That Ache in my Heart when He’s Away

That Ache in my Heart when He's Away

“To the woman he said…‘Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’” Gen 3:16

Your desire will be for your husband.

My desire, my longing, that ache in my heart when he’s away…

I kissed my husband one last time on that muggy summer morning before he drove off for the first part of what would be, in total, seven months apart.  This life we chose to live, the Army life, can be hard, lonely, stressful and difficult, with long days and even longer months apart.

I watched him leave, comforted crying children on the front porch, then went inside.  I sat down, dazed. I took a deep breath as reality set in: it was just me and the kids for the next few months.

My core hurt; ached.  It felt like a black hole in my center, an endless chasm of hollow pain.  He had been gone for all of three minutes and I ached him, longed for him; I desired him.

To be honest, I hated that feeling.  I was a strong, capable, independent woman.  I didn’t need my husband to make me feel complete so why did it hurt so much when he left!?  In the past, I would get frustrated and angry at myself, even allowing myself to fall into despair.  But this time, I found myself opening up to a friend about the cavernous ache I felt and she told me she, too, felt that way when her husband would have to leave.

And then another friend said the same thing.

And another.

Then one day, in my attempt to figure out the why behind our vast desire, Genesis 3:16 was brought to my attention: your desire will be for your husband.

Could it be that woman was simply made, or rather, cursed, to feel this way?  It seemed too easy of an answer, yet it made perfect sense. Why wouldn’t God put an inherent longing to be with our husbands on our hearts? My mind was blown; I found the answer.

But it didn’t just stop there!  God doesn’t just curse us and walk away.  No, He knew what He was doing. That curse was an invitation; an opportunity, if you will, to lean on Him in those times of heartache and loneliness. He’s extending to us the chance to seek Him and grow in holiness by taking that longing, that desire, that ache when we’re apart, and giving it to Him to fill.

For so long, I took that pain and longing to just merely be in the presence of my husband and looked inward, focusing on my pain, counting down the days until he came home, going through the motions and looking forward to bedtime because that meant one day closer.  It was depressing, to say the least. There was no joy or purpose in my life.

But once I accepted the invitation to surrender my desire and gave it to Him, placing it all at the foot of the Holy Cross, a sense of peace ensued.  I felt the turmoil shift from that of restlessness and loneliness to a peace and comfort of relying on Someone who couldn’t possibly let me down.

So now when I have to watch the man whom I love with all I am leave yet again, I acknowledge the ache, the longing, the desire.  And then I give it over to the One who will always be what I need when my husband is gone.

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