We were going to a wedding in October. This had been on my mind the entire time I was home in Tennessee with my family. We had RSVP’d, and as a woman who had recently had a wedding, I knew how important those RSVPs were. I could tell my husband wanted out of attending the wedding, but I felt like I needed him there. I needed him to drive me, I needed him to sit beside me at his place setting, I needed him to help me keep up the illusion that things were fine. He begrudgingly agreed. I kept telling him he wasn’t doing this for me, he was doing it for Rachel (the bride). She had been there for us, for our wedding. She had stood beside us…she loved us, and come hell or high water we were going to be there for her.
Of course, some of our original plans changed. In the beginning, we had planned on making a romantic weekend out of the trip. We would take a bus to his family’s home, borrow his father’s car, drive to the wedding, stay a couple days, drive back, and then take a bus back to New York. But things were different now. He didn’t want to spend any more time with me than he had to. He made it perfectly clear, we were going to the wedding and that was it. I felt helpless. What could I do? I didn’t own a car and wasn’t sure I had the ability to drive myself. With a defeated heart I agreed to his terms. Who knew? Maybe this would actually be good for us. Maybe seeing a couple get married would inspire him to remember how special our love had been. Maybe he would see the bride and remember seeing me at our wedding. Maybe the ceremony would help him remember the commitment he had made to me, to us.
I wrapped the gift, packed my suitcase, and had my newly dry cleaned dress all ready to go in it’s garment bag. I hauled everything on the subway and headed to the bus station at Port Authority. For those of you who don’t know, Port Authoriry is what I imagine pergatory looks like, it’s terrible, but it’s where the buses board…so that’s where I stood waiting for my husband. The bus trip was awkward. Naturally, I’m still trying to be cheery and optimisitic. Looking back, I think for a long time I was trying to convince him that I was still worth loving. I tried so hard on so many occasions to be “good.” This was one of those occasions. Once we arrived in his parent’s town, they picked us up at the bus station and took us back to their home. I was hoping we could get back on the road immediately, because we still had several hours drive ahead of us and it was already late. My husband refused to start driving until he had something to eat. Normally this really wouldn’t be a big deal, but sitting in his mother’s kitchen while he ate and NO ONE discussed the serious problems we all knew were facing our marriage was perhaps the most uncomfortable I had been in my life. I mean, looking at it realistically, their son was content to cheat on his wife and treat her like dirt, and it didn’t really seem to bother anyone. Utter Madness.
Eventually, we got back on the road. And I do have to thank his parents for letting us borrow their car to take to the wedding. It was a nice gesture and it saved us a lot of money. The drive was rough. We were listening to a country music station on the radio and every time a cheating song came on, we would both chuckle nervously. Not because it was funny, but because this was our life and we were living it every moment of every day. It must have been past 2:00am when we finally arrived at the hotel, checked in, and crashed for the night. I remember thinking to myself, “I got him here. It’s going to be ok. We will make it through this weekend.”
It’s interesting what a person can “make it through.” It’s almost comical how much pain a heart can take. It’s even more surprising when you discover your own personal line where you just let grace take over. I would experience all of this during the upcoming weekend. It would become just one more occasion where I had to turn everything over to God, knowing it would be difficult, but that he would carry me til I could walk again.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”