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Holding Space Together

Sometimes it is the burdens I bring home from the workday that I unload on my husband. Other times it is the frustrations with the kids or just with daily life. Over the years I have poured out my heart to this man who willingly listens with a nod and a knowing smile. It’s not always pretty. He rarely offers advice unless I ask and he doesn’t rush in to fix it. He just listens, offers the gift of his presence. Ever the worrier, I find my balance in him with his effortless trust that everything will be okay in the end. He helps this controller loosen her grip, the fixer in me let others be who they are. I am the opposite from him in almost every way. God knows I needed a man like this, even though sometimes I would love him to just be able to fix all of my mess. A few months ago we celebrated ten years of building this life together and dreamed of some time away, just the two of us. We have been in a particularly stressful season of life lately and the tension building in both of our shoulders showed it. We sat crunching numbers together as my tears fell down. That cruise we had been looking at booking for our anniversary felt like it was slipping through my fingertips as unexpected expenses piled up. He gently took my hand. “Trust me?” he asked. “Can we do this, see it as an investment in us?” My breathing slowed and I wanted to say “no.” I wanted to tell him about how the numbers didn’t add up and why I held onto my worry like a safety net. Instead, I nodded and he squeezed me tight. I held onto him as he prayed over our kids, our finances, this trip, and our marriage. As we sat on the deck of that cruise ship under the Caribbean sun, I looked up from my novel, the first I had the chance to read in months. He was engrossed in a book of his own. This day wasn’t some magic solution but it was something we both needed desperately and he knew it. We didn’t talk much that morning on the ship, just held space together. We’ve been holding space together for ten years now. Sometimes there are words and other times we can just be silent. That’s the beauty of partnership. I realize how grateful I was for this man who could be with my in the big, joyful moments and sit with me through the struggling ones, too. I think about what a reflection of Our Father he is in that way. I can get so worked up about life’s details that I forget to just be present with Jesus, that it’s only in that quiet space with Him that I find my peace. But He doesn’t force the answer on me but he doesn’t rush in with condemnation when I forget where my peace comes from either. He, too, offers just to hold space with me. Like my husband, He offers an invitation. “Come to me,” Jesus says. I close my eyes and I can just hear the same gentle tone in his voice that I hear in my partner in this life. I see that same extended hand. Trust me?

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