On Restless Nights of Waiting

Moon shot taken by Aus

Daily Post ~ Tell us about another blogger who has influenced your own online journey

I read a blog today that brought up so much in me.  A woman was waiting.   Waiting to hear from her husband.  He’s a recovering alcoholic, and was currently “helping” a sponsor who was back to drinking. Immediately I wanted to tell her that I understood, and to somehow alleviate some of the weight she was feeling during her time of waiting.  I wanted her to know that she is not alone.  I recently started blogging and really wanted to compartmentalize those areas of my life that shed too much light on the struggles in our home.  But maybe, just maybe, sharing a bit can help someone get through their restless nights. So this woman, without knowing it, has encouraged me to have the courage to step out to blog on a bit of a deeper level.

Her circumstances may be different than mine, but as I read the words of her page, I instantly remembered so many nights of waiting. Lying on the front porch, looking up at the countless stars and wondering countless things about where my loved one was and what could be going on. If thoughts could be stars in my mind, the constellations drawn by thoughts bouncing one from another would have been a scribbled mess as my mind raced from one thing to another. There’s a restlessness that comes with waiting~ energy that has nowhere to be released.  Folding laundry and cleaning massively on late nights of waiting would only take a tiny bit of the edge off of all the internal energy racing through my mind on those nights.

But often after the chaos in my head would quiet down, there’d be a calm, a resolve, and an ache.  A deep ache.  It’s an awareness that I am in control of very little.  I can’t change the path of those I love any more than I can lasso a star.  I’ve read the books and heard the sermons about how we can help draw lines for others by the choices we make, but bottom line, we all make our own choices.  Our loved ones make their own choices in the same way that we do.  We can influence one another, yes.  But the beauty and the ache of it all is that we are born, we live, and we die as individuals with our own wills.  And our choices effect others.  And so, in life, there is a lot of waiting.

I’ve had many moments of waiting in my life.  For one, I have a husband who is an alcoholic.  I could tell a hundred stories, but they are all one and the same.  I have been the wife waiting on an alcoholic husband, planning his funeral again and again, and wondering what chaos he was creating for our lives.  I’ve been the mother waiting on a fever to break in my child. There have been nights of waiting for rebellious teenagers to come home.  Nights of waiting for my son to come out of a coma, aching and praying to see his eyes open and hoping with every core of my being that he would still be ‘in there’ when his eyes did open.    So many nights of  waiting for someone to find their way back home.  Not just the literal home, but the place where they belong.  I’ve been the friend waiting to hear from precious friends who were going through difficult times.  I’ve been the friend waiting to hear the prognosis of a friend with cancer.  I’ve been the teacher, waiting for a student to finally get it, and a parent in the principal’s office waiting to hear how my son just isn’t ‘getting it’. I’ve been the mom waiting to hear if a child’s plane has landed on the other side of the world, and the mom in the emergency room waiting to hear if my daughter’s xrays are clear after a major car accident.

Life is so full of waiting for all of us.  I’m sure each one of us could have a countless list of moments of waiting in our lives.  The following song was one that was written one night on my front porch.  I had a houseful of sleeping children at the time.  And a husband who was gone.  I couldn’t leave and do the futile trek of trying to find him.  It was probably a good thing because if I had found him, it would just turn up ugly anyway.  His alcoholism was so bad that he would park a car and drink alone. It had such a hold on him that he wouldn’t even know where he was.   I had taken those treks at times and found him, and let me tell you, nothing good comes of trying to reason with a man under the influence.  It would only increase my despair.   The night that this song was written, my heart would jump at every set of headlights going by.  I’d think it was him.  Then would come the fear because it wasn’t. (And there would have been fear if it had been as well…) There’s no resolution in the song, only a shared ache and a prayer for my husband to find his way home after years of self-destructive ways.

Near from Far

Every time a car goes by, I wonder , is it you.

Are we going to be alright, and what are you going through

Oh, you’ve brought yourself again to a place of despair

Oh, you’ve tasted of that sin, and it’s stains are everywhere

I wonder as the years go by, when  will you ever learn

I wonder in the same breath if I will ever learn

Am I watching, waiting, in a futile waste of time

Or will this vigilant prayer be answered and realized

I  pray you’ll let God wash your stains away

I pray you’ll hear Him and just humbly pray

I pray you’ll see  your sin for what it is

And He’ll bring you Near from Far

I pray the bondage will be broken through

That a redemptive grace will transform you

That the chains will break and you will see

That He’ll bring you  near from far

That you’ll be who you are and were meant to be

Home Free

Everytime a car goes by, I wonder, is it  you…

Anyway.  No resolutions or figuring it out.  Just a cry for a husband to be free of the chains that bind him that he didn’t even see.  And the chains and destructive patterns created chaos for our family and beyond. Remarkably so, he has been ‘free’ and sober for over a year now, and we are all so enjoying the little simple things in life that were once always so complicated and passed over by his addictions.

So, thanks to the ‘wife of an alcoholic’ who blogs and shares.  I want to be more bold in sharing.  Maybe that’s being more bold in caring, because I know it so helps me to hear another person’s story.

2 responses to On Restless Nights of Waiting

  1. A heartfelt post. Waiting – a condition we both know so well. So your husband used to drink in the car, too. Mine did until he crashed the car. Thank you for sharing. One day, I would really like to hear about your husband’s journey to sobriety and yours to his recovery.


    • soletusknow says:

      Thanks, would love to share more in time. Lots of loss, brokenness along the way, that’s for sure. But there’s hope. I know it’s hard to see when you’re in the middle of it, but if my husband could find his way clear, I really believe anyone could. Blessings to you and yours…


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