Saturday, December 7

Zit Cream & Retainers. This Is Marriage.

            I met you when you were yet a man. Eighteen is not the age of a man, but you were
                                                                                                                                               a man.

you were not prepared for what would come next.

    The night that we first met (and first kissed) and invested so much
I had your heart immediately.

It was the strangest time of my entire life, that one night and the year that followed.

You were the first person besides Jesus to make me feel sorry for who I was.
You were the first person besides Jesus to make me feel free to be exactly who I was.

It was both exhilarating & humiliating.
You were freedom to me and you were conviction.
          You held a mirror up in front of me, forcing me to see who I was.

I remember the awkward fumbling and weirdness of where our hands and arms needed to be to make a hug make sense. I needed so many pedestals to get close to you (figuratively and literally)

I had many ladders to climb. So many bridges to mend. So many "wrongs" to make right.
               And we hadn't even fallen in love- just yet.

Except you say you loved before you even knew me, but a month.

And I BELIEVE you.

I believe that you loved me the night that we met.
    No, I know you loved me from that first awkward encounter.
You just did.
    I hated you for loving something you knew nothing of.
There was something pure about it that made me uncomfortable.

I believe that in the depth of your being, you loved me through the days and months and years that followed the first night that we met & I grabbed your face to kiss you like you or I had never known a kiss to taste or feel.....
    You loved me through the darkness of those days.

Light was an old creaking door slowly opening.
Bundled together under a dusty blanket just waiting, decomposing, rotting-anticipating some sort of   glimmer in the hallway of the house of hell we had built to perk us up and give our hands some sort of path to crawl towards. But we had no idea at all how to crawl out of that beautiful little space that felt so cozy and chaotic.

The only thing that made me feel safe was you.

I believe every word that you say when you speak because you say nothing to gain anyone's acceptance.

You don't draw attention to yourself. You don't ask for anyone's opinion of who you are. You could give two shits about the rest of the world and what thoughts may or may not be circling around in their brains concerning the person that you are.
      You are secure.

This, in itself is the single most attractive thing about you.
Not because you've got a "middle finger in the air" mentality.


The you are meek, incredibly humble & utterly sensitive. You are painfully intuitive of those around you. Your wisdom out-shadows me. Your sensitivity to character helps you navigate those around you.
Unlike me, you wait.....

You wait.

You are sure.

You are certain. You put your finger on it and wait until you know for sure.

You never assume. I ALWAYS ASSUME! 

You consider, then you speak.

             I speak and then I go, "Ah, shit! I said that dumb comment to that one person and now I feel like a real idiot!" 

      And, I need you so much more to reaffirm that I am a real idiot, who REALLY needs Jesus
                                 so much more.

The depth of your wisdom humbles me into such a feeling of almost stupidity at times.
And not always in a really warm-i wanna-snuggle a kitten type of way.

No, dude. You make me feel like a damn idiot. A lot of times. AND THAT'S THE WAY marriage should feel. You should make me feel reduced down to my lowest.
             If you don't make me feel like a total dweeb, we're doing something wrong.

If you're not making me feel like I'm God's gift to mankind, you're doing something wrong!

You see me at my worst.

Like, the worst of my entire days on this earth, YOU will witness that horrific shit show.

The moments where I've felt robbed, sad, depleted by my circumstances, raped, hurt, taken advantage of, written off as a failure, defeated by my own self inflicted heart ache....You've never stopped celebrating me.

You are "grace" to me.

You have always escalated to being so much greater, always richer, never shallow.
I'm digging deeper into you, being more surprised by you. THAT'S what marriage should feel like.


There was a large part of my childhood that I never knew what a man looked like or what a Daddy was, and you are that person, Dustin.

Moments are frozen in time as I see you father our babies, and parts of me are mended when I see the fullness of what giggles sound like when you tickle them and hugs silence the atmosphere of a totally chaotic moment when she get's hurt and cries for her daddy...... There is a certain sigh of relief when your Dad wraps his arms into you and your tears melt into him.

There is just nothing like it.
     You are daddy.
I love hearing them declare & proclaim who you are.
   Their dad. The one who unconditionally wraps all of who they are in your arms-the good, the bad and the ugly.

That's what you have always been to me.


The worst nights of our marriage, when we've cried so hard, we've prayed so SO so hard- our eyes are blood shot and we're shaking from the shock of just how wretched we were capable of becoming-we're hanging on for dear life-with our world crumbling around us, YOU believed in this love. Surely, in the depth of the lifelessness of what we were, you knew that life would spring up....somewhere. 

We've cried out to God-exhausted, and we've yelled so loud, our throats were burning like when you've cursed & screamed so loudly birthing a child. That's exactly what my throat felt like. That burn means something is being birthed. So what was before that has to die. Whatever that was that we called "life" it has to just dissolve. We have bigger things to do.

Time just stopped caring how sick we were. Hours could pass and we still cried. The sun rose. But nothing mattered. People didn't exist that night. No one. Nothing. Our obligations disappeared. We weren't done mourning the death of our marriage or what it felt like for limbs of it to be sawed off and pruned.

It had to die.

I grieve the feeling of what that night meant to me. The "re-birth" or "death" of us.

  It was ALL or NOTHING AT ALL.....
              which made my heart drop deep down into what felt like six feet of soil.

The one time in my life, the moment that I knew for sure that our bodies had souls was the moment I saw my sister without one. That was when I said, "OK, God, my soul is a real thing. This shit is for real. I'm not playing games with you. I believe you." And that's when I felt the richness of His wrath-and also the depth of His goodness simultaneously. It's when you see a body without one-that's when you realize that we actually have souls.

That was a revolutionary moment for me. Her death brought so much life, yet I needed to see her without hers.

Our souls.

And yet, we were working out how to exist in the same space, not being "two" people, but "one".......        what does that even mean in that moment when the whole world feels like jello. 

I had no idea then how to love you well. There is a large part of us that feels a whole lot like you "snow plowing" paths and weaving in bits of what real was so I could exist and figure out how to be a wife at all.

And in all of it, You see me.

You see the sin that runs deep within me, spurting out of my pores, bursting from my veins, spewing from my lips, making puddles so deep that we both slip and fall-crawling through the sludge of what is my heart some days.

Oh, but you see me.

You never take your eyes off of me.....

   And that is the worst part of it all. I am completely naked before you. It hurts and heals and presses down into me in a way that I never anticipated or asked for.

I had no idea the day that I wore that stupid expensive dress, with tears in my eyes, clutching my step-dad's arm so tightly (it's a wonder it didn't fall off.) I had no idea what this life with you would demand of me.

So this is marriage.

            You feeling my boob for lumps & telling me to take out my retainers so we can make out.....

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