I have been married twenty-seven years. You know what that means, don’t you? I have had ample time to realize that Prince Charming has imperfections.
He makes mistakes.
Not only that, but he can make the same mistake a whole slew of times.
Twenty-seven years has also given me enough time to realize that I have periods of embracing “pet” mistakes. What I mean is that during a certain phase of our marriage I might have one mistake that I deem a “cardinal” sin against me.
You never knew I had such a brutal side, did you?
The current cardinal sin–one which I am certain has had prominence before–happens when my darling husband makes a plan that affects me…but he doesn’t communicate it to me. This certain breakdown in dialogue impacts me so strongly at this point in time–I am sure–because the debilitation from my relapse of ME/CFS allows me so few choices. Thus, when a small decision is “stripped” from me, I hurt.
Take today for example.
I awakened with hopes of spending some much needed time with my husband. I’ve been point-blank exhausted for two weeks straight, hitting some pretty low lows. However, I had noticed that I’ve had some moments of clarity shortly after I get up, and today I had anticipated sharing those with my beloved. Unfortunately, he had another game plan for his day of which I remained unaware…until he popped into our bedroom to say good-bye…an hour and a half before expected.
Sure, I knew about his need to serve at our church’s Ladies’ Spring Tea, but I had no idea that he intended to go to our son’s track meet beforehand. I understood he would spend his afternoon away from me, but I entertained no conception that he would likewise spend those imagined, dearly-held moments away from me as well.
Oh, the places my mind and heart wanted to travel!
“Does he not remember me?”
“Does he think I don’t need his time, too?”
“Doesn’t he remember how we talked about my need for his communication?”
Then the most ludicrous image popped into my mind: my husband and my son tip-toeing across the floor, trying to sneak out, and, with smirks smeared across their faces, whispering to each other, “Don’t tell mom!”
For, truthfully–and my mind fully knew this to be so–that would have to be how the scenario unrolled itself for my husband to have intentionally neglected my feelings and input, and chose instead to make plans with his son. Plans which affected me, but did not include me.
As I sank into my “morning chair” where I usually share my heart with my Lord, and allow Him to share His with me, I whispered, “Please help me choose mercy.”
At that instant I immediately recognized God’s truth: “My hope is in the Lord, not in my husband.”
My hope in in the Lord–not in my husband!
His truths continued to swirl around my heart and mind. Everyone makes a mistake. Everyone makes the same mistake over and over again. Everyone needs forgiveness. I have received forgiveness over and over again. I can offer forgiveness over and over again.
My heart filled with praise to my One True Hope.
Moments later, when the magnitude of this “cardinal sin” had been reduced to its rightful place of “honest mistake,” my husband phoned. I embraced his call with joy rather than the need to share my hurt. Not even one single word.
Guess what happened next? The track meet was running behind, so he came home.
My God knew.
My God tended to the needs and hearts of each of us.
His mercy flowed…both to us and through us.
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).