We are on Day 10 of 11 Days Apart. Home stretch, you guys. Home Stretch.
He has finished serving the men of tribal Africa, he has finished two days on Safari with dozens of animals in their native land, and he is en route to Switzerland and back home to me. I got a call this morning with a broken connection from the airport in Nairobi. His precious voice is music to me. “I’m on my way home to you, babe.” This. This is what I needed.
I’ve been doing little things for myself throughout this time without Peter, little gifts and little tricks to make it seem like I like this. Things like an ice cream cone in the middle of the day (though truth be told, Pete and I do that whenever we want). Or parking my car in the middle of the garage since nobody’s coming over after his work day (though I’ve spent enough years parking in the smack-dab-middle of the garage and there’s very little joy in it). Or watching episodes of Gilmore Girls, because while he’s willing to try almost anything new with me, I can’t get him to wrap his mind around spending an evening with my girls, Rory and Lorelei. So I snuggle up with blankets and snacks and Gilmores, and I let their bantering dialogue sing me to sleep.
The thing is, I’m not exactly new to the whole scene of Stay At Home Wife to Traveling Husband. (No, I’m not a wife yet. But I think like one.) So I know how to pass the days, invest the time, and play those little tricks to make it seem like I’m less miserable than I really am.
I asked Jana, my therapist, why I couldn’t get my act together, why I couldn’t just take this trip in stride. I mean, honestly. I’m sick of hanging out with myself in this frame of mind. Why can’t I just get past this? Then she pointed out—oh that’s right—that I have some very real and tangible abandonment wounds. That my brain doesn’t naturally operate with logic when it comes to saying goodbye. What I’m feeling is real and valid and very well within the normal range for Girls Like Me. Translated: Give yourself some grace, t. Feel how you feel, and wait for the days to go by.
I texted a quick update to Mark, our marriage counselor (I’m big into the support of mental health professionals, in case you’re keeping track of the counselors mentioned in this post alone) this morning to say, “We are almost done with Peter’s days in Africa. I’m owning it. Hating it, but owning it.”
He wrote back, “Sorry you are hating it. Next step is to understand why. Would you want your brokenness to restrict Peter, or for his to restrict you?”
Um, no. Not when you put it like that. Yikes. And also, Ouch. That’s a powerful charge right there.
He added one more thought. “I think we must look continually at what inside of us keeps us from fulfilling the Great Commandment.”
Good grief, it’s a lot of work to be healthy.
Sigh. Back to the journal.
I cannot let myself be the wife who keeps him from doing what God wants him to do, who keeps him from being the best version of himself, if that means he needs to do so apart from me.
May I hold him with open hands, may I love him with a Christ-First love that sets Peter free to stretch his arms wide into the greatness of all he is meant to be.
Yes. I’ll work on that.
And now I’d like for him to come home.
God, bring us into the same world and onto the same page.
This woman cannot live on Gilmores alone.