A thousand tomorrows

Once upon a time, 
in the golden field of forever,
before God and everyone else,
we said “I do” and I believed you.
And I got busy doing and you didn’t.
And I cried.

With your hand in mine,
I entered into our ever-after
longing to serve God alongside you.
With hopes for laughter and loving memories,
happily I dreamed of dreams that really would come true.
Only they didn’t.
For you entered our marriage with dreams of playing,
having fun, and escaping as much responsibility as you possibly could.
And one by one, I watched as my dreams shattered into millions of pieces
right alongside my broken heart.
And I cried.

In desperation, I turned my attention to pleasing you
even if it meant losing me, while you turned your attention
to pleasing yourself, even if it meant hurting me.
When I’d pour out my hurt to you expecting you to care,
you would deny having done anything wrong.
You would say that you were surprised at my selfishness for wanting your attention,
when you had other things, better things, to consume it.
You would say that I was suffocating you by needing you so.
Time and time again, you told me to go away and leave you alone.
And I cried.

Under the disappearing rainbow, alone and lonely,
I tried once again (again and again) to please you.
To be the kind of wife that you would want to come home to,
to give you all that I had to give…and more.
So much more.
And you never even noticed.
And I grew weary of crying.
 I gathered the fractured remains of our lives
and buried myself in God.
On the Truth that you could neither see nor understand,
I built for a future that would stand firm,
that would someday mean something,
even if you never grasped it.

A few years ago from tomorrow and in the land of lullabies,
I held my babies and I cried,
tears of joy,
tears of pain.
And I rejoiced in the laughter of little ones,
and on shared joys with them.
And together, we finally had fun.
But you, seeing it, sought to destroy it.

Once upon a time, we dreamed of pleasing you,
but no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t.
We dreamed of closeness and of love
but you didn’t want it.
You wanted to control us.
You lost yourself in anger.
And you buried yourself in sleep
in endless needless errands,
another television program,
and too many movies to count.

But despite the brokenness,
the love of little children broke through my sorrows.

Once upon a time, so many, many times,
you didn’t notice
the tears streaming down our faces,
or pouring forth from our shattered hearts.
You never saw how your words destroyed us,
how your actions broke us into tiny scattered pieces,
or how afraid we were.
And the years crept by
and you held firmly to your nothingness,
secure in the fact that you were the boss
and could do what you wanted,
demand what you wanted,
say what you wanted,
break us when you wanted.
You could do anything
no matter what
we might want,
no matter how we cried,
no matter how we begged you to stop.
You sought to destroy us,
and you nearly did.
Yet through the pain,
because of the pain,
despite the pain,
we held on to God.

The wife you ignored and sought to destroy,
and the children you made fun of and never had time for,
will go forward hand in hand with God and each other
towards a hope-filled tomorrow.
We will miss the you that could have been
but wasn’t,
and the memories we might have made with you,
but never had the chance to,
because you never let us get close to you.
And though you are self-consumed,
and will continue on as always.
Though you threaten and fuss,
yell and accuse,
it no longer matters
for the Truth has set us free.

By God’s grace, as today turns into
a thousand tomorrows,
we will grow into who we might have been,
who God designed us to be,
before you tried to destroy us through your words,
before you sought to reduce us
by your anger, to nothingness.
Before you, by lack of planning,
by repeated failures,
by attacking and abusing,
took almost everything from us.
We will build for a future that will work
though nothing you’ve built ever has.
And, as the relentless stream of time
gathers and flows,
deep within your cocoon of sameness
you won’t even notice.
You’ll still be running endless needless errands,
trying to outrun your pain.
Or you’ll be sound asleep in your chair
as mindless chatter issues forth
from a place of despair inside a box
that is far more important to you than I ever was.

As the days give way to years,
by God’s mercy,
finally,
there will be no more tears.

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