and just like that, as i stare at my hands wrapped around my favorite “french press” mug, ironically steaming this morning with green tea, hope flickers anew. and as i look up at him, i see in my husband’s eyes tears that match my own, and hands wrap mine, and i remember, we are on the same team.
“please forgive me,” i say, “for not believing the best in you. for not always hoping.” and he asks forgiveness for wrongs of his own, and i know that even though i sometimes fear, i am safe, not just because of my Papa’s promises, but because He has given me a man who, despite his achingly mirror-like lack of perfection, really does love me and wants what is best for me.
i remember again that love always hopes. loves always protects. and i feel a new stab of regret that i so often panic, fearing for my own comfort, and i lash out against those i know and love. i expect this man i committed forever to, to be all my provision, all my protection, and i demand that from him, shooting myself in the proverbial foot, and getting a backlash of defensiveness. instead of taking that as my sign that my strong man, feeling attacked, is responding primally and feeling betrayal in a near-imperceptible way, i drive ever forward, focusing only on his “wrongful” response and missing that even my protector needs protecting.
i read recently that our husbands need us to treat their hearts as fragile: that ironically, we women who vacillate between asserting our own strength and demanding taking-care-of, have the great power to make our break our men, in a very real sense. we have staggering power to refuse to give in to fear that things won’t work out our way, or to stand up, undaunted, and love with gentleness and humility, to literally change the tide of our family’s history with a look or a word. i can fight for my right, my wishes, my demands; but i will be fighting. i will be driving away an enemy beside whom i’d far rather lie in the trenches, fighting the real enemies that assault our love on a daily basis. i’d be fighting an enemy whom i would far rather call lover, and friend.
so i say, “i’m sorry. please forgive me.” and i ask my Papa to keep me mindful, that love always protects. and it always hopes. because true love is the opposite, the enemy, the driver-away of fear. and true love never fails.