Falling in love is a little bit terrifying. And sometimes a lot bit.
Remember that story of the morning when Robb died? Remember how the paramedic came into the kitchen, and he said, “Ma’am, are you his wife?” and I said yes, and he said, “We are going to need to tell you he has passed,” and my mom said, “Is that the final word? Is he gone?” and the paramedic said, “Yes, ma’am. We’ve done everything we could do, and I am terribly sorry, but he has passed,” and I said, “Okay,” and I couldn’t believe that’s what I said but it is truly what I said? Do you remember that?
On that terrible morning at the end of my world, I looked at the man in blue, I took a deep breath, and I said, “Okay.”
It is five years later, and I find myself saying that very same word again, and once again with a voice I barely recognize.
Apparently I cry all the time now.
I’ve carried this heavy greatness for so long—so very, very long—and I’m almost to a place where I can set it down. But instead of setting it down with a great sense of relief, I find my arms trembling with fear, my eyes welling with tears, and my spirit saying, “Can I? Can I set this down? Can I stop carrying? Is it okay?”
Falling in love is very undoing. And falling in love after knowing the very color of death in the eyes you have trusted is every kind of terrifying. Only now do I truly know how much I have to lose.
I am learning that there is some anxiety lying dormant within me that could only emerge in the face of safety and security, quite literally in the arms of a man who loves me. When I let down my guard, when it’s just Peter and me, there are waves of a very physical anxiety that I’ve come to call aftershocks. They are not the earthquakes themselves. They are the memories of the earthquake, the settling of the bones.
The body is incapable of telling a lie. And my body is terrified.
A few nights ago, in a tender and precious conversation, this very present thought showed up like a cartoon balloon over my head. I thought with such clarity, “I’m going to miss this man so much when he dies.” This dark balloon popped the peace right out of my moment with Peter. And there I was, crying again.
I am learning that there is a dark and fearful part of me that believes God takes away the things I love. I cannot fall in love with him; God will take him away.
It isn’t true, of course. And yet it kind of was.
Aside from the absolutely overwhelming, disorienting, feet-knocked-out-from-under-me, oh-my-great-day feelings of falling in love, the greatest emotions I feel in this season are a deep and distracting fear as well as a sense of such consuming almost-rest.
I’m not resting yet. There is too much fear in the way. I’m just starting to see that maybe I could rest someday, that maybe someday I will be able to say, “You’ve got this? You’ve got us? It’s okay? We’re okay?”