Finding Grace

If all of the strength
And all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
My love

I’m struggling with forgiveness. I’m trying to find more humility. And yes, I think that might be called grace. I’ve not felt very graceful recently on so many levels.

These past months have been difficult, and the complexities of the multiple things that have come between Grant and I have seemed daunting in recent weeks. The last few days have been better.  He’s trying hard, doing all the right things. Today he said “It’s over. We’ve both hurt each other, and we need to just move on, go forward.” Is it that simple? Yes and no.

I awoke feeling sad with thoughts about the space between us. I’ve been hurt, and it hurts to feel that rift there. I also know that regardless of my feelings, any anger or hurt, it seems up to me to find a way back to him. Why do I say that? Because in some ways I think women are the emotional gate keepers in a marriage. Grant leads us, but I have control over the emotional tone of our marriage. When it comes to affairs of the heart, only when I find a way to put down my walls, forgive or ask forgiveness, surrender, can things start to go right between us. And I so want them to be right, to be back to ‘us’.

Grant also said yesterday that I have changed and that he feels he has to get to know the new me. I’m not even sure I know what that means, how I’ve changed. He said “These months have changed you. You’ve been through so much, and seem a bit different somehow.” Time will tell. I am still healing and sorting. I guess we can’t possibly stay exactly the same for decades, can we? Maybe I am not the girl he married, and maybe I am not the woman I was 5 months ago. I hope I will be a better more mature version of myself.

When it comes to discord, sometimes issues need to be sorted and points made, but sometimes right and wrong hardly matters. What matters is that our connection is solid, and when he’s finally ready, (I say finally, because he has not been) only I can decide to allow that. Even if it happens to be Grant who broke that connection, or caused it to break, (which is totally my perspective. I know his is different) the reconnect is my call. I guess in some ways it’s very like deciding to submit. He can’t force my submission; I have to freely give it. He also can’t force my forgiveness, my open heart, or my open arms. Those are all mine to give.

Sometimes it feels so unfair. I don’t want to carry that burden. I also don’t want to let go of my hurt. “He broke it…let him fix it!” I feel justified. Sometimes it’s hard to put down my pride and my anger and make the decision to rise above, to be better, kinder than that. Can I love him enough to just push the trash aside and welcome him back to me?

But then…it comes down to grace doesn’t it? The words of the song speak to me because it’s true that with enough strength and enough courage I believe I can find the grace. I just have to…

“I know I could love you much better than this.”

I’m working on finding grace.

23 thoughts on “Finding Grace

  1. You’ve had a lot of physical healing to accomplish, and now it appears that you are focusing on relational and spiritual healing.

    You couldn’t possibly stay the same, you know. You’re both too interesting to do that. The changes are what makes marriage interesting.

    It’s hard to face the fact that making things better depends on you. But really, isn’t that good? It means that the power is in your hands to get what you want.

    In counseling, things seem to boil down to three questions:
    What happened?
    What do you want?
    What are you going to do?

    With lots of faith in you,
    Mick

  2. I’m right here! Oh, wait, not that kind of grace, huh? ;)

    We all grow and change throughout life, or we should anyway. Parts of us will remain essentially the same, but even those will likely morph a little here and there.

    Both of you have been going through a really turbulent time and I imagine you both need to recoup and see where you’re at now. While there’s some truth to the saying “time heals all wounds”, you have to be open to healing. Holding onto hurt is a pretty natural response for most of us I think, but in the end it hurts us more than it does the person who hurt us.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to both you and Grant and I hope that you’ll find your way back to each other soon. (((hugs)))

  3. Before I started my blog we were where you are. Can I forgive him? What do I want? We decided to date again and remember why we fell in love. It wasn’t hard to do once we both decided to make it work. It took time.

    Give it time Sara. Give yourself time to heal and work on falling in love all over again. What did you love about Grant? Date and make out in the car like teenagers. Find now experiences to share and make memories. Good ones. Hugs Sara. .

  4. Sara,

    I believe you do have the courage and strength to find Grace. Your post proves that. I wish it was easier. Pride and anger are strong emotions. They win some days, but thankfully not everyday. Be stong and of good courage. Fight the good fight. Keep listening to the music you love and hour by hour make a choice for the good. Hugs and thoughts for you both. Regards,

  5. Hello Sara~~
    You and Grant have been though a great deal over the past few months, your marriage has been together how long? Well its having some bumps now I dont know all the details but I do know marriage is not a staight road, its bumping, joggles wrong turns and the road dosent always have lights so that you can see…..however,if in your heart of hearts you feel that there is one chance in a million that this is the ,man you want to wake up to every morning?Then by all means give it your best shot. Its more than hard….as a woman we are able to pull this off. Just remember, do you want to wake up in the morning and yes its him sleeeping there….smiles….

