Realizations for $200

“Things you say to your husband that you might also say to God.”

Answer: “What is ‘the extended name of this blog post?’”

Let me preface that title with a disclaimer: My husband is not God. Should be an obvious statement, sure, but I just wanted to get that out there! He and I are both flawed humans kept together by God’s grace, which is exactly the way I’d want things to be. Really, if we were a marriage of one flawed person and one perfect, it would be a very unhappy and short-lived one.

With that being said, I made a realization one recent weekend after the hubs and I enjoyed a post-date late-night drink while two of our three kiddos were at a sleepover. We were able to hold a conversation without the constant, beautiful interruption that is named KIDS. One of the things I treasure about Andrew is that he has a habit of professing his love to me (like, A LOT) when his inhibitions are lowered. I mean, really, who wouldn’t love that?

I realized, though, that what went through my head as he said all this didn’t match what I said in response.

For example:

He says: “I love you so much.”

I think, I am so undeserving of that, and it scares me to think of what losing that love would feel like. I love you too, but please don’t ever take that away.

But I say: “I love you too.”

You know that video/article that was shared on Facebook by, like, EVERYONE I KNOW a few weeks ago about the Japanese “Cube” personality test? If not, here’s your spoiler alert. I won’t share all of it, but in the first part of the test, you close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through a desert. You come across a cube. Now, how big is the cube, and what is it made out of? There are a few more questions after that, but that’s the beginning and the general gist. The size of your cube is the size of your ego, and the material represents how open you are with other people.

My cube is made of stone.

I would guess my husband’s biggest complaint about me is that I don’t share things. Unless I’m under extreme duress or I’m venting ALL THE EMOTIONS that have been bottled up for longer than I’d care to admit, I don’t share. At least, not verbally. He has gotten some carefully-worded letters in the past, but deep heart-to-hearts? Not an area that’s comfortable for me. And, even though God is the one who knows my every thought, I try to do the same things to Him.

He says: “I love you so much.”

I think, I am so undeserving of that, and it scares me to think of what losing that love would feel like. I love you too, but please don’t ever take that away.

But I say: “I love you too.”

He says: “You’re doing a great job as a wife and mother.”

I think, You’re kidding, right? Don’t you see the dirty dishes in the sink? If only I had the time and energy to do more, to serve you better. Then I would deserve that compliment.

But I say: “Thank you.”

He says: “My love is forever.”

I think, I know you think that now, but I’m waiting for the day that I screw up too badly, or do something to hurt you. Then you’d have no choice but to turn away from me. I hope that never happens.

But I say: “I’m so glad you love me.”

I almost didn’t make it to church the following Sunday. I was hungover, we stayed up too late, and if I didn’t have to pick up kiddos I probably would have stayed in bed. Sometimes, I think it’s okay to spend Sunday at home as a day of rest, but this was not that day. Every song from that morning’s worship set held the response to my hesitance to accept God’s love. I can mentally affirm that I am loved, and yet still wrestle with actually accepting it. So instead, God had me sing it.

I think, Please be patient with me, and I sing: “You’re rich in love, and you’re slow to anger.” (“10,000 Reasons”)

I think, Eventually I’ll screw up, and I sing: “Take me as you find me, all my fears and failures.” (“Mighty to Save”)

I think, There’s no way I could ever deserve this love, and I sing: “I’ve tasted and seen the sweetest of loves, where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone.” (“Holy Spirit”)

I think, This love is so strong that it scares me, and I sing: “All fear removed, I breathe you in, I lean into your love.” (“Sinking Deep”)

I think, What if I lose myself in serving you? and I sing: “Your love is better than life.” (“Kindness”)

And I think, All I have to give in return is myself, and I sing: “What can I say, and what can I do, but offer this heart … completely to you. … I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned. … All I am is yours.” (“The Stand”)

I can only hope that God continues to chip away at my stone cube, and that there’s a smaller, softer one to be found inside. And I’m so thankful he loves me regardless.

This post was originally posted on Grace Church NWA's blog.  There are so many great posts to read, I'd highly suggest checking them all out!

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