.  Begging me to let him love me - really love me.

I told him there were things he didn't know about me.  I told him there were things I had done that I was sure he would leave me over if he knew them.  He invited me to share - he promised me it wouldn't be too much, that he wouldn't run away.  I had a hard time believing that, but I needed to know if that was really true.  If he really would stay after he knew the parts of me that no one else did.

It took about an hour, but I spoke every word.  Every thing I had held inside since the day we met.  The me that I tried to cover up, the me that no one else knew about.  My deepest and darkest shame.  A specific scene that had haunted me since I was fifteen years old.

He stayed.  He held me as I talked and cried.  He didn't run away or leave like I had feared he would.  After I had finished - when I had put all of my gross and ugly out there - he gifted me with his own.  He shared a scene in his own story of his deepest shame.  I got to love him there too.  I got to be the one to listen and hold on to him and not run away. 

It may have been one of the most beautiful nights we ever had together.  It was so honest and real.  It was a picture of what love really means.  How we are supposed to show up in this covenant of marriage.  It was a picture of how great Jesus' love is for us.  How He loves us the same no matter what we've done or will do. 

We made an agreement that night.  To always, always be this honest.  To talk about and say the things to the other about what we really feel, what we've done, where we have hurt each other.  To talk about our feelings honestly and to never keep secrets.  If we could make it through this conversation, we could make it through any other one.

This is the place that we have been good together.  Really good.  There are no secrets.  There is no condemnation.  We talk about everything . Even if it takes a few days to get it out, we are always brave enough to go the hard places with the other.  To have the uncomfortable conversations.

We've seen how holding it in really hurts and dishonors the other person.  Every time we bring something to light, we risk hurting each other with our words and feelings, what we are doing is loving each other well.  Talking with such depth and realness allows us to experience redemption and more.  We experience what God has for us.  This is the place I hope we can keep building on.  Where our honesty and desire to love each other as we really are, can make us stronger and deepen the roots of what we have.

That night really was a make or break conversation.

And it ended up being the conversation that made us.


  1. Such a personal story - thank you so much for sharing. I know that writing your heaviest parts of your story can make them ten pounds lighter. Cheers to you and Todd...and to honesty.

  2. I'm just waiting for your book to come out. You are such a great writer. I'm glad you guys have made a break through and that you made it out of your dark depression.

  3. I owe you an email. I know. What is it? 3 weeks late now? I wanted to tell you that your writing is so, so good. And today, that guest post? It was SO good. It really is an honor having it up.

  4. This truly is the picture of real love. My heart felt squeezed and it just makes me so very glad that you found that awesome man of yours. Thank you for sharing this post. It really touched my heart.

  5. Truly needed this today. Thank you for your honesty Jen.

  6. Truly needed this today. Thank you Jen.