Thinking of my newly widowed aunt on her birthday:

In the darkness my husband and I burrowed deep into our cover-pile. The fan on low brought in the cool of the forty-degree evening, but we were cozy. Spooned and cocooned, we nestled in, whispering I love yous as we snuggled.

After a long pause, my husband’s baritone rumbled low, “I don’t like it when you leave.”

I affirmed that I felt the same.

Fall is best for cuddling, especially if you keep your bedroom cool. I often think spooning is the best part of marriage.

I’m preparing to depart on another trip, this one more of a whirlwind, and this trip about death and departure, broken hearts and confidence in new life in Christ. Ashes will be spread on family ancestral grounds. We will clasp hands and bind hearts.

But my husband must remain behind.

When he cannot come with me, I feel the tug to stay in my cocoon.

I whispered to him that this was so and that I hated leaving him. When we travel together we take home with us.

He agreed, pressing his lips softly into my hair and reaffirming his love.

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In the cozy intimacy of that moment, I never wanted to travel without him again. I know our own married days are numbered. One of us will die before the other most probably, as my uncle just did, leaving my aunt widowed.

With my husband pressed warm against me, I thanked God for the miracle of marriage, ours in particular.

Tim and I married at seventeen and eighteen. I was pregnant, a prodigal, and he was a pagan. That’s how he describes himself. We shouldn’t have made it. But by the grace of God we both committed our lives to Christ, and the Lord began the messy refining work. We each were often the chisel God used on the other.

It’s a miracle any marriage makes it to death do us part. When two sinners commit to a lifelong relationship with no guarantee that all will go well, our odds are long. Only the Lord can change us, refine us, and give us the ability to love and to forgive.

Even if these moments are now departed, the gift was given. It was true. It was real. God heals, and God is merciful. Someday reunion will occur on the other side. For this we pray. This is an even better gift from God.

Don’t take the precious moments for granted. Each is a blessing that demonstrates God’s kindness. These moments are the spark in the mundane, the gift from heaven, the call to remember the goodness of God.

Have you paused to thank Him lately?

When you do, pray for healing and comfort for those whose spouses have departed (for whatever reason) from the coziness of their marriage beds.

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