My husband, Josh, and I have been married for 11 years now. We’ve lost some of that fresh, bubbly, butterfly-inducing romance. We have three kids (8, 6, almost 2) so we are tired all the time. We both work full-time and homeschool our 2 oldest boys. We are both very active in our church, in bible studies, and try hard to stay connected to our friends on a regular basis.
It’s really normal that the longer you are in a relationship, the more familiar you become with your spouse, the more the infatuation and butterflies fade away. Some of us can kind of resent that shift in the relationship and then begin to pull away from our spouse. We feel hurt that maybe they aren’t quite the same as when we were dating…
“You used to stay up all night just to talk to me - even when you had to work the next day!”
“You used to snuggle me on the couch all the time!”
“You used to dance with me in the kitchen…”
“You used to tell me how beautiful I am every day…”
Or sometimes, we mistake that the lack of butterflies means we are falling out of love with each other. We start looking for a way out or another person to make us feel that way again.
The other day, I was kind of noticing how “blah” things have been in our marriage. We are so focused on our kids, on our work, on our ministries, that at the end of the day we are both too tired to connect heart-to-heart most nights of the week. I pulled out my phone for whatever reason and went through my photos. I began to see photo after photo of my husband doing what he loves to do most - be a dad. There were pictures of him holding our baby up near our tree so she could touch snow for the first time, pictures of him playing in the water with our kids at the beach, building sand castles, snuggling sleeping babies, being silly with our boys, the two of us out at a restaurant together, teaching our boys the value of hard work by cleaning gutters in the back yard or power washing the house or raking leaves. It was photo after photo of my man in his happy place.
I found my eyes welling up with tears and my heart filling up with butterflies again. I sent him a text while he was at work to let him know how much I loved him and couldn’t wait for him to get home. The focus of my day shifted from all the things I “had to do” to waiting for my darling man to come home to me.
I got to thinking the other day in the car about this shift from infatuation to familiarity and the Lord brought to my attention that familiarity is what makes way for intimacy. Intimacy is knowing someone inside and out. It is knowing the secret places of someone’s heart. It is that unique and private relationship with someone - something only the two of you have together.
You can’t get to true intimacy without going through the familiar.
Isn’t it that way with the Lord too? We are saved by Jesus and we are on fire, crazy in love, passionate believers, then something happens. It can take some time, but as we become more familiar with God, oftentimes we become a little lazy in our relationship with Him. We let the busyness of work, family, church-life, and other things crowd in His space in our heart and at the end of the day, on most days, we are too tired to even connect heart-to-heart with the Lord.
This moment is when we need to pull out our spiritual photographs, those snap-shot moments of precious time seeing the Lord doing what he loves most… working in your life. Look at that miracle baby, that restored marriage, that prodigal child coming home, that moment when you had no money for food and a check came in the mail, that time when you were going through crisis and friends showed up to clean your house and bring you a meal, when you couldn’t make rent and someone paid it for you, when you became a gentler spirit through the Word of God, the Sunday morning when it felt like the pastor was speaking directly to your heart, your moment of salvation by Jesus, the quiet moments of loneliness when the Lord came and sat with you, the grief you didn’t have to walk through alone, the friendships that came when you needed them most, the patience and grace shown to you when you didn’t deserve it…
These are all snap-shot moments in my life. These are all my photos of the Lord. And when I take the time, in my weariness, to sit down and remind myself of these memories, my eyes start welling up with tears, my heart fills with passion, and I want to lean into the Lord more instead of being resentful of our changed relationship or thinking his love for me has faded.
Familiarizing myself with the Lord is what makes way for more intimacy with Him.
So, my sweet sister, remind yourself of the goodness of God today. Pull out those snap-shot moments of the Lord working in your life and let your heart fill with passion, your eyes well up, and lean into His heart more today.
written by: Lyndsay Terry
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