Lessons In Love

I have not updated this page recently and may not do so all that frequently for some time ahead. Tomorrow Sara and I will celebrate our thirty-seventh wedding anniversary. I can honestly say that I have never been more in love with this woman, never more appreciative of what her gifts and wisdom have added to our journey, and never more joyful at being in her presence. Though we had no idea where this journey would take us thirty-seven years ago, I am so grateful that God’s work in each of us has brought us closer and closer together.

For the past seventeen years Sara and I have openly shared this stage of our journey in books, articles, podcasts, and teachings. We have answered every email sent to us and have continued to make our lives available to people around the world in personal conversations whether it be here in the States or in far-off lands. We have been blessed to know so many people and for people to have opened their hearts so widely to us. All that travel, however, has meant that Sara and me spend many days apart. She has embraced that with incredible grace and is so generous in helping me share with the world the realities of living loved.

A few weeks ago, our lives took an unforeseen turn. It seems God has chosen this season to bring to light some painful experiences from Sara’s childhood that she didn’t even know were there, and to bring her to a more spacious place of freedom. And in the process our relationship has had to change to make room for his working. It began while I was in Russia and shook our marriage to its core. Sleepless nights, misunderstandings, long emails, and prayers took us through some painful places, but helped us connect at a far deeper level than we ever thought possible. For now, she needs me in a way she has not in the past and I have no greater joy than being exactly what she needs me to be right now and I am giving my heart fully to that.

I doubt that will change substantially what God has asked us to do in the world, but does mean that that work will rightfully take a back seat to what God is doing in her and in us! I am alongside Sara now in a way I never imagined and in the process I’m learning so much about the nature of God’s kind of loving, both in how Sara loves me, and in how I’m finding great joy in loving her.

Victor Hugo was right, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” When we lay down our wants and needs to envelop another person with compassion and honor, we get to see a reflection of God glory that is full of wonder. I’ve been invited to love Sara at a deeper level than I knew she needed, or knew I even wanted. Doing so has drawn us closer together, but also revealed Father’s love to us in some practical ways. Here’s some of what we’ve been learning:

  • Love only thrives where honesty reigns. Though transparency always risks the relationship if the other does not honor it, where he does it becomes the catalyst that allows love to grow deeper and sweeter.
  • All pain, especially shared pain, is not evil or bad. Embracing him in that pain can bring incredible healing and freedom.
  • Until you are willing to let someone go for a greater good in her life, you have no idea how deep love goes. I’m sure that’s why the Father of the prodigal lets him go. You cannot find love in what you seek to control.
  • Love seeks to be inside the dark places the other endures, instead of running way seeking its own comfort.
  • Honesty in pain doesn’t make one less lovely, on the contrary it makes them even more endearing.
  • You might be tempted to guess what circumstance lies behind these words, but you’d probably be wrong. I’m protecting her by not saying more than I am sharing here. This will be her story to tell in time and if she wants. Your prayers are welcome during this season, but I wanted you to know that Sara and I will be taking more space together in days to come, which may limit my availability for other things. So if my blog doesn’t get updated regularly, if we skip a podcast or two, or emails get backlogged, please know that there are more important things afoot for both of us right now.

    I hope you’ll be patient with us during this time, because without apology I’m going to put her first and the work God is doing in the one I love like no other.

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    40 Comments
    1. Liz May 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      Good for you Wayne. God’s richest blessings to you both.

    2. Jim May 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      God bless you and Sara. Take all the time you need.

    3. Howard SCHULTZ May 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Right on Wayne, you have made the right move, congradulations on 37 years, and I have 30 so far and yes to love like no other AMEN
      Howard

    4. John Manteit May 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      God bless you both. We have been and will continue to pray for you. I’m sure this will be your most fruitful season ever.

      John

    5. Liz May 16, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      Good for you Wayne. God’s richest blessings to you both.

    6. Jim May 17, 2012 at 12:09 am

      God bless you and Sara. Take all the time you need.

    7. Howard SCHULTZ May 17, 2012 at 12:11 am

      Right on Wayne, you have made the right move, congradulations on 37 years, and I have 30 so far and yes to love like no other AMEN
      Howard

    8. John Manteit May 17, 2012 at 1:32 am

      God bless you both. We have been and will continue to pray for you. I’m sure this will be your most fruitful season ever.

      John

    9. Jill Day May 17, 2012 at 2:43 am

      Thank you Wayne and Sara for your servant heart towards God’s people.
      Congratulations on your anniversary and please be assured of my prayers for you both for the next part of the journey.
      Love you guys Jill x

    10. Roger Lansdell May 17, 2012 at 4:13 am

      As you navigate the waters ahead may you both have an overwhelming sense of Father’s promised blessings.

    11. Jill Day May 17, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Thank you Wayne and Sara for your servant heart towards God’s people.
      Congratulations on your anniversary and please be assured of my prayers for you both for the next part of the journey.
      Love you guys Jill x

    12. Roger Lansdell May 17, 2012 at 7:13 am

      As you navigate the waters ahead may you both have an overwhelming sense of Father’s promised blessings.

    13. Mike Rea May 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

      Blessings to you both and you all will be in our prayers. We are with you as well, in spirit, as you navigate the days ahead.

    14. Bonny Nelson May 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

      You have gotten it right….Blessings!

