Real Love Series: Gracie’s Story, Part 3
If you haven’t read the Introduction to this series, I highly recommend that you do, as well as Part 1 and Part 2. We are sharing Real Love stories. Stories that have hurt, pain but maturity and ultimately, joy. In a culture that is so fast paced, self-focused and all about the falling in love part of our story with no concept of afterwords, we here at the Busy Nothings are striving to sit back and share from our own experiences what we feel true, pure, sacrificial love is. When you choose it even though it hurts or is hard work. The beauty and true love that comes from this is better than any fairy tale. ~Heidi
Hello, reader! Today I write to you from my couch. It’s overstuffed, clean, and inviting with my favorite (though viewed useless by my husband) assorted throw pillows placed just so. Of course I ruined the eclectic feel of the couch when I plopped down with my laptop and cup of too-strong coffee – Jacob is the barista in the family, I just throw in a coffee filter and pour the grounds until I’m satisfied. Sun lilts in from the windows to my left, and a particularly hopeful playlist quietly fills the room as I sit here ready to share part three of this series with you.
The problem is I have no idea what to say next.
Last week’s post was…heavy. I don’t know if you shared the weight of that chapter of our lives with me, but it was an incredibly difficult story to pen on my part. It’s much easier to ‘deal’ with our struggles and problems that would mar the public picture of marital bliss in privacy (read: buy some Christian Self-Help study that neither of you read and call it ‘healed’) rather than be vulnerable and teachable by opening up the wisdom of God through His Word and the words of his people. It’s been about 18 months since Jacob and I began the healing process from Pornography addiction. Every bit of victory won has been fervently fought for – a gory battle spattered with losses, frustration, guilt. He has dealt with temptation in a way we can all understand. Jacob has dealt with a wife who can be selfish and spiteful, unforgiving and rude despite her desire to be helpful and gracious and filled with unconditional love. We have learned that nothing good can happen when we try and ‘live for God.’ My husband and I have learned in this battle that we must rather die to ourselves, and let the Spirit of God live through us. We stand together today: though imperfect, though sometimes pressed and persecuted and struck down, we stand united in the pursuit of becoming like Christ. For this very reason I would not trade our struggles together for any imaginable thing on this earth. That’s the purpose of marriage, isn’t it? We come together in this way not for happiness, not for glory or self-satisfaction, but to be conformed to the image of Jesus himself – holy, mighty, filled with peace and joy, free. Jacob and Gracie? We are free. We fight for that every day. And I wouldn’t want to war alongside anyone but him.
My heart is blessed today. Sitting in the home Jacob and I have guarded as a safe place and being able to write to you brings me such joy. Granted, my hair is unwashed and my glasses are dirty. I forgot to take my makeup off last night so I look like an intellectual raccoon. I have a skin condition that occasionally renders my body aching and raw (today is such an occasion). My nails are chipped beyond reason and I just spilled my coffee all over that pretty couch for which I waxed ever so poetic. But there is JOY here! That’s what matters, isn’t it? My husband and I have a place to live (a pretty one, if you ask me), food in the fridge (sort of – I really should grocery shop soon), a car that RUNS (! ), family whom we cherish, and simply incredible friends. We have jobs so which help us have running water and lights that turn on and off with a switch. We are provided for: we are loved.
I share these things with you that we both might take heart this week. Take time to remember what is good about life. Take time to reflect on how far you’ve come. Do you love others better than you used to? Are you more patient now? Do you have a better work ethic? There is something, something in you that the power of Christ is making new. That’s what Jesus does. He takes dust, nothing, and makes something beautiful.
I know He’ll do that with you if you let Him.
It’s what happened to Jacob.
It’s what happened to me.