Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Let me begin by telling you that I had no idea where this expression came from when I wrote it down as the title of this post, so I googled. Apparently it originates from an old [early 1920’s?] story about a man who comes home to his apartment late one night, and as he is undressing for bed loudly kicks his shoe onto the floor. Realizing that there are people sleeping in the building, he gently removes his second shoe and quietly places it beside the first. A few minutes pass by when a man yells from the apartment below, ‘For goodness sake, drop the other shoe already!”

I can totally relate to the man in the apartment below. I can picture him lying there wide-eyed, not wanting to let himself go back to sleep knowing that when he does he will just be startled awake a second time.

I’m tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop. When people close to you are getting divorced or separated- parents, family, friends, good people who serve god, pastors even! – it’s hard not to think that you could be next. I’ve always kind of let this thought take up residency in the back of my mind: I really could be next. I look around me and think, there’s a pattern here and sooner or later I’m gonna conform. A few weeks ago I blogged about ‘expecting the bad’ in our marriages. There is a difference between a healthy expectancy of the ‘bad’ stuff (sickness, job loss, money troubles, etc.) and an unhealthy expectancy that your marriage could collapse any day, just because it fits the pattern or because it’s what you’re familiar with.

I know some of you are playing similar waiting games. For some, what you have known in your homes and what you are familiar with is alcoholism, or abuse, or adultery. You’ve seen the pattern, you know what it looks like, and now you’re just waiting. Waiting for the anger to surface, or for the depression to set in, or for that addiction to take over. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This morning I read Hebrews 11, and you know how this chapter begins? By telling us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of the unseen! This whole sense of impending doom that I’ve got going on? That’s the opposite of faith. That’s the result of what I’ve seen with my eyes and what statistics and logic have told me. So yes, if I look around me, I could compile a long list of names that one day Chris and Rebecca Chase could be added to. The list of failed marriages. But I keep reading Hebrews chapter 11 and think I would much rather have our names added to this list. The heroes of the faith. “By faith Rebecca and Chris were united in a strong, godly, loving marriage until they went to be with Jesus.” Okay, so maybe in light of eternity having a lasting marriage isn’t quite as impressive as building an ark or child-bearing at 100 or leading the Israelites out of captivity, but it still counts… After all, couldn’t my marriage be used to glorify God and point people to Jesus? I definitely hope so.


4 thoughts on “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

  1. You are a gifted writer! Thank you for addressing issues that so many of us face in our marriages! Please keep writing, and continue to inspire your readers to keep working at their marriages!

  2. Yes, you are a gifted writer. I came here with the intention of replying to another post, but this one grabbed me today. My time is limited so I will reply to the other, another time.
    I guess I should stop telling people that as long as you have God, and follow his word, you will have a successful marraige. I thought that the Pastors would be the best example of proof.
    I agree with what you read in Hebrews 11 “By telling us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of the unseen!” But then I am left with the question, Do these Pastors and other Christians have that faith?? If they don’t, are they responsible for their own “fate”? We are all subject to the negative impact of the enemy (the devil for those who don’t know), even the best of us, especially the best of us.
    I believe that even the Pastor (or their spouse) of which you speak, must fall short in some way of Gods word about relarionships and marraiges.
    The Word says”Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24 and
    “Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” Matthew 19:6

  3. Gosh, you’re so honest about your feelings online šŸ˜€ Not sure I would do that online just cause people might start talking. not sure if marriage is any harder now then it ever was, I think people just feel like its a lot more acceptable now to do it whereas before, 20 years ago, you just lived unhappy and thats how it was. Great that we don’t feel we need to be content with being unhappy but bad that we make the wrong decision about how to remedy that unhappiness sometimes.

    Um, on the topic of pastors, I’ve gotten to know a good number of pastors in some ways more intimately (behind the scenes rather) then others maybe, because of Lindseys friends from bible college and all that – hey, thats how I know you guys šŸ˜‰ What I find is that pastors are regular people too, fallible, prone to sin as much as the next guy, they just hopefully are more mature in the Lord and can deal with some of the stuff more. That being said, they are definitely still human, I used to hold them up really high, to a point where if they crashed and burned, I would have no faith in them at all anymore. I’ve realized pastors do their best in the role they’ve been tasked, and we can’t expect them to be perfect. true, a divorce of a pastor seems to hit harder because they are so ‘center stage’ for people, you KNOW when a pastor gets divorced, if its just some random person in the church, you don’t think about it.

    All of this to say, because I know pastors, sometimes I can even worry more cause if they can’t make it how could I ever make it šŸ˜ For me it always comes down to a daily walk with Jesus, worrying about my own life and salvation and relationship with Jesus, not worrying about others to the detriment of my own life and marriage. I’ve got to take care of myself spiritually before I can take care of others.

  4. Great article! Thank you for your honesty and sincerity. May God continue to bless and keep you, P.Chris & Eliana!

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