I know this is not what you signed up for.
I didn't sign up for this, either.
On good days, I know you know that.
On bad days, I'm convinced I've ruined us. That my weakness is going to spell the end of your love for me. That no marriage can survive these bouts, these see-sawing seasons of up and down, happy and sad, well and unwell.
That your long-suffering, incredibly patient and loving nature will finally reach the point of no return and you'll come to the conclusion that whatever you saw in that laughing girl long ago is irretrievably gone. My panic disorder has changed nearly everything. It must have changed your love for me.
I wonder constantly what you really think. I am on high alert for exasperation identification in your voice. I imagine a tinge of impatience coloring your words. I read into everything you say. Is it now? Is now the time when I've finally exhausted the love of my spouse? Is this it? The beginning of the end?
All this brings home to me the miraculous love of Christ for His bride the Church. He DID sign up for pain and suffering, betrayal and death. He knew in advance His people would wander, play the whore, turn to idols, lose faith and disobey at every turn, and yet He still signed on the dotted line.
There was no vague line about "in sickness and in health" or "for richer, for poorer" in His vow.
There was no naive ignorance of what the future held.
There was only, "I love you so much I'm going to defeat death itself to save you."
You have the harder job, my love. My job is to to love you and respect your role as the leader of our home. Dearest, you make it so easy.
But your job is to love me as Christ loves the Church, to the point of dying to redeem her (Ephesians 5:25.) Loving me more than your own life (vs. 28.) That kind of love blows the mind. We both know no human can ever live up to that. But I see the seeds of that kind of love in you, a clearer kind of picture lived out right in our home. Each marriage intended to be a living example of Christ's unselfish, undying love for His bride.
Honestly? I have a hard time trusting the God of the universe to have my wellbeing at heart. I have an even harder time trusting any human to truly, honestly put my needs above their own. But over and over, time and again, your choice to wake up next to me and face whatever comes together quiets the voice in my head that tells me I broke us. The one that would have me believe there is a bottom to the well of your love, and the bucket has surely scraped up the last drop for the last time.
Be patient with me, beloved. Keep telling me what is true when I can't trust my own thoughts. When old demons rise to re-fight battles I thought I'd already won. I feel so guilty for being part of what God is using to refine you. Let my season of weakness be a tool for both of us, to bring us closer to Him.
No, this is not what we signed up for. And I long for the day when it all makes sense because we're finally in blood-bought, blameless fellowship with Him, face to face, the veil gone and at last in complete accordance with His plan. So clearly the only way it could have worked. So plainly motivated by a love beyond comprehension.
When God shows us what HE signed up for, and we all marvel at the perfection of His plan.