For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
I am thinking there’s a reason this scripture spoke to me so clearly this morning. I thought it was because of the imagery of trees clapping their hands and mountains and hills breaking out into song. I just loved the picture it created in my head. Something cartoonish, ebullient.
But I read something different in it this afternoon.
This month, the 21st will mark my 6 year wedding anniversary. Except that we didn’t quite make it. We separated in April. But mentally, and physically, too, that deed had been done for months. Maybe even years. It’s hard to say because this last year was filled with so much sadness and stress and just plain turmoil. My father was dying from cancer. My career-teaching-takes a great deal out of me emotionally. My husband’s job was hitting its stride which meant weeks out of the house and on the road. Lots of building resentments. Frustrations spoken and not. Tension and some serious emotional distance.
But I digress. The scripture. If I think back 6 years ago to my wedding day, I was definitely joyful. If you had looked joy up in the dictionary, my picture would have been there. Folks said they’d never seen a bride smile so big. I was just delighted about what lay ahead of me. I knew it would be difficult; I didn’t anticipate easy sailing. My husband and I both have big personalities that could overwhelm without intention. Set in our ways. Head strong. But I felt I’d met my mate. Someone I could breathe with and be myself with.
The funny thing is, when I look back at that girl, I don’t want to tell her to change her mind. To turn around and run. I am actually quite, well, relieved, that I took that step with confidence. Yes, I loved the attention and the excuse to have family and friends in the same place at the same time. The dress was beautiful. I felt lovely. But I also relished the idea of starting my life with someone and having all of the people I loved present to witness the event.
So what happened? I am still piecing it together. Lots of things that I think we both equally decided to ignore all pooled together and became something that we couldn’t survive. I wasn’t getting what I needed and my guess is that if you were to ask him, he would say the same. We lost track of how to do things together as opposed to living these parallel lives.
So here’s where the second half of the scripture comes in. That part about being led back in peace. I have hope for that. I like to think on my best days I have faith that peace will reside in both of us. Not that we will be led back together. But that we will be able to move forward knowing we’ve learned what was needed in order to make the next relationship work.
Right now I’m trying to piece myself together for a relationship with God. So far I have found myself rather poorly equipped at listening and waiting. Most likely the things that interfere with my earthly relationships as well. But Lord knows when I let it go and really start to rely on the wisdom that God planted inside of me (by planting himself there, no less), some hills will surely be alive with the sound of music.