Andrew and I have had issues.
We’ve hurt each other. We’ve resented each other. We unknowingly (and knowingly) built walls and somewhere along the line, we both locked up our hearts.
At one point I thought we were resolved to simply tolerate each other until death did we part. While I knew we would live just fine and even peaceably, I was sure that Andrew and I would do so devoid of real spiritual and emotional intimacy; that we would continue to hide our true selves.
But this year of marriage brought something totally new and game changing.
Painful, heart-n-gut wrenching, all-revealing vulnerability. After stuffing my feelings and desires for years, I finally let them out little by little to someone I had trained myself to no longer trust. I was honest and learned how to be brave. In fact, I had a bulleted list of things I swore to my spiritual director I could never tell Andrew because I didn’t feel accepted enough to bare my heart to him.
And you know what? My husband felt the same. way.
How many of us feel that way about the person who should be closest in life?? Too many!
We were stuck in a stalemate of being guarded and for all intents and purposes, hoarding our hearts.
But I’ve told him everything now. Andrew knows me whole and entire and loves me anyway.
He opened himself to me because he’d trained himself not to trust me either. I know him whole and entire and love him because of it.
Which is how it’s supposed to work.
Christ made himself vulnerable to His Bride the Church at all times: as a newborn, as a child amid aged wisdom in the temple, as a tired man continuing to teach and give himself to souls starving for truth, as one righteous yet crucified, and as one who reigns with the Father in Heaven but is here on earth as Bread.
And we are ABSOLUTELY supposed to live in imitation of that same vulnerability, which is a tall order and super super hard to do, by the way. But y’all, it’s like I’m seeing my husband for the first time – the real him – after continuing to let him into my heart and make myself a safe place for his.
I could go into specifics about the ups and downs of our marriage, what has broken our hearts, etc.; but taking a step back and seeing the roller coaster of being in love, hiding from each other, living in resentment, and learning to love again is a story I suspect most of us will experience if we’re not already in the middle of it.
Today is our anniversary. Our 8th.
It’s Monday so he’s at work all day. We have zero plans for going out. No money for gifts. The house is a bit of a wreck and we’re steeped in life. But hands down, it’s the happiest anniversary we’ve ever had because I know the man to whom I’m married and he knows me.
8 years. 4 babies. 1 puppy. A new business (a fantastic story in an upcoming post). And most importantly a marriage made new in Christ.
When we woke up this morning, he gave me a letter. “My dearest, dearest Love,” it began, “You have unlocked my heart…”