Credit: Pixabay via Creative Commons

Credit: Pixabay via Creative Commons

I told him we weren’t going to talk about it anymore. I was sick to death of hearing my own voice, droning on and on and on with no reply. He knew how I felt about the issue, and all the ways it screwed with my head. He knew how much I hated myself, wished I could stop caring so much, the shame I felt whenever I remembered. He knew how much it ached, the longing for something I wasn’t meant to have.

I needed him. I needed to know we were still close, that he still loved me and would listen when I talked about other things. I just didn’t want to talk about this. An ex boyfriend once told me it was unfair that I would just end a conversation when it got too intense. I’d shut down and walk away. He thought it was control issues rearing their heads. Truth was, I was just afraid of what would come out of my mouth. There was an imaginary line in the sand, and once I crossed it I could say all sorts of really hurtful and cruel things. So when I could see the line in the distance, rushing toward me in the throes of an argument, I would turn and walk away.

I didn’t want to turn and walk away this time. I wanted to stay engaged. I figured we could just avoid this one topic and go on. For awhile it was nice to be free from the pressure, to talk about other things. But gradually the conversations became more and more shallow, until they were nothing more than monotonous recountings of the details of my day. How was work? Did you get enough sleep? What do you want to watch tonight? Is your book good?

The relationship atrophied. It turns out that intimacy is impossible when one party withholds the deepest parts of the heart. The issue was still there, still a burden I carried on bent shoulders throughout the day. It still drove me to tears at night, pounding me into depression over the cold winter months, still screamed from inside my head that I was worthless. Unloved. Unwanted. It bound me up until I couldn’t move, writhing inside the cocoon of its accusations. I was foolish to think I hid the struggle; it played out before his eyes. But I refused to let him speak. I knew he had true words, words with the power to disintegrate my bonds, words to breathe life back into me. I was just so tired of words healing while the issue remained unresolved, always ready to pounce and rewound.

I stopped trusting him. But he never stopped delighting in me. He never left my side, never ceased fighting my enemy even when I crumpled in defeat. He’s still here. Holding out a hand that, if I take it, is ready to pull me to safety. His voice is still pouring words of love and value over me like healing waters over parched, raw skin. His presence still fills my emptiness. So we’re talking about it again. Because I’d rather tire of my own voice as it invites him in than hand myself back over to a vicious enemy.

The Lord reached down from above and took me; he pulled me from the deep water. He saved me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me, because they were too strong for me. They attacked me in my time of trouble, but the Lord supported me. He took me to a safe place. Because he delights in me, he saved me.

~ David, Psalm 18:16-19


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