Friday, December 20, 2013

I loved you in lines.

To my husband, my person:

Tomorrow we will look deeply into each others eyes across the console of our gold minivan, and wonder aloud, "What the hell just happened?"  As we scrape goldfish out of carseats and frantically finish our Christmas shopping, as we sit in the parking lot of the church where we exchanged vows ten years ago because neither of us checked to see if the church would actually be open for us to have a new super meaningful exchange of vows, we will ponder.


Ten years is a third grader.  Ten years is a decade.  Ten years is twice the amount of our oldest child's life.  Ten years, if we are blessed, is one-ninth of our ENTIRE existence in this world.  Ten years filled with life, death, belly laughter and seasons of darkness.    Ten years of prayers spoken and unspoken, needs being met and ideals being readjusted. When we entered this covenant together ten years might as well have been thirty.  Cause those couples be OLD.  

So much of the marriage that we longed after and prayed hard for has come to us.  Praise be to God.  And so much of that has been through forgiving hard and admitting weaknesses and letting things go that we had death grips on.

Like super death grips.

At the beginning of marriage I clung tightly to the idea that love was linear.  That marriage was to be lived out in a straight line.  I thought we would approach an issue, plow through with the help of Jesus, tidy the whole mess up and then climb on top of it to get to whatever our next conquest might be.  Money issues?  Let's just go ahead and resolve those for life.  Then we can tackle spiritual leadership issues.  Parenting issues.  Let's just stack these lessons on top of each other and climb to the top of Marital Bliss mountain.

I know.   I was 23.  As if that weren't excuse enough, try to remember I also got most of my love wisdom from I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  Before you start laughing, remember that you are not allowed.  You read it too.

And while some of that climbing to the mountaintop idea rang true for us; mostly it didn't.  We still had our stuff.  Our things.  Our patterns.  I remember getting so ridiculously frustrated at some of the same conversations and arguments that would cycle in and out of our marriage.  I didn't understand why they would surface...didn't we figure this out already?  What does it say about us, about our marriage, if we were doubling back to these worn out conversations?  Why are we here again?  Didn't we resolve this issue circa 2006?

Because you see, my darling, I loved you in lines. 

 I was so busy discovering the moral of each one our tiny stories that I failed to see how our love, our marriage looks more like the scribbly mess that Abby made on the top of our coffee table last week.  Our love looks like loops and circles and scratches and claw marks that are real.  And our story is deeply etched into grooves and circles with no end in sight.  Our love is so not a straight line.  

Besides.  Lines are so boring and predictable.

And, I've been thinking lately that maybe this is what life is all about.  Maybe this is what God is all about.  Maybe it's about revisiting places and conversations and insecurities and hang-ups with one another and an Almighty God so that He can teach us something new each round.   Maybe life doesn't look like sparkly gift wrapped "life lessons" but more like a thick fog where we just have to put one step ahead of each other and hold hands and trust God as He beckons.  

Yes, sometimes we go back to some of our shiz.  But every time we loop back around, we have more years under our belt, more patience in our hearts, and a couple more lines around our eyes.  And perhaps we will continue this crazy circular motion forever because you are you.  And I am me.  But perhaps, just perhaps, one of these days we will walk down our all too familiar roads and realize that our issues no longer live there.

And if that day comes we will be ever more thankful to God for it because of all the time we had spent, all the tears shed, and all the shaping that had taken place there.  So who cares if it takes seventy nine versions of the same conversation?  As long as we are fighting for growth and fighting for holiness and fighting for one another we are making progress.  Amen?

So here is my promise to you:  These next ten years I will allow God to bring us back, around, and through whatever He chooses to.  I will not dig in my heels and shake my fists and use my words to second guess what God is doing.  What you are doing.  What I am doing.  I will celebrate every step he brings us to, even when I feel like we've been there before.

I will release my breath, grab your hand and walk forward.  Or backwards.  Wherever.  As we said to one another on a snowy day ten years ago tomorrow:

"Where you go, I will go.  Your people will be my people (indeed as our little people are playing Headbandz in the room next to me) and your God will be my God."

We are blessed because we belong to one another.  And we belong to the One who calls us by name.  So glad my name is Hamann.

143 my love.  143.  


  1. So beautiful :). Happy Anniversary!

  2. Hi Rachel! My name is Cam and I have a quick question about your blog and I was hoping you could email me when you have a moment. Thanks so much! I greatly appreciate it. :)

    1. Hi Cam! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm sorry for the delayed response as we just got back from vacation. What can I do for you?