An Open Letter to My Husband

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Your desire shall be for your husband..."
- Gen. 3:16


It is one of those mornings after days of passing like ships in the night, when thorns and thistles have called you early from my side and ground-curse leaves me longing for the sound of your voice, for just a moment - and another and another for a forever that isn't ours. I would never have you leave.

I am almost without function today; the thought brings helpless tears. How did I ever grow into you so much, how did I come to need you so deeply, to want you like this? Why must even the simple things of getting the breakfast and cuddling with our daughter and touching our son within raise such an ache that I pause in the house that is empty without you and look around for you, even though I know you are not here?

I don't even know when it happened, but I am changed, and now I cannot write or think or work without you in my heart, always just beyond my reach, with too-short evenings and weekends and road trips and time that flies into age - and we'll be old tomorrow, you know. Everything reminds me of you, and I see you almost always, but even the hours we are together are not enough to satiate this compelling, and you know I am not a person who settles easily. I can try to be understanding, submit myself to you, to God-who-ordained-this-desire, to wait and cling and worship - but I can never be okay with this ache for what was meant to be, for what isn't.

I have never desired to rule over you so much as I have wanted you, for you are the one with power over my desire, the one I need to give your heart to me - and I cannot demand it and be satisfied with anything I gain that way. My weak vessel is so, so empty when you are not here, and no matter what I try, I cannot resign myself to this sense of loss, the garden-moments we should have had, had I not in Eve tried to secure God-knowledge for myself, risking - no, securing death for us both and for our children, and for our children's children.

I will never understand this, for the fruit we ate gave no real knowledge of Life, and He knew we needed this incomplete to find that Life in Him, the only Source of it. I almost resent Him, except for His gentleness, mercy that offers redemption and mystery that brings us intimate together as one - just as He is One God, wholly set apart.

And my heart desire is set apart for you, my husband, and I pour me out to you and I don't make enough space for you sometimes in my need, and oh how I ache to know that heart I keep missing - though the more I find, the more of you I miss on days like today, when if I'd just get up and get the raspberries I've been procrastinating on for an hour, I wouldn't have to miss your serving love of me so much.

So I make this letter open, with the ache open and the Garden-wound tearing at me while God-redemption offers Enough that doesn't ever feel enough to this Eve. The words tremble out at first, a lump in my throat, then cascade with my runny-nosed tears (how I hate that!) into my confession of desire that cannot be conquered, no matter what we do.


All that to say, I really miss you today, Pete.

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


mandiegirl said...

This is beautiful and so true, Kelly. I can certainly's a wonderful, scary thing to desire and depend upon someone so much.

Maureen said...

". . .May your desire flow free / And never be fettered / . . . May you feel how your soul loves / . . . And think only of the joy/ You can awaken. . . ."

". . . absence is alive with hidden presence. . . ."

". . . May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency. / May you know the urgency with which God longs for you."

~ John O'Donohue

Heidi said...

Beautiful, Kell.

Corinne said...

Just beautiful! What a gorgeous letter.

Izzy said...

Yep, yep, yep. The truth of it brought tears to my eyes. This must be what it is like to be best, best never want them to "go home for just a little bit so I can have some free time". To think more clearly and be more alive when they are *with us* than when they are not. I love it!!

Glynn said...

This is what every husband aches for, and what I've been blessed to have in my own marriage. Thanks for this, Kelly.

FaithBarista Bonnie said...

Wow. This is so tender and powerful - like a crashing wave on a (once) calm beach.

It's beautiful how you pour yourself out so completely, and with such emotion.

My fave --
"I don't even know when it happened, but I am changed, and now I cannot write or think or work without you in my heart, always just beyond my reach, with too-short evenings and weekends and road trips and time that flies into age -

and we'll be old tomorrow, you know." The sentence closes like a clap of thunder. Thanks for sharing so openly. Beautiful.

lindsay said...

beautiful words. Thanks so much for sharing.

the Joneses said...

I feel this way, but don't have the words to say it like you do. So thanks.

-- SJ

Carrie said...

Wow, this is gorgeous. And you are right, no matter how much our husbands are home, there is never enough family time! Thank you for sharing!!!

Danielle said...

Sweet. I have similar feelings for my man.

Geezees Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

What a beautiful and honest letter this is...than you so much for sharing.

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