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.
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
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
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.