Heaven and Hell

In marriage there are glimpses of heaven. I once described my honeymoon week as “Eden.” It was a time for discovery, for us to adventure together, for uninhibited intimacy, and for us to block out the rest of the world. My one focus was on the person I loved most and on making him happy. And I was so completely fulfilled to do just that. I call it Eden because the joy was overwhelming, any pain or frustration washed away, and I could focus solely on loving and being loved. It was beautiful. I think that’s what God intended our lives to be like, before evil crept in.

But in marriage there is also a bit of hell. There are fights and tears of frustration and pain. There are yelling matches and silent treatments. There are times where my sharp tongue whispers biting words, leaving my husband feeling unloved and disrespected. I wrestle daily with ungratefulness and selfishness as a result of my surmounting pride. I don’t love my husband as well as I should. My husband is patient and tender and the hardest worker I know. He is a man of integrity and honor, and he protects me and our home well. My husband is God’s greatest gift to me. Our marriage, while still blossoming, has taught me more about love, heaven, grace, and God than I ever could have imagined. But while we have the same ability to make each other the happiest, we have the capacity to hurt each other the most and deepest.

A woman once told me, “It’s better to be alone and lonely than married and lonely.” Her words encouraged me when I was single but haunt me now. There are times where, despite our best efforts, my husband and I feel more apart than we do united. In those moments, I know exactly what those words meant and how she felt the moment she said them. When evil creeps into a marriage and pulls partners apart, the resulting moments are deathly lonely.

I write about this topic because I struggled with loneliness as a single. And frankly, I expected my husband to solve that. I look around at my peers, and we’re all in a state of transition. Some of us are adjusting to married life. Some of us are preparing to make that commitment. Some of us are struggling with what it means to be single when everyone seems to be coupling up. Truth is, we’re all struggling, looking for the same things in different circumstances. We all want to be loved. We all want to feel special. We don’t want to be alone. And thus, we fear rejection and isolation. We fear being left out. We fear losing the love we have. We are all feeling the same things.

But loneliness is a heart issue, and one that can only be filled with perfect love… the perfect love of someone who knows each step and each breath.  Jesus came, and died, so we could feel that love to our core. That was what Eden was like, and I think it’s what heaven will be like: we’ll be wooed by the true lover of our souls, Christ, and share that adoration with Him only. We will keep looking for perfect and complete love wherever we go until we find rest in communing with the only one who can love us enough to make us beautiful again.

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Love Letter to God

Hi Daddy,

I love you. I love you for who you are, not what you do. I love your smile. I love your laugh. I adore your sense of humor. I love how you can whisper something to me in a crowded room and make me smile, and no one else understands, because you only told me. I love how you catch the corner of my eye when I least expect it and surprise me. I love that you’re always around.

I love that you are honest with me. You are genuine. I love the compassion in your eyes. I love that you LOVE everyone, and you are kind to them and love them with more strength than I could ever understand. I love that you always know exactly what to say or do to calm me down. I love that when I start freaking out, you wait patiently for me to come talk to you. I love that you always know exactly what I need.

I love that you let me yell at you, and you don’t get mad or yell back at me. And I love that when I come back on my knees, crying and apologizing for yelling at you, you take me in your arms and whisper to me, “I love you, Hannah. And I forgive you.” I love that you adore me, despite my irrationality and self-centeredness. I love that when I ask for your forgiveness, you give it freely and don’t hold it against me. I love how patient you are with me. I love that you have seen me at my worst, but when you look at me, you see me as my best.

At this moment I want nothing more than to do you proud. I want to be able to step into your thrown room and walk up to you confidently, knowing that my Daddy owns the place. I want you to come running to me, sweep me up off my feet, and say “Hey kiddo, welcome home!”

I wish I were home, with you, in Heaven. I’d love to see your face and crawl up in your lap, so you can wrap your arms around me and tell me that the fight is finished, and then I can rest. Then I could look up into your eyes, and everything would be complete. I can’t be with you now, I know that. But until then, I know you’re here with me on earth. And that’s enough. I’ll fight for you.

Oh, and thank you for the flowers. They are lovely 🙂

 

Love, your baby girl,

 

 

Romans 8:39
“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 1:12
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”