10.05.2013

When Your Husband Doesn't Fit



His strong hand holding mine, our fingers entwined and palms perfectly aligned.
I walk in synchronized strides beside him, as if our steps were professionally choreographed.
My body’s design is well-suited under his arm as if he were sculpted to fit me there,
and I was sculpted to fit there.
My head lays comfortably on his chest, as if it were made to forever nestle there.

These were the whirling daydreams of my single days, when I subconsciously thought that the above would magically manifest when I met the mate God had designed for me.  Before Mr. O came on the scene, I experienced two failed relationships; both which were sprinkled with hands that fit, strides that met and chemistry to prove this was it!  But they definitely were not it.  While the stomach butterflies testified that I had found my match, I couldn't ignore the red flags slapping me in the face and screaming for me to run far, far away.

Then I met Mr. O.
A handsome guy who loved Jesus, dressed like an old man, and treated me like he just robbed Mr. Darcy of all his class.  He held my heart hostage from the moment I saw him in his tucked in, tailored button up and his Reformation Study Bible in tow.  After one week of courting, I knew I wanted him to marry me.  After four months of engagement, that’s exactly what he did.
 
But in early engagement and marriage days, I was surprised to realize something.  This man that I knew God had designed for me, didn’t fit me.  Our hands were so different, that I had to twist my wrist in such a way that only the top third of my fingers fit between his, causing our palms to be hardly aligned!  My body design was odd next to his, and though he is taller than me, I had to duck over a little to fit under his arm.  This made for neck-painful snuggle walking*.  Mr. O had open heart surgery when he was five years old, but by that time his chest bone had grown around his enlarged heart, making it difficult to lay comfortable on his chest.  We were a mess!  I promise we aren’t as deformed as we sound, but we’re definitely not going to be the snuggling couple on the cover of the next Valentine's  Day Hallmark card.
 
I loved this guy so much and he infested my stomach with butterflies, but I had moments of childish disappointment when we would go for walks or snuggle to read together.  It was so much work feeling like I had to contort my body uncomfortably to be close to him.  I don’t even know that Mr. O noticed, and he will probably be horrifyingly surprised to read this post.  But I had resolved that I would have to change my strides, twist my wrists, and