Nov 29, 2011

how does a house feel empty

how does a house feel empty when it's filled with my husband and all that is our marriage? i sometimes, not always, struggle with that feeling of empty, when it's just the two of us here, no tv making sounds (because we are too cheap to pay for channels!), just the hum of the dryer and the smell of cooking dinner. i know that i just married ian - not his family, or mine, or members of our church. our marriage is, in the most literal form, just me and him. and so it tugs at me when i feel emptiness in our aloneness.

and the more that i search my heart, the more i wonder if this can be true of a "normal" marriage, but also how much more so it may be for us living in disability. ian can't come bursting into the house telling me about his day, or fill the emptiness with piano music, or even wander around the house talking on his cell phone. all the things that seem to give fullness to a home, he can't do.

but i know that this emptiness in our house, while it is truly happening and is a feeling, it's just that - a feeling. it is not reality and it's not where my heart can or will stay. in god, there is fullness of joy. fullness. ian and i are not empty in this house, just as much as we are not full when we are in a crowd. and while it may take years for my heart to default to "feeling" full in the quietness of a brain injury, i think i will get there. i believe in my heart that there is a fullness to be had and experienced in this brain injury. and sweet ian already is there:) like in most things, he's better off than me.

has anyone else experienced this emptiness and how has the lord filled it?

thank you, always, for praying.


p.s. this picture is not actually our house, but wouldn't that be fun????


Budding Violinist said...

I know what you mean Larissa. It's hard. Have you tried filling your home with things that remind you of you and Ian: pictures, crafts, souvenirs from places you've visited, things you like, etc? Sometimes, making the place more personal helps. But, yeah, a house can feel lonely sometimes....

Jess and Krissy said...

Sweet girl, I've been following your blog for some time, but I don't think I've ever commented before. Forgive me for being a lurker. ;) I understand some of what you mean. I have Multiple Sclerosis, so while our situation is different, not quite as limiting, we do know that sometimes, the quiet gets to you. Ours is less about quiet, I think, and more about...boring. We don't do the things normal couples our age do. We don't go on vacation all the time, we don't just pick up and go to the movies, we're not even planning for babies. It's us, day in and day out. We go to church. We volunteer at church. We visit with our families some. That's it. That's all there really is. What you'll find, I pray, is that that's okay. In the beginning, it's harder, but you'll settle in, and you'll see those quiet moments, those times when it's just you and Ian on the couch, or even just you and God in the kitchen, you'll see them as beautiful, I promise. God has used my illness to bring a quiet to my life. It might not actually be silence, but I am much quieter than I used to be. Life has slowed tremendously, but I am much more able to appreciate what He's given me, and I have more quiet time alone with God just going about my days.

I have such respect for you. You are so strong for Ian, and I know that you probably aren't always the super strong one, but your love and dedication to him and to God just shines through your blog. I love to read and hear that things are going well for you two.

Know that I am continuing to pray for you guys.


Melinda said...

In my case, I feel the same way in my marriage sometimes. It's lonely because it's not perfect. The good times are sweet tastes of what it's supposed to be like. The lonely times are reminders that this isn't the end game.

As for the disability and fullness, my MIL has not recovered fully from her brain damage yet. Nor does she know Jesus personally. It's hard to watch her struggle through it. Again, I have to remind myself that her brain healing isn't the most important thing. Her soul healing is.

Thank you for your refreshing honesty and your insights into living with brain injury - you are an encouragement!

Pray for Ian said...

hi krystal - thank you so much for your encouragement! it's a nice reminder that it's a familiar experience and that there is grace.

abbi said...

crying and praying. <3

thank you for sharing. isn't this what we all come to learn, over and over... we long and are lonely because there _is_ something more than just us. our hearts know that somewhere beyond what we can see, He's there. and i need Him.

what krystal said.

Pray for Ian said...

thanks for all of the comments everyone!

for lisa in cali, we can be reached at


Anonymous said...

Larissa, your honesty is amazing (God given). I too feel that loneliness - not like you, as I live alone (widowed 18 years) living in a new place, having family near by but not here very often. Sometimes the loneliness is overwhelming - then I remember that I am never alone - Jesus is always with me! That brings me back to reality. Like someone else said, I surround myself with things that help me to remember - especially the Bible and the wonderful books I get from Tom at SGC, the pictures of my family and friends help too. As always you and Ian are in my daily prayers.
You are loved - first by God, then by all of us!! Rene

Angela said...

loneliness happens in all marriages. I think that one of the most important things I have done the last few years is turn off the TV. Having always lived with television as part of daily life it is my belief that it causes us to believe that life must be busy to be full. that if you are not experiencing highs and lows there must be something wrong. it is only my opinion, but I think you are experiencing very normal things, despite Ian's limitations, and that you both are in a much better place than most of us because you can't run and hide from know where you receive your peace and grace. and you are showing so many of us also how to find it.