Every night felt the same. Another groundhog day, or so she thought as she laid her head on her pillow. It wasn’t how she imagined ‘Happily Ever After’ to be. I mean, should she really be complaining? After all, there wasn’t nearly the fighting as that of her childhood home.
She shook her head, and clenched her eyes as if to erase the days memories. The tone in her memory even startled her. Those eyes, so big. The brightest blue. She could remember the first time she saw those eyes. The day she fell in love. In that moment, she whispered promises she never dreamed would be so hard to keep. She would always protect. Always be gentle and kind, treasuring each moment with her brand new baby girl.
When did it change? When did she go from treasuring each moment to living for bedtime?
Her hubby leaned over and cuddled in close. Every fiber in her being pulled away, a fact she tried to hide. She wasn’t quite sure why. She loved him desperately after all. I guess, she just needed a minute. A minute to think, to scold herself and reprimand her heart for her grumpy attitude today. To solidify a path, an oath that tomorrow would be different. It had to be. She could barely live with herself. Why would anyone else want to?
The doubts swirled in her mind. Was that what was happening? Was she setting herself up for the day when she would be all alone, so unlovable that no one would want her?
For a second, she reached for the ember of hope that things could really be different tomorrow. She could do it. She could choose joy even though she couldn't quite figure out just what was bothering her.
Her thoughts came to a crashing halt when her husband whispered. She couldn’t quite hear what he said but it didn’t matter. She was already frustrated, irritated that he’d interrupted her inner scolding.
“What did you say?” she flippantly replied.
With a little more volume, her husband replied. “So, when will have time for me? I miss you. I just want to be close to you. Your always busy with something or someone. I just want to know when you’ll have time for me?”
There it was! Deep down, another reason she was a failure, another person demanding her attention. But as quickly as the thought came, another came even stronger. After all, who does he think he is? Didn’t he know how hard it was being a mom, having needy babies all day long and a pile of dishes and laundry to top it off? Yeah, he was the problem. At least that’s what her heart told her.
In a voice much too angry for late night talks, she directed her scolding from her own heart onto his. In a matter of seconds, she let him know that he was selfish to care about himself, not when she was so busy carrying the weight of the world.
And with that, he mumbled under his breath that he’s tired of things always being this way. He rolled over harshly, pulling half of her blankets off of her body.
The cold air of the night left her feeling just as exposed as her heart was. She pulled her half of the blankets back and closed her eyes even tighter.
The thoughts began the scolding again. Once again, she had blown it. She should reach out and tell him she was sorry. She really was so very sorry! But then that would lead to a long night of conversation and she was just so tired. So very tired.
Yes, it could wait. Wait until the morning when she wouldn’t be so tired. And with that, she drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, her eyes couldn’t help but squint as the sun crept through the shades onto her face. She was trying to remember what day it was when the memories of her late night argument welcomed her. With a flicker of hope and the apologetic words on her lips, she hurried to the kitchen to find her husband. She had slept a little later than usual but she was sure that he wouldn’t have left for work quite yet.
Rushing into the kitchen, her focus on the cars outside for a desperate sign that he was still home, she found a note from her beloved.
It read, “I’m leaving for work early today. I couldn’t sleep last night, not knowing that there was tension between us. Don’t worry, I’ll buy myself lunch today and see you later tonight.”
As she was reading the letter, her sweet little girl ran into the room yelling, “ Mommy, mommy…I awake. I hungry. I hungry.”
She was half happy to see her little girl and half disturbed. All she wanted was a quite moment to read her letter, to let her heart hurt and strategize her next course.
The little girl began tugging on her robe, “Mommy, mommy, please, I hungry!”
And in an instant, faster than she had time to think, she snapped at the little girl, “I’m coming! Why do you always have to eat so much?”
Her heart sank as the very first moment of her day began just like the days before. She was no different and tonight would be just another groundhog night.
And with that, she poured her daughter some cereal with a broken heart, wondering how she would find her way to joy again.
***This is a fictional short story that I wrote of a real life family in need of some Seven-Life Muscle foundation and building. This might look a little like you family and it might look a little like mine. These real life interactions keep us from relationally connecting. Oh, we don’t mean to. We desperately want to love and be loved.
In this story, we have so many things happening at once. The enemy is using real life pressures and miscommunication to divide. To use her past to lock in her future. They are lacking tools of communication and healthy boundaries to keep the marriage relationship alive. They are giving into the temptation to set aside their marriage for the “someday” when they would have time. They are so busy with their daily lives that they are missing the connection that comes with slowing down for the things that really matter. They are looking to relationships and things in this world to satisfy their heart instead of abiding with the one person who will always satisfy…Jesus. They are believing that “tomorrow” can catch up on all of their hurts from yesterday. That the events of today won’t lengthen the divide that is growing between them. It doesn’t really seem that big after all. Their life-purpose set aside for surviving today.
But the truth is that without proactive, intentional heart connection today, the distance between them will grow to the point where the bridge toward oneness is too far. The anger in the home will hinder the desire for their daughter to want to be home as she grows let alone ever marry. Lessons are being taught on how to relate to one another in all the wrong ways. It isn’t what either one really wanted but is in fact how their family is being molded.
It is our desire to come alongside this family and equip them with tools of communication for authentic heart connection. To heal the wounding from yesterday for the freedom for today. And to replace the chains and lies with the Truth found only in Jesus! It’s never too late to build Muscle to strengthen tomorrow!
This family is me. This family is you! This is a family that can find freedom the Seven-Life Muscle Way! Join the 7LM Gym today!