Marriage: It Took 8 Years....
I read an article entitled, “My Husband Has Seen Me at My Worse”. And, though it sounds superficial, it was an article about a woman thankful that her husband was patient enough to deal with her in her times of anxiety, and offered words of encouragement for others suffering from it and how to deal and pray for peace and calmness in spirit.
As I read this article, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. God showed me just how my husband had seen me at my worse, and I do mean worse. When I lost my mother, those who encountered me on the street saw me as the picture of strength. I was poised, put together, well-spoken and groomed though I was crumbling internally. I’d get home and have no time for my husband. I’d retreat to a corner, a sofa, the bathroom, a bedroom, and stay secluded. Truth be told, I had no energy by the time I got home because I’d exerted my energy being what people expected me to be – STRONG. I went months like this. Anxiety and Brokenness piling high, stacking all around me, slowly overtaking me. My husband caught the brunt end of it. I recall telling him that I had nothing left to give. And he waited patiently…
Now, for the longest time, I didn’t even cry in front of him after losing my mother. He was scared for me. He worried endlessly about my mental health. He made attempt after attempt to get into my heart, but honestly, for a time, there wasn’t much of a heart to get into. It was shattered into a million pieces. How could I give him love from a place that was destroyed?
I remember having, what I recall, as one of the biggest fights of our relationship. I’d screamed so much that I actually lost my voice for a few weeks. I remember thinking, how did we get here? We never argue. We disagree, we figure out a solution and we move on. But a screaming match? Never!
See, I had secluded myself in attempt to repair the damage done to my heart after losing my mother. In this seclusion, I’d push away the one person here on earth that God had ordained to love me as Christ loved the church. I had somehow distanced myself from the one person who loved me more than anything. I had isolated myself from the man that vowed to love me for better or worse. The enemy really thought he had me. And for a split second, I admit, he did. But, my husband continued to persevere. He constantly reassured me of his love, even at my worse moments. He continued to express his concern and worry. He told me of his prayers for me, his thoughts towards me, reaffirming his love and that his position as my husband, my leader, my covering wasn’t going to change.
After the screaming match I remember collapsing to the floor, in a ball and crying profusely. I then got into the shower and cried, prayed and cried some more. After getting out, I remember my husband sitting on the sofa and signaling for me to come sit next to him. I did, laid my head in his lap and he rubbed my head til I fell asleep.
Something melted in me that day. Somehow, God allowed the pieces are my heart to welcome him in; and it felt good. I no longer had to be “strong” as described by societal measures, but it was my strength that allowed me to show my vulnerability, my weakness, my fears and emotional inadequacies. By doing so, I welcomed my husband in to be what I was not. He, at that moment, completed me as God ordained him. He was officially my husband. At the time of my mother’s passing, my husband and I had been married 8 years and together for 13 years total. But, it was at this very moment, that he became the person God called him to be in my life. Now don’t get me wrong, it was to no fault of his own. As women, we tend to harbor issues from our past relationships, from our upbringing, from our childhood/adulthood – causing us to create boundaries and safety precautions for our heart. And though I loved my husband, it wasn’t until this very moment that I realized, I didn’t love him fairly or wholeheartedly as he deserved.
But, I tell you, God is amazing. It took a while, but the reward that came along with letting him in was simply breathtaking. We grew in love for one another. My exterior softened, and I learned to rely on him as my husband, as my prayer warrior, as my covering. He became my husband. It took 8 years for him to become my husband. But, I’m thankful for the journey. I love him more today than ever before. You see, he exhibited Christ. He loved me even though I was at my very worse. He never judged me, he simply loved me. And it was his display of Christ and the Love of God in him that brought me back. I thank God for my husband. I know without a doubt in my mind, that he was created for me. He handles me, not roughly, but in the gentlest way.
I hate to say it took my mother’s passing for me to see him in this light, but it did. Up until this point, I'd never experienced anything that left me completely shattered. So, in a sense, I always found a way to keep it together and forge ahead. But, it wasn't until her death, that I just couldn't. I could no longer live in the false reality of being the "independent, self sufficient, nothing gets me down, tough skinned" woman I was bred to be. I could no longer rely on my own strength.
While the sting of her death slowly becomes less painful, it is my love for my husband that grows daily. He is patient, he is kind (sometimes – lol), he doesn’t delight in evil, he protects, his heart trusts in me, always hopes in better days, and he perseveres (even when I’m difficult). He is love, and I thank God for him, and thank God for showering us with His love and strength. Marriage is work, but, worth every drop of sweat.