I’m sitting on my bed on Christmas Eve. My husband is at work and my kids are sleeping. It’s 8:42 AM. I should be getting ready. My husband gets off early today, so I only have about 3 more hours to prepare. Prepare for the unknown. The inevitable. I feel a combination of numb, anxious and resolute. I’ve learned over the last 14 years that emotions that seem contradictory come together in a strange, confusing way. How can I feel love for a man that treats me with contempt one moment and tenderness the next? Someone at church yesterday asked me if I felt overwhelming love for him when we were first together. Funny, I couldn’t remember.
My pastor told me yesterday that having hope is part of being a Christian. He told me a story of someone’s fiancé that, when all seemed lost, turned to God. I know that he was only trying to help. It only made me feel like I’ve somehow failed as a Christian for wanting to leave. Just like I’ve failed as a wife for making my husband so angry that he calls me vile names I’ve never imagined coming from the lips of the man who says he loves me. Like I’ve failed as a mother for not leaving 14 years ago the very first time my husband raged. I ask myself that question a lot lately. Why didn’t I leave 14 years ago? Why didn’t I leave yesterday? Or the day before? Or the day before that?
For now, I just have to get through this day. At one time I would have prayed to God that he soften my husband’s heart. That God would intervene and my husband would come home in a good mood. There just doesn’t seem to be a point to that anymore. It’s not that I don’t think God hears me. I’ve come to accept the fact that He chooses not to answer those prayers. I don’t question why anymore. He just doesn’t. I’m not even going to go there. It feels wrong to pray for peace and feel disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
Time to get up and just keep swimming. I don’t paddle furiously anymore. Just keeping my head above water is good enough for now.