Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On the 15th anniversay of my marriage (edited version)

I spoke in this post about awaking to the notion of seeing people as God sees them. And then in this post about the loneliness that can follow.

On the occasion of my anniversary, I want to explore how marriage can assist in the ability to love others, in the true meaning of Christian love.

This has been the loneliest year of my life, I think. (Edited to add:
this sentence and the title of this post are not necessarily related).

Strangely, this bout with loneliness has been fruitful, rather than fearful. Not
to say there haven't been some very dark moments or lots of sad tears shed.

But the loneliness-as-desert metaphor seemed more real to me, less like the empty platitude it had been in the past.

I feel it is the relinquishing of the loneliness to God that helps. Yes, I am lonely, afraid, sad. It hurts. I can not do anything about the deep ache in the chest that I have. I can not will it away. I can give it up, endure from one breath to the next, and make a resolution to love through the pain.

Have I done this perfectly? Absolutely not. I have caused hurts and misunderstandings in my novice efforts to love. Opening to love means opening to pain. Opening to love means taking the warm flush of returned love along with the cold heaviness of love ignored.

Loving means that if the other can't love back, you still love.

Loving means that when the other chooses to attend to others, you still love the other and the ones being attended to.

Loving means overlooking human frailty in others, and begging God to forgive your own.

Love means loving for the sake of the Other, not for your own. Love.

Can this be done through sheer force of will?


Only the grace, freely given from the One who gave all, can make love possible.

Only complete union with the Suffering Servant can make our own suffering bearable.

The temptations to strike out, draw in, and protect are strong. Sometimes given into, even. Does this ease the pain of loneliness? No.

There is nothing self-indulgent about True Love.

So then, what is the answer?

One breath to the next, offer the heaviness for all the lonely, abandoned, unloved. Solidarity. Companionship in loneliness. Unite the suffering with the Conqueror of all suffering. The One who conquered death is the only One that can make our own littleness bearable.

What does this have to do with my anniversary?


This year defies description.

disappointment ~ delight

panic ~ peace

grief ~ goodness

loneliness ~ love

fear ~ fortitude

terror ~ trust

These all apply.

The contradiction of life.

The Mystery of Love

The Eternity of LOVE!

I am learning, through my marriage and my dear husband, to embrace the mystery of Love, to soak it in, to let Love run through me. To relate to the world in love, with my marriage as a classroom and laboratory. To have a safe place to be while I am learning, and to have a companion in the effort. I am learning what needs to be done, and purifying my intention to carry it out. I am learning just how dependent on God's
grace and mercy I am if I am ever really to love well.

It is with utter gratitude and deep love I thank my husband for our marriage, for our life together, and for our shared love of Love Himself.


Blogger Mimi said...

Happy, Happy Anniversary and Many Years!

I'm sorry it's been a dry year, but your comments on marriage are wonderful!

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Renee said...

Thank you, Mimi. I truly believe the interior struggles I have had this year have been beneficial because my marriage gives me a fruitful place grow.

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Kitty said...

Beautiful, Mimi - YOU are pioneer tough!! ;o)

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Kate said...

Happy Anniversary! I, too, have had a dry and often lonely year...but the virtual companionship of women like you helps tremendously.

(Thank you SOOOOOO much for the card, btw. I've been meaning to write back!)

Congratulations to your and your husband, and thank you both for the hard work you put into your marriage, your family, and all the ways you minister to others!

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Mairin :o) said...

Congratulations! You have written a beautiful and thought-provoking post.

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Suzanne Temple said...

Renee, I just LOVE this. Happy anniversary!

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Daisy said...

~*~Happy Anniversary~*~

It appears to have been a dry season for a lot of us. ;o)

October 11, 2007  
Blogger Kitchen Madonna said...

Happy Anniversary Renee and thank you for having the chutspah to tell it like it is. You are inspiring in your perseverance and willingness to still open your heart.
Thank you again.
When are you coming over for a pomtini?

October 14, 2007  
Blogger ukok said...


Belated Anniversary greetings to you my friend. I thank you for the honesty of your post. Sometimes, being single and wanting to share my life with someone special deludes me into thinking of a future marriage in which everything is rose tinted.

Whereas I know, because of my former anulled marriage, that this is most definately NOT the case. But I do forget.

Real love is loving - even when it doesn't feel like love.

I know that we can't look to others to fill our wants and needs, only God can do that.

Thanks Renee!

October 15, 2007  
Blogger Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they're really inspiring.

November 02, 2007  

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