Oh, where to begin? This blog isn’t going to be little, though it may be lovely. I’m 99.9% sure it is going to take place in two parts, the second installment to come later this week. Remember how once upon a time I said that I must stop asking Mr. Irish what to blog about because when I do it usually hits me upside the head like a two-by-four? Well, I finally learned. I didn’t ask him…though apparently wondering what I should blog about while driving to see him is equally as damaging to my head, as I learned last night. However…the learning that comes out of such revelations is unmatched in any other area of my life so, in some sense, I enjoy it (the end result of the revelations, not the proverbial two-by-four to the head).

To say that this week has been an emotional and spiritual rollercoaster would be the understatement of the year. And it is only Wednesday. Let me start by saying that Satan is a tricky little pile of poop (and that’s putting it quite nicely). In order to get to my point (and believe me it is GOOD), I must take you through some of the story. Sunday I began to have this overwhelming feeling that Mr. Irish and I just weren’t connecting like we used to, that something wasn’t right with us. It felt like a dark cloud hanging around, though it only appeared to be over my head, not his. This feeling has popped up a few times in our relationship, though it usually doesn’t hang around that long. This time, however, I was (and am) so frustrated by this annoying feeling that I started to let God have it. My journal entry for Sunday night started out like this, “what the hell is going on???” And I meant it. This feeling is a feeling that I can no more explain today than I could on Sunday, and that fact only served to annoy me further…and irritate Mr. Irish. After all, what was he to do with this “feeling” I was having? He can’t fix feelings.

So I went to bed and woke up feeling no different on Monday, and the lack of improvement only made me more annoyed. The dark cloud just got darker as it refused to go away. I truly felt that something deeper must be going on here, there must be a reason for this dark cloud, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I talked to a number of friends to get some insight, but I still wasn’t having that “ah ha” moment of clarity I was looking for. The darkness loomed and infected Mr. Irish and myself…it led to sad and scary thoughts that maybe this whole thing wasn’t going to ever work itself out and that this stupid feeling may in fact be the death of us. Have I said that Satan is a tricky jerk?

By the grace of God (and a good friend…and my blogging committments to The Papist) I ended up re-reading two old blogs of mine: the intimacy of Prayer and just not in Love. Welcome to “ah ha” moment number one. We’ve been missing out on prayer. We’ve been trying to get back to it, but it isn’t like it once was, and we’ve both been slacking. We’ve been slacking as a couple, and we’ve been slacking as individuals. The dark cloud (which had actually been masking itself as a feeling of “I’m going to break Mr. Irish’s heart”…have I mentioned the tricky nature of Satan yet?) started to get a little lighter.

So I spent some time in prayer, thinking about just what I wanted to say, how I really wanted to challenge him and us to get it together or surely we were going to lose it all. In my head it sounded intense and I liked it that way. Did it come out that way? I’m sorry, have you met me? Of course not. I chickened out. What was meant to be and sounded like a fire-ball ended up coming out like sounding like a fluffy white cotton ball. It came out something like this, “so, I think we have really gotten away from prayer and I want to make more of an effort to get back to that somehow. I’m not trying to blame you because I have fault in this too, but we should really work on this thing.” Good golly. Even writing it sounds weak, it lacks a spine…and so do I. How are we going to get anywhere if all I ever do is throw metaphorical cotton balls at him (and that’s on the off-chance that such a “challenge” ever actually leaves my mouth!)? Oh, sure, I’d love to get back at him (in a loving way!) for all the times he’s hit the emotional nail on the head with a ten-pound hammer, but I’m too chicken. I fear making him mad, pushing him away, becoming a nag, and this fear consumes me so I either say nothing or throw cotton balls. I’m so scared of running him off that I fail to challenge him (and us) to grow at all. We become stagnant, we falter, and we fail. We let dark clouds hang over our heads and begin to miss our single days when we didn’t have to deal with all of this. Where has my spine gone?

Then, finally, we head to the adoration chapel. Sweet relief. Except we have to get there. In a moment of pure grace on the way to the chapel, Mr. Irish opened his mouth and the Lord spoke. He spoke words that pierced (and for that matter, are still piercing) my heart. He gave Mr. Irish the courage to speak them, even though they instantaneously moved me to tears…because they are true. Now, I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the jist,

“Do you know why I met your with such disgust? Because you are stronger than that, so much stronger. You have a strong, fierce heart and I don’t know why you don’t let it shine in our relationship. You are a strong woman and I wish you saw yourself that way, because I really don’t think you see yourself as strong.”

God’s words, Mr. Irish’s mouth. Welcome to “ah ha” moment number two.

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