I lay my head on the pillow and breathe deeply. Trying to calm the chaos of my thoughts and the anxiety building in my soul, I breathe. The silent tears start to fall. At first, I'm embarrassed by them and I turn, so he doesn't see.
He's there, checking a few last minute things before turning out the light...college football recruits, the best price for a trailer hitch.
How can the space between my side of the bed and his side of the bed feel like a canyon miles wide?
I hear an internal whisper that says, "Don't bother him. He doesn't really want to know. It might be that this is just too much. Maybe you're just too much. Maybe you're not enough. Just keep it all under the cover of darkness."
And as a recovering "pleaser-avoider" I almost let those whispers fall like truth. But they aren't truth. They're lies. Lies planted to divide what God has joined together.
I take a deep breath and try to find words, but instead find a little sob that breaks the silence.
He turns, and asks, with real concern, "Are you okay?"
There's another chance to hide. It's brief, but just enough time to choose. Do I share my weakness and vulnerability and ask him for what I need most right now, or do I lie and say I'll be okay to avoid the chance of his rejection?
"No. I'm not okay," I answer through tears.
He comes close. He listens intently. When I ask him for what I need, his prayers on my behalf, he gives willingly. He speaks into the darkness of the bedroom and into the darkness of me and I am so thankful.
This marriage bed is a sacred space. This is the place where intimacy can thrive or die. This is the place that we choose to be stronger.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12