LOVE AND WAR
“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
My heart has been haunted since my eyes first read the words. “The Nightingale” written by Kristin Hannah is an inconceivable story of love uncovered during the horrific times of World War II as Nazi Germany took over France. I am boldly borrowing this opening sentence as it continues to bounce through my thoughts.
“In love we find out who we want to be…”
I think of daydreams, visions of growing old with my husband…happily. Days spent strawberry picking with my girls, dressed in adorable outfits. Hot afternoons lathered in sunscreen, together, lounging by the pool simply smiles and goodness. I love daydreaming, imagining life before me, living in the fun parts, the enjoyable parts.
“…in war we find out who we are.”
Most days I switch the word war with the word marriage, motherhood, conflict or under pressure. Most days I am not sure if I want to know who I am in war.
I began a new devotion series this morning, “Behold Your King”, written by Catherine Warwick. Day one focuses on when Joseph engaged to Mary, discovered she was with child. I can only imagine the feelings of disappointment, shame, betrayal, anger that must have crashed into his life destroying the dreams he held for himself and his wife. However, Joseph did not let his feelings lead, he never intended to have Mary stoned, as was the custom. Joseph decided to quietly divorce his wife and be done. God did more. A change of heart occurred when an angel visited Joseph speaking truth and a world to come. God led Joseph through this war.
I dare to say thoughts of divorcing his wife verses having her stoned never crossed Joseph’s mind until the moment all events collided. But all was not forsaken. Everything did not “go to hell in a hand basket.” God reached out his hand and Joseph placed all he had in that Hand. God’s love, kindness and mercy was with Joseph when things were going well in love and accompanied Joseph through his war.
Our war this day may not be facing a virgin birth, the angel Gabrielle may not be knocking on our door but we all have wars and we all play significant roles in God’s story.
Thoughts never crossed my mind of the vulnerability, honesty and openness I would have to possess daily in order to keep my marriage a live and breathing. How moment after moment intentionally choosing another’s needs before mine without resentment defines a piece of motherhood. How my stress level when things aren’t going as planned or my to do list is too long, can bleed onto those I care for. My rants and negative attitude diminishing character, leaving feelings of anxiety and insecurity in the wake. War impacts our lives in all shapes and sizes, what we do during these wars always needs to conform. Rather than clenching fists or fold arms across a chest we can grasp the Hand reached out before us. Whether things are dreamy in love or crumbling to the ground in war we will find comfort in the One who has a greater perspective. With a ton of prayer and God’s guidance reminding us who we are in Him we can be led to conquer those times of war and transform them to times of love.
A work in progress I am… I think about Joseph during those difficult days; how shaky his ground must have seemed under his feet. What love came from a time of such turmoil.