    Annie~~~

  6. Mick, your advice is always so good, and those 3 questions are excellent ones too. Thank you!

    Yes Grace, we have to be open to healing, and I think writing about it was part of that process for me.

    D’s Rose, I’ve never fallen out of love with Grant. I’ve fought with him, and there was a time, years ago, when I walked away, but I could never quite manage not to love him. Sometimes even within a great love, we hurt still each other.

    SNP, I will always “fight the fight”. As hard as that is sometimes, what else is there?

    Annie, he’s the only one. So…yes, I’m hanging in there!

  7. I totally understand this. We had a violation in our marriage a couple years ago and despite all the forgiveness I’ve worked on practicing, I find it comes up for me emotionally again and again. I’ll think it’s totally behind us and suddenly I’ll find myself the exact place you are. The truth of the matter is that hanging in a state of unforgiveness only harms you. It affects Grant, but the greatest harm is on your spirit. Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning, only releasing the pain from you. I read this little affirmation/practice/whatever once, and found it useful. Maybe it will resonate for you. You think of the person to be forgiven and think or say out loud:

    I forgive you. I release all unforgiveness. I am free and you are free.

    Hugs,
    Renee

  8. It is so true that we are the ones who set the tone and allow the forgiveness and closeness in our marriages. I completely relate to this. It wasn’t until I allowed Alex back in that we were able to work on us and make all the changes and improvements that we have made. It really is a change of heart. If I didn’t allow that in myself he would still be on the outside.

    Give yourself time. You will find a new equilibrium I just know it.

  9. You have grace, it is in you. You have both been through a lot both physically and emotionally. We are all constantly changing, it would be boring otherwise. I f I were a betting person…and I am…I am putting all of my resources on the two of you finding your way back to each other….it might look and feel differently than it did 6 months ago…some things get better with age! hugs abby

  10. Oh, Sara, don’t be so hard on yourself. Take the time you need to get through this, just know you WILL; and remember, you and Grant will both be stronger and more complete because of it.
    You have had a hell of a rollercoaster to ride, it has taken your breath away, and it will take some time for you to get your breath back!
    Also, sometimes we don’t recognise how difficult it is for the healthy partner, to have to stand and watch their partner suffer and not be able to DO anything to stop it. That, also, is draining and takes their breath away too.

    I don’t know and won’t speculate on what you are going through; but, please know you are in my prayers and thoughts. xxxxxxxx

  11. Renee, I can imagine having words to say really helped you. I have some of my own to remind me of where I need to be in my head and heart. Grant is a fine man who always does his very best, so even when he hurts me, I know he has not intended the hurt. Knowing that helps me too.

    I know it too Zoe. It’s just been such hard work over many years to get where we are, only to have this set back. But as Annie said, marriage is indeed not a straight road to happiness. Damn!

    Thanks Abby. I think we’re a pretty safe bet!

    That’s true Daisy, this has been hard on Grant in a totally different way. The fact that he could not protect me tore at him. And you know what…I have these dratted hormones pulling at me now too. They might be making me feel just a tad down?

  12. I still check in from time to time. I am sorry for all the hurt and all the fear and all the pain you have endured. I wish you well. For what it is worth, when you find yourself on the other side of the struggle, you get to choose how you will go forward.

    All the best,
    swan

  13. Grant’s right. It’s a time of reinvention for you. I hope you can find joy in getting to know each other all over again. And, honestly, grace? No, I don’t think you need grace. I think you need time. Grace is just another word for perspective.

    And, YES, those darn hormones. I have days when I walk down the hall at work about to burst into tears for no discernible reason. I’ll be so happy when the hormones calm down. My vote is for assigning some of the blame to menopause.

    Glad to hear things are better, Sara.

  14. Hi Sara, I’ve been following your blog for over a year now and can’t tell you just how much your insights, perspective, and experiences have helped me identify things in myself and my marriage and enabled me to grow. I’ve been praying for you these past few months and am so glad to hear how well you’ve come through your surgery.

    I can see myself yet again in this post. You’ve made me think about how I respond to my husband in similar situations.

