Peacemaking

As much as it depends on me I’ll lose, I’ll defer, I’ll wait.

Not because I’m weak, even though I am. Not because I’m less than, even though I happily consider you greater. Not because I’m not able, not willing, not right. But because I want to walk with you through the night. Through the light. Through the hard days and long days and everyday normal days.

As much as it depends on me I’ll look for ways to bridge a connection between you and me and the everlasting.

As much as it depends on me I’ll make a home, a good pot of soup, a place to relax and laugh and hold each other. Not because I’m stuck here. Not because it’s home. But because I want you to know that home is a place you’ve only felt a little of here.

As much as it depends on me, I’ll keep walking with you. I’ll slow down, even stop, even wait, even ache, even bear the pain of all the shame that comes with forgiving. Not because I can’t escape. Not because there is no other way. Not because you are my only way to feel whole. But because I’ve already found the way.

I’m already promised Shalom. I’m already alive and free and no one can take that from me. I lay it down willingly.

3 thoughts on “Peacemaking”

  1. How do you do it, Sheila? You make it sound as if you enjoy laying down your life, fully exposing your heart, vulnerability regardless of the results.

    How can I give my heart- show tenderness, care, empathy, sincere love in action to someone who doesn’t care deeply about for me? It’s been 15 years, and I’ve struggled to persevere through such coldness, betrayal, apathy, and even contempt over almost all of those years. The first 10 or 11, I really tried to be loving and hopeful, yet honest about the pain I was experiencing from his ways. He scoffed and blame shifted and withdrew deeper. Over the last 4 or 5 years I, in turn, have grown more and more withdrawn, and cold, and even jagged. Now, he says I’ve become so mean and hateful towards him. He never cared when I cried to him about how his coldness, harshness, frequent condescending remarks, and general contempt for me cut me deep to the heart like a dagger.

    He wants me to “just go back to being loving”- the way I was when he ignored my tender-heartedness, but I just don’t know how I can go on. When I read your poem, I think, “yeah, that’s lovely for a woman in a healthy marriage.” But when I read those last few verses, and I feel even sadder, because I know that I cannot possibly truly live for Jesus in this way- I do not have the soul satisfying inner-peace of knowing I that I’m perfectly loved by Him. Is that not enough for me?

    True self-sacrifice in marriage, as you describe so well in this poem is heartbreakingly difficult- as I see it; a statement that epitomizes the fact that I am not prepared to love like Jesus. And if this be the case, how can I call myself a follower anymore?

  2. Thank you for all your words of encouragement and conviction and may God’s richest blessings be yours. I first discovered your beautiful prose at Desiring God and then followed you on your blog. As a fellow nurse some thirty years older than you and with a very similar enneagram and also a challenging marriage, I have identified with so much of what you write. May God keep strengthening you and hold you very close in His everlasting arms.

  3. Krisztina, when I read your comment this morning I cried to God for you. The days and years of painful marriage are enough to make a heart grow cold. I’m praying you’ll know Jesus with you in these days. I pray you’ll experience a baptism of his never giving up love. When I read your response I ached deep. An old wound throbbed. I’ve been withdrawn, cold and jagged too. All I know is Jesus is alive. The pain and suffering, the death that comes with marriage is not in vain. Jesus is alive. He’s resurrection is redeeming all our suffering. And I pray even now he would let you taste of that freedom that says, “I lay down my life willingly! No one takes it from me!”

    Lord envelope Krisztina in your love.

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