We are going to San Francisco this weekend. In less than 24 hours, Danny and I will be alone in a strange city together.
Tomorrow is our anniversary. Eleven years of marriage.
Eleven years really isn't THAT long, and yet -it's long enough to have three kids and almost lose each other.
Something hit me about a week ago -a hunger? a crazy urge? I don't know. All I know is that we booked some last-minute tickets, and The Word of the Week has been
For the last few years, I haven't worn a wedding ring. I haven't been willing to DATE let alone go away for the weekend like we usually do for our anniversaries.
I've had people tell me I'm crazy to stay. I've had an inner voice tell me I'm crazy to stay.
Danny has had people tell him I'M crazy and he's crazy to try and stick it out with me.
Our critics have fallen into two categories:
1) Porn is normal, so come off it already
2) Porn is abominable, so leave already
It certainly doesn't make sense to people on the outside, and it doesn't have to. At the end of the day when we're with each other checking in and talking about things that would boggle the minds of people who think we're nuts... we feel at peace, we feel at home.
A few weeks ago, I caught Danny's eye as we were watching youtube videos as a family. I held his gaze, I held his hand, and the wordless connection was powerful -so powerful our eyes welled up.
We said "I love you."
But we didn't need to say it.
I've longed for a connection like that for YEARS. I don't expect it to be maintained constantly, but to know it's there, to know I have access to it, means the world to me.
Danny's been gone all week... he's training in Ohio, and I'm at home dealing with this ridiculous chronic illness, three kids, three dogs, and three cats, and one overflowing toilet.
Somehow we are all fed and thriving. Another miracle.
As he's been gone, I've felt some very old fears rise up within me. For so long, I didn't care what he did while he was away, but lately my heart has opened back up. I've learned that it's safe to begin to re-attach to Danny, and that is TERRIFYING because my muscle and brain memory tells me, "Loving means hurting."
That is TRUE.
But I'm learning that it isn't the end -that hurt can be a catalyst for growth, a chance for rigorous honesty as I express my feelings and needs, the gateway to an intimate experience with God. Pain is information to me.
Danny has proven to me through time that he's HERE, even if he doesn't understand fully what I'm going through, he's going to sit with me anyway.
And so I'm re-attaching.
Does that make me crazy?
It doesn't FEEL crazy, even if it looks crazy... and I know Danny will say the same thing.
This weekend signifies something huge.
It's showing us that we've made strides.
It's letting us know that we're brave enough to spend money on ourselves.
It's come naturally, unforced and definitely unplanned (what the heck do I even pack?!).
And as I've mulled over what this trip means about where we are in our relationship and in healing our relationship, I keep stumbling on immersive gratitude and the realization that recovery has brought about miracles in our marriage and lives.
I'll meet Danny as he lands in Phoenix from Ohio and before he can even set foot into the hot AZ sun, we will be on our way to Cali.
Does this mean we've "made it?" That our marriage is in the clear? That it's time to "move on" and get passed this seemingly never-ending trial?
No, it doesn't mean any of those things.
Danny and I will never reach the "MADE IT" point, either together or individually. The more recovery work we do, the more we find TO DO, and it is the most rewarding, harrowing work we've ever done or ever will do!
Our marriage will never be in the clear. But what does that matter, if our faith lies in God and not in each other? It's a harsh, harsh thing to accept. It seems unfair and even unhealthy to some, but trusting in GOD and putting my faith, loyalty and love in HIM has proven to be the singularly most freeing act I've ever embarked on.
We will never move on from this trial, and I prefer it that way. I prefer a marriage where we acknowledge frailty, where we check in and focus on connection, where we hone in on God. I prefer a home of healing.
To the outside world, it's just a weekend getaway for our anniversary. It's as simple as that.
But to my world, and the world here in this little blog... it's a miracle, absolute, utter and completely.
Our critics have become a distant fog for us, and we're reaching forward and biting into this delicious, golden fruit called connection that has touched every facet of our lives.
And it means that I have more to surrender when he leaves on a business trip and stays alone in a hotel for a week.
It means risking being hurt more and again. It means more open hearts, more open arms, and more joy as well.
It feels right.
Today, it feels right.
Maybe I'll sing a different tune when I'm triggered in California, but I'll worry about that Golden Gate Bridge when I get there. Right now, I'm just going to hug the miracle.
And seriously, I need to pack.