March 2, 2011

Tug of War

My heart rode the threshold. One foot in, one foot out. Invisible forces painfully tearing me in a cruel game of tug of war.

No excuses were given, no explanations wrought. He simply stopped calling. Each passing day with no word from him helped loosen the ties that bound our hearts together.

Those ties were precious in the making. He was renovating what was to be “our” home. And though 120 highway miles separated us, we grew closer each day. As the miles ticked away and the pages of the calendar turned, each weekend rotten floor boards blazed into bonfires; new studs stood at attention; sooty fireplaces gleamed, revealing former homeowner’s initials from the 1800s. Faithful, feverish work fastened the ties of love between our hearts. Yes, the ties were sweet in the making as we picked out the front door, dreaming of a lifetime together, welcoming family and friends to our home.

But those ties were fiercely determined to maintain their grip as we broke things off. And so ensued a tug of war as my heart rode the threshold of holding on and letting go.

Holding on to what could have been. Letting go of what wasn’t going to be.

Holding on to the belief that I’m not lovable. Letting go of the lies that I’m not lovable.

Holding on to the pain and confusion. Letting go of my quaking soul's recession of hope and trust.

Eventually he and I connected to meet for The Exchange: Christmas decorations, sweatshirts, CDs. Yet what I really wanted… needed… was to know why my commitment to rock together on the front porch for 80 summers wasn’t enough? How come my hopes to hold his hand tightly and heart lightly, and never let go of either didn’t make him stay? Wasn’t my love that would battle to protect him and weather a thousand storms worth his love?

What I needed was to know: Am I enough? Am I worth it? Am I lovable?

My heart and feet stood on the threshold of the door, leaving to go meet him. My phone rang. There’d be no dinner at our favorite darling Italian bistro. There’d be no exchange. There’d be no answers. Something about his dad being in town. Click.

And the tug of war ripped harder. You can guess which side I landed on as wet pain soaked crisp linens. Maybe I’m really not lovable.

A conversation with my mom days later shifted the balance of power in the ruthless tug of war within. She mentioned she’d run into my friend Nathan’s mother. “She asked if you were okay -- a few days ago Nathan had an overwhelming urge to pray for you. It was so intense he had to stop what he was doing that very moment and pray.”

Nathan and I hadn’t talked in almost 10 years. Not to mention he was serving in the military. In the midst of an international war. In Iraq.

Do you know the exact day and time he fell to his knees on my behalf?

Yep. The moment I was riding the threshold. The moment my phone rang. The moment the tug of war raged.

The God of all creation stooped to whisper to one of His sons, caught in the middle of a war overseas. He asked His son to whisper a prayer back for one of His daughters, caught in the midst of a war for her heart and thoughts. The Lord Himself loved me through the loving prayers of another. Why? Because He thinks I’m lovable.

And so are you.

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. ~Psalm 107


Anonymous said...

This is very open, very honest... and very good. It brought me to tears as I read it. I think that this is something all we all need to hear and know. Just the other day I was battling with myself and with the Lord over someone from my past. I knew He was asking me to let go of an old soul tie that I have been hanging onto because this person always made me feel like I mattered... that I was beautiful and that I was loveable, but I knew that God was telling me that this person does not determine my worth. At that moment, as hard as it was, I chose to let it go. I knew the days to come wouldn't be easy, but in the days since, I have found myself thinking of that person less... sometimes not at all. God has definitely replaced that void with His love and I am so thankful for that.

Thanks again for sharing!

Kandi said...

I know that feeling all to well, it was through a broken relationship that God brought me into relationship with Him. I know that it is in and through Christ that I am lovable and I am worthy.

Anonymous said...

As I read this, I slowly started building to a good cry. Problem is, I'm at work!
These same thoughts have been running around in my own head for years and every time I hit a crisis, I run to the same thought -"____" happened because I'm just not lovable.
Thank you for the reminder NOT to bow to those thoughts. Dwell on His word, on His goodness, on His grace.
Bless you!

Fields of gold said...

Beck, thank you for sharing. Soul ties are strong binds that grip onto us and don't like to let go. What's awesome is how much stronger Jesus is. He breaks every tie that tries to hold us hostage.

I'm so glad the days are getting easier for you and that void is being filled with the Lord. Love that for you!!

Thanks again Beck!

Fields of gold said...

Hey Kandi, God is so great to mend our broken pieces! I'm often reminded of all the work Jesus was doing while He was in the grave. He took back what would have been lost... He took the keys to hell. He does that for us when we're in emotional hell. He rescues and redeems.

Love the freedom you're walking in!

Fields of gold said...

Dear Anonymous, I've fought tears at work before too! That's when a quick run to the bathroom comes in handy :)

i pray His truth keeps battling on your behalf as you lean into Him. He's got you covered in His grace!

Blessings to you sweet friend!

Eileen said...

Sam, what a beautiful and honest post. Things do happen throughout this journey that have us question if we are loveable and then God does something like He did for you and it suddenly reminds us just how much he really does love us! His timing for everything is amazing.

Follow2Serve {Lorna} said...

What a hard story to write but with a beautiful outcome. God does Love you . . . You are loveable. . . You are loved!

Fields of gold said...

Eileen, so true. Looking back, I can see God's hand of love in each painful circumstance. It's reached out, gently asking my heart to believe. Tenderly taking my hand and lifting me up. His timing is amazing!!

Fields of gold said...

Thanks Lorna! It took a while for my head to mend to write this without bitterness or pain. And to see in hindsight the love and mercy God showered on me in that season. He is faithful!

pinkdaisyjane said...

I appreciate the vulnerability of this blog and I relate to the heartache.

Thank you for allowing your past pain to be a tool to allow others to grow in their faith.

Fields of gold said...

Thanks Heatherly, I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement. It's healing to know my pain can be used!