I looked at him tearfully. This man I call husband. The one who sees me in the mornings without make-up and the one who knows that I have to try on fourteen tops before deciding on just the right one while leaving the others on the closet floor. I looked at him and I cried and I unpacked the things I held in my heart all week long.
And he listened and was quiet and stroked my hair while I talked. I rested my head on his chest and let my mascara colored tears soak through his shirt. That space where my head meets his chin, that little place where I feel small and cared for and wanted. I let myself rest there and remember the safety I have with him. I could feel his warmth and hear his heart beat and I felt calm again.
I read recently that marriage is two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation. It's a haven for us in a heartless world. Marriage is not the place where we go to have everything fulfilled for us even though that's what we think we need from the other. (This is quite an interesting article if you want to know where I read this from.)
Lately, I've seen where I've changed. Where marriage has changed me and where it keeps changing us. Marriage is big that way. The relationship itself molds you and changes you even when you don't really know it. I guess some days feel harder than others with all the change that has taken place.
But last night I surrendered to the haven that marriage is. I admitted that I need the protection and safety and his unconditional love no matter how hard I fight it. And I fight those things for reasons as deep and complex as my story.
I will not ever find everything my heart is searching for in my husband - and the same can be said for him with me. God designed us with certain holes that really, only He can fill. It's both a glorious and painful thing to know and realize. Maybe there is room for more grace there when you realize that your spouse, your partner, your till-death-do-us-part relationship can't give and fill everything that you want. They can't - I can't - and that's why we need grace.
Grace - God seems to be all about that. His relationship with us is all about it. Why wouldn't marriage, this covenant and picture of Him with us, also be all about grace?
Somehow even with all the places that are disappointing, the places we need grace, the places we fight with ourselves or with each other - God allows us to know these tastes of how big His love is for us.
For me, it's where his fingers stroke my hair and his lips are soft and kiss me with gentle passion. It's the space where my head meets his chin. It's my haven in a heartless world.