growing in orlando

leaves-on-fencemy husband is gone to orlando, with that unlikely extended family we call 24-7 Prayer USA. he called me from the beach just now. i could hear the waves and the wind in my ear while i sat at my desk in madison.

“i miss you. i wish you were here with me,” he said, like he always does when we are apart. and then he added, “but i have a sense that it was important that i came alone.”

because there are things he’s on the brink of (i’ve sensed weightiness to this life season for him), and there’s been warfare opposing him (which means he’s about to leap forward), and in florida there is one man who has been sitting on prophetic words for him for the last nine months (which t received tonight).

i think that perhaps he had to go alone because it seems like a lot of times jesus pulls his sheep aside to whisper in their ears. even away from their mates? yes, i think so. had i been there, t would be distracted by considering my every need, and might have missed the gift that was there for him.

tomorrow night he will come home and i’ll be waiting with a warm embrace and a hot meal. i suspect that some things will have shifted inside of him. i’ll hear it all, and try to absorb the newness of him.

this gets me thinking about the risk of personal change inside of a marriage. see, when t changes, i have got to change, too. and vice versa. in marriage i not only having to deal with the growing pains of my own self, but also the self of this person who is mysteriously, spiritually One with me. personal transformation — via the facing of past pain, the setting of new goals, or the deeper understanding of identity — is uncomfortable. and now we’ve each got two sets of change contend with.

when we marry someone, we marry their potential, even the parts that we don’t have foreknowledge of. that’s a bit anxiety-provoking for me, every bit as much as it is exciting. knowing that t is in orlando, without me, being rearranged by the Holy Spirit makes me just a bit uncomfortable. i don’t want to be left behind.

a long time ago i wrote a journal entry about a man who would be my greenhouse. it was one of those things that seemed to write itself, with neither premeditation nor complete understanding of what it was about on my part. it was about being in a relationship with a man who would call forth growth in me, with wildness and freedom. and t has been that for me. together we have committed to being greenhouses for the other.

i will bring you out into the full sun and i will not stand in your way. you will not be constrained by posts or string, you are invited to grow wildly and untidily into a shape of your choosing.

shame on me if i don’t fight for that sort of growth in him. i am jealous for him to be fully alive, fully the man who God has given me glimpses of him becoming.

and the fact is that because of this covenant we’ve placed ourselves in, our Father is concerned now with growing us in the same direction. i’m banking on there being special grace for me, as a wife, to accomodate my husband’s personal and spiritual transformations. and he mine.

so… grow, t, grow.

and i’ll rearrange myself to hold you, still.

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