Whatever It Takes
“Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.” I have to admit, I love it when Ron Burgandy utters that statement. In fact, I love the whole post news team brawl scene. And mentally, I seem to be invoking that scene every Sunday night these days. Somehow, I go from telling my local neighborhood barista on Friday morning that it should be a pretty lazy weekend to plopping down on the couch next to Angie on Sunday night at 10 in total disbelief regarding all that had happened in the previous 60 hours.
The weekend started early at our house as I had Friday off. So we shopped, lunched and played with Red. Everything was going pretty much according to plan when I got a phone call from a friend at work. Her voicemail said something to the effect of “I’m the luckiest soul on the planet and seem to win every effing contest I enter lately…and I won Lifehouse tickets for tonight and nobody is really interested. Do you want them?” Now, a little background may be needed here to get the full effect of this voicemail. Last year, when last rites were being read over our marriage, Lifehouse’s song “Whatever It Takes” became part of our rallying cry — a song that became of the blueprint for the redemption of our marriage. Add in a few other songs that are woven into the soundtrack of our lives, and Lifehouse is a big deal for us. In the early months of 2010, Angie made a vow that if they were ever close, we’d go. So now we had the ability to go for free. Except there was one obstacle. Angie’s once per month “No Bull Wives Club” was already on the calendar. While you’ll have to ask her what the group is all about, it’s sufficient for my purposes here to state the group hasn’t been together for that long and that she’s super passionate about developing her relationships with its members. I left the decision to her. Before I’d even had a chance to check on babysitter availability, she told me “tell her no, we don’t need the tickets.” The symbolism of what happened was not lost on me: the pre-Lifehouse woman who made decisions based on what was best for her was gone. The post-Lifehouse woman chose loving her neighbor over a concert. It is PRECISELY that kind of heart that makes me love this woman so much.
So, what was the consequence of her decision? An unprecedented night of growth for the group. I don’t know if she told them about her decision or not, but her level of commitment to them is humbling for me.
One of the other highlights of the weekend had to be my parents taking our kids for 30 hours. Seriously, how incredible is that? Not only did it allow us to be hyper-productive, it also gave us plenty of time to reconnect with each other and with people we care about. We have so many friends that are in so many different places in their lives that we feel very blessed that they share their prayer requests with us. For two of our friends, the ability to get pregnant is an issue. Frankly, it’s not my job to determine which prayer requests are more or less worthwhile than another. I honor prayer requests because I honor the people that they come from. In this case, though, their prayer request clung to me and that’s why I bring it up here.
A few months after Angie’s dad died from a heart attack a couple of years ago, we had a miscarriage. It was agonizing. When you get to the point to try for kids, every set back is über painful. And waiting to try again, only to wait to see if there has been any success, is so damn hard. In fact, that miscarriage was like the emotional nail in the coffin built to hold our marriage. Even though we later conceived and had Red, we’d not emotionally recovered. It’s pretty easy to see that at that point, we changed. We both spun into emotional isolation, lost each other and wallowed around in circumstantial happiness, frustration, pain and grief. The pain of losing a pregnancy is profound.
Maybe that’s why the weekend felt so full, so draining and so incredible. I found myself praying for people who needed help with pregnancy, revisiting the emotional wreckage of that time period that would lead to the death of a marriage. I found myself praying for my wife to make the decision that reflected her heart in regards to Lifehouse tickets, the band that symbolizes the resurrection of our marriage. I haven’t connected all the dots, but the dichotomies between my past and my present have been on full display this weekend. Frankly, the unmitigated joy in my life was unattainable until 2010-ish. That joy came as a gift from a God that creates something out of nothing — in a marriage, in a uterus or in a weekend — when things really get out of (my) hands fast.
As my readership has continued to grow due to people sharing my blog with others (thank you to those who have done that), I have more people to ask prayers of. So, if you’re a prayer person, I ask that you lift up my friends as they try to get pregnant. Ask that their bodies work as they were designed to work. Ask that they feel the peace from knowing that people love them. I’m unapologetic in my desire to see my friends live blessed lives; please pray for them if you are so moved.