Falling Out of Love and Into You
It started first thing in the morning. The sun had barely peeked above the horizon. The words were spoken. The daggers stung as the truth of their weight burrowed into my flesh. It's Valentine's Day for heaven's sake. Can we please start this day over?
I mulled his words over and over again in my mind. It was a Saturday morning and I was on the bus headed into Oxford. When we first moved to England, Tim wanted to give me the opportunity to fall in love with the city, so he took the pixies while I explored. It's easy to fall for a man like this. But on this particular morning, Valentine's Day to be exact, I wasn't falling for anyone.
Does he really want the day to unfold in a flurry of hurt, anger, and debate? Because that is the storm we were headed into.
I would use the time on the bus for reading. That's the great thing about public transportation, you can just sit down, open a book, and relax as the driver worries about traffic, pedestrians, and Oxford bicyclists. I grabbed The Screwtape Letters, to read where I last left off:
"We have done this ... by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually short-lived, experience which they call 'being in love' is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding."
Being in love.
I did not "feel" very much in love that particular lover's day. In fact, I did not feel much at all. If anything, I was slightly offended that my lover would have the audacity to call me out on something this particular morning of all mornings. Valentine's day is for lovers. My lover should not be worrying about the state of my soul.
Yet his words could not escape me, like a broken record their refrain continued in my mind. Looking back, If I'm honest, there was a lack of surrender in the area he addressed. Changes needed to be made, and in hindsight, he was right to call me out on them. A broken record can only play so long.
That Valentines morning on the bus this is what I learned: The way of hell is paved with the idea that, "My good is my good and your good is yours. What one gains another loses ... 'To be' means 'to be in competition.'" I was consumed with me versus him.
But I know there is a path that contradicts this philosophy. As Screwtape lays out the Divine way,
"Things are to be many, yet somehow also one. The good of one self is to be the good of another. This impossibility He calls love, and this same monotonous panacea can be detected under all He does and even all He is ... He claims to be three as well as one, in order that this nonsense about Love may find a foothold in His own nature."
We may be two, but we are above all one. It is a glorious representation of the Trinity itself, three persons in one.
You see, me and my Norse-man have this transcendental relationship. The one flesh we possess can find it's origin in the nature of Love Himself. It's not so much about being in love as falling into Love, Love Himself. Being in love is not what makes this marriage holy; my self and your self becoming one in His love is what makes this marriage holy.
And I find myself falling out of love and into you, and You.
My love, there is something beautiful about being lost in this mystery of living life side by side. Through the good and the bad. You have a barbarian's heart. Yet underneath the wildness there is a tenderness that I have never known except in Abba's arms. You are a ship I can't steer. But I've crossed oceans I would have never voyaged otherwise.
Being in love is not the basis for our marriage, it's the result. The result of years of wilderness wanderings hand in hand, picking up the pieces of broken dreams and making new ones, holding hands as our firstborn emerges all skin and bones, and waking up to tears in the night for those we love whose own vows are breaking. What good am I apart from you? We have the same soul, His soul woven into our one flesh.
And He is making a song out of this love of ours ... "like unison falling into harmony."