Saturday, September 26, 2015

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Does it really?

Have you experienced a heart growing fonder in the absence of that special someone?

An old friend?
Children who have gone to camp, college or married?
How about when your spouse is away on a trip?
When mine is gone, I get the remote control! LOL
But how I miss him and can't wait for him to return.

Remember when dating two-weeks in high school felt like two years? And if you missed seeing the person one day in the hallway you would die! That one day felt like a lifetime.

Perhaps you had a high school sweetheart or a college fling. Was this real love or infatuation mixed with hormones or both?

Having celebrated 19 years of marriage, I found myself staring at our wedding photo. Rather than a quick glance, I stopped, paused, reflected on the handsome man I married and thought what a great person he is. We celebrated with a blues band, jambalaya, crawfish, wild flowers and people who loved us. Looking at our Kodak moment, it struck me that I love my husband more now than when we married.

I've heard people say love changes over the years and can grow deeper. I wondered in what way because it seems the warm fuzzy-infatuation feeling goes away rather than get stronger. Isn't love suppose to feel like unceasing-warm-fuzzy-socks?

I realized after 23 year together, 19 married, we survived many ups and downs, infertility, robberies, temptation, losses, death, attitude adjustments, layoffs, church hurt, growing together in our faith and in life.

When the life list can be long and appear negative, how is it I love him more?

Because in spite of, I choose to look at the positive side which I believe has been God's way of pulling me through challenges, helping me to focus on the good things, not the bad.

And learning to focus on the fact that we made it through stuff and together.

In the best of circumstances, it's hard enough to join in union and become one.

When Curtis and I met, we were both broken for various reasons. You name it.

Damaged, hurt, divorced, fragile, defensive, independent, needy, wounded, guarded.

But...we wanted to be loved and wanted it to work.

The challenge is 

There were days when:
  • I let my robbed childhood begin to rob me of my marriage.  I learned the need to heal and focus on what I have, not what I lost.
  • I let the pain and loss of my divorce depress me until I realized one day that it was ruining my good marriage that I now have.
  • My abusive childhood kept me in perpetual survival mode. I had vowed no one would hurt me again! Until I realized that vow was overpowering the vow to my husband who was stable, consistent, reliable and standing by my side through my new growing pains.
  • My anger towards my mom's lack of protection left a bitter taste in my mouth until I realized this wasn't helping me or our family heal. 
  • I had to realize my husband was NOT my father. He was there to help me, not hurt me.
On a bad day, running away feels like it would make life easier.
Unfortunately, wherever one hides, their unresolved problem goes with them.

It occurred to me that perhaps ABSENCE OF: 
Might make room for:

And this might begin to change my perspective of the very situation I am in.

I'm learning that
Absence Does Make My Heart Grow Fonder...

So when love changes over the years, is it because people change or refuse to change?
  • Do we fall out of love because we refuse to let go of a past that has a stronghold on us or
  • Do we fall in love because we refuse to let our past hold us hostage in a dark fog?
If you have a strained relationship; in marriage, at work, with family or friends, or the cashier clerk at the grocery store, consider what might need to be absent in order to make room for love.

Consider attacking the list of hurts and offenses before it conquers your relationship. Fight the list like it is an enemy. Tell it there is only room for two in this relationship therefore the list must go.

Warm fuzzies is an added bonus but it doesn't define the action of true love.

When you fight for what you know to be right on a day that is
lacking warm fuzzies ...
that my friends is victory over

Is there something you need to change so you can fall deeper in love?

Do you believe absence makes the heart grow fonder?


Mike N. said...

That was awesome Tammy! Well done, I enjoyed reading it.

Tammy Sue Willey said...

Thanks Mike N. for saying so. Your words encourage me.

Elena Sorensen said...

Tammy Sue, thank you for writing this. I needed to read it. I tend to carry my hurts around, too. And I know how much choosing freedom would help. Thanks for posting on this topic!! Love, Elena

Tammy Sue Willey said...

Dear Elena, None of this is easy. Awareness of the need to change "something" is half the battle. Letting Him soften our heart and dry our tears along the way is a good idea too! It's an ongoing cleansing. Stay true to your heart my friend! Thank you for the courage to share. Love you, Tammy Sue

Randall Watkins said...

I like it! So happy to see you fighting the good fight and doing well my old friend! You're an inspiration and a ray of light. Cheers to you and Curtis.

Tammy Sue Willey said...

My good long time friend Randy, what a journey it has been! My passion is to share honestly in hopes to help someone who is struggling. Thank you for your encouragement and treasured friendship. Cheers to you and Laura.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy,

Completely and overwhelmingly LOVED this latest blog post! What an encouragement. Thank you. You have a gift that I am privileged to be part of :)

Have a great week,
Blessings (Jo~G 9/28/15)