    “What matters is that our connection is solid, and when he’s finally ready, (I say finally, because he has not been) only I can decide to allow that. Even if it happens to be Grant who broke that connection, or caused it to break, (which is totally my perspective. I know his is different) the reconnect is my call. I guess in some ways it’s very like deciding to submit. He can’t force my submission; I have to freely give it. He also can’t force my forgiveness, my open heart, or my open arms. Those are all mine to give.

    Sometimes it feels so unfair. I don’t want to carry that burden. I also don’t want to let go of my hurt. “He broke it…let him fix it!” I feel justified. Sometimes it’s hard to put down my pride and my anger and make the decision to rise above, to be better, kinder than that. Can I love him enough to just push the trash aside and welcome him back to me?”

    Yes, yes, yes! You’ve captured the heart and soul of it. I definitely relate. I find when my husband does what Grant did and says, “It’s over; let’s move on.”, I often don’t feel ready because I’m not convinced he truly understands all of my thoughts and feelings and the reasons for them. I just don’t think I can move on unless I know he REALLY gets it, ya know? Yet that can cause us to be stuck. *Sigh* Ah, so much food for thought, Sara! Welcome back – I’ve really missed you :-)

    Anna

  15. Sara, I know you will find the grace…. :)
    I think sometimes that finding the grace to do what doesn’t feel fair is so hard. If nothing else you can find it for you, cause when you guys connect again you will feel so much better.

  16. Thank you for the kind words swan.

    Lori, you may be right that menopause is playing a larger role in my feelings than I thought. On the upside, reinvention sounds exciting!

    Hi Anna! I am so glad my blog has been a source of good self reflection for you and I appreciate the prayers. And yes Anna, I too want Grant to understand the depth of my pain, if you will, but then…since I know he did not mean to hurt me, and he always tries to do his best, sometimes his understanding just makes him feel bad, but does not prevent a repeat in the future. We got stuck in one of those old negative cycles that every couple has. I’m just not sure what to do about that.

    Yes Ally, in the end ‘finding grace’ and thus peace is not just for him, but for us, and ultimately for me. It’s about me…me being the sort of person, wife, lover. Friend, mother that I want to be.

  17. I think it’s called ‘surrender ‘. You are so aware.
    I am at that place, too…where surrendering to the higher order is the only real choice I have. I just wish they ( husbands ) could be, er… aware of how hard it is for US? Grateful, maybe ?
    …GRACE-FUL?
    But then, when ever was it easy for a man to admit that he was incapable of ‘fixing’ discord between us. ? It’s all about me making up my mind to be the initiator, to do what I think MY God wants me too…even if I feel it’s unfair. I have to depend on my moral compass to bring the ship back.
    dang. it’s hard .

  18. I don’t have any words of wisdom Sara, you’ve both been through such a lot. I thought this was a very thought provoking post. I hope you find your way back to each other soon.

    Dee x

  19. Laur, “It’s all about me making up my mind to be the initiator, to do what I think MY God wants me too…even if I feel it’s unfair. I have to depend on my moral compass to bring the ship back.” was exactly what I was trying to say. regardless of what he gets or says or does, I have to try to act with integrity and to be the best person I can. And yes…at times…”dang. It IS hard”!!!

    We’re on our way Dee. A long term marriage cannot possibly always be smooth and worry free. That’s not real. And I do write about this stuff, partly, just to keep it real!

  20. Sara,
    I am right there with you. In December, 2011, my husband demanded a divorce. I hurt, I didn’t understand, we couldn’t connect anymore. Over time, I have been working my way back to him. I completely understand what you said, its up to us to forgive and open that gate. It doesn’t seem fair, but if we want it we have to do it. Keep at it, Grace will come.
    Cindy

  21. I’m truly sorry that it is so hard right now. I think there’s a lot of truth in women being the emotional compass in a relationship. I sure haven’t figured it out. I mean…if he’s going to lead, shouldn’t he “get” that stuff too. They don’t always and you have to navigate carefully. You will find the grace Sara. I suspect you will both come out somewhat changed, but hopefully stronger.

  22. Cindy, that must have been just awful, and yes, I am sorry to say, I can relate. I wish you all the strength and courage and grace you can find!

    Thank you alais

    Susie, that’s just the point:

    “if he’s going to lead, shouldn’t he “get” that stuff too”?

    Yeah, he should get it, or be able to hear it when we explain. If he can’t get it he doesn’t get me…and then where are we? Struggling, I guess.

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