    15. Janelle Mast May 17, 2012 at 8:13 am

      What hope this brings me! …and a continued trust in God, who is working in my own heart and in our marriage also. We can trust Him who is true, and who is light, to ultimately bring us into a more glorious place than we ever knew was possible!
      You have no idea how timely it is for me to read this note, this morning. One of the thoughts on my mind the last few days (and I don’t remember who said it first) is that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I am learning that this journey we are on with God (which engages us with others) is less about “experiences” and more about keeping on just taking the next step. May our sweet Lord bless you both immensely in all your “steps”. 🙂

    16. Mike Rea May 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Blessings to you both and you all will be in our prayers. We are with you as well, in spirit, as you navigate the days ahead.

    17. Bonny Nelson May 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

      You have gotten it right….Blessings!

    18. Janelle Mast May 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

      What hope this brings me! …and a continued trust in God, who is working in my own heart and in our marriage also. We can trust Him who is true, and who is light, to ultimately bring us into a more glorious place than we ever knew was possible!
      You have no idea how timely it is for me to read this note, this morning. One of the thoughts on my mind the last few days (and I don’t remember who said it first) is that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I am learning that this journey we are on with God (which engages us with others) is less about “experiences” and more about keeping on just taking the next step. May our sweet Lord bless you both immensely in all your “steps”. 🙂

    19. Vincent May 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Hi wayne, I wish and Sara the best in His love and grace. I have gratefully appreciated the many words you have written and said. Grace and love, vincent

    20. Vincent May 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Hi wayne, I wish you and Sara the best in His love and grace. I have gratefully appreciated the many words you have written and said. Grace and love, vincent

    21. Vincent May 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Hi wayne, I wish and Sara the best in His love and grace. I have gratefully appreciated the many words you have written and said. Grace and love, vincent

    22. Vincent May 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Hi wayne, I wish you and Sara the best in His love and grace. I have gratefully appreciated the many words you have written and said. Grace and love, vincent

    23. Susan May 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Blessings and love to you more and more.

    24. Laura Kath May 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      That’s so cool!!

    25. Susan May 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Blessings and love to you more and more.

    26. Laura Kath May 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      That’s so cool!!

    27. LP May 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Somehow for me, this is devotedly moving to read, with a tinge of pain and hope. My prayers and best wishes to both of you, especially Sara.

    28. LP May 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Somehow for me, this is devotedly moving to read, with a tinge of pain and hope. My prayers and best wishes to both of you, especially Sara.

    29. Stephen May 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Wayne, I have really appreciated your words and teaching over the years. I have also had a brief chance to talk with Sarah over the phone when ordering some books. I pray for deep healing and blessing for you both. Have a great trip to France and Ireland and enjoy the time together.

    30. Stephen May 19, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Wayne, I have really appreciated your words and teaching over the years. I have also had a brief chance to talk with Sarah over the phone when ordering some books. I pray for deep healing and blessing for you both. Have a great trip to France and Ireland and enjoy the time together.

    31. Len P May 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

      My prayers are with you both during this challenging time. Your example is not lost on any of us.
      So thank you both for sharing,
      Len

    32. Len P May 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      My prayers are with you both during this challenging time. Your example is not lost on any of us.
      So thank you both for sharing,
      Len

    33. Tina May 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Wayne and Sara,

      I wish to thank you for all the ways you have blessed me on my journey through your teachings, podcasts, books, audios, etc. It is no accident that I connected to your website through your book, “So You Don’t Want To Go to Church Anymore”. It has been very timely when I was seeking intimacy with God. I sense Sara’s compassion in her responses the few times I sent some e-mails. I appreciate that. I am grateful for all that you have done and continue to do even in this season of your life. God bless you, Wayne and Sara.

    34. Tina May 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Wayne and Sara,

      I wish to thank you for all the ways you have blessed me on my journey through your teachings, podcasts, books, audios, etc. It is no accident that I connected to your website through your book, “So You Don’t Want To Go to Church Anymore”. It has been very timely when I was seeking intimacy with God. I sense Sara’s compassion in her responses the few times I sent some e-mails. I appreciate that. I am grateful for all that you have done and continue to do even in this season of your life. God bless you, Wayne and Sara.

    35. Anthony May 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Congrats on 37 years of marriage. I pray Father’s blessing upon you both. Thanks for sharing. This has been an encouragement to my journey in marriage.

    36. Anthony May 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Congrats on 37 years of marriage. I pray Father’s blessing upon you both. Thanks for sharing. This has been an encouragement to my journey in marriage.

    37. Sherry Holmes May 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      May our incredible Father lift your spirits and bring you peace. Happy Anniversary.

    38. Sherry Holmes May 22, 2012 at 12:31 am

      May our incredible Father lift your spirits and bring you peace. Happy Anniversary.

    39. Roger and Gerri Taylor May 23, 2012 at 4:43 am

      Wayne and Sara once again through your obedience to Him, you have shown us the heart of our Father. Our deepest thanks for your willingness to take time to rest in His embrace and for your transparency. He is smiling on your relationship. Enjoy this time with Him!

    40. Roger and Gerri Taylor May 23, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Wayne and Sara once again through your obedience to Him, you have shown us the heart of our Father. Our deepest thanks for your willingness to take time to rest in His embrace and for your transparency. He is smiling on your relationship. Enjoy this time with Him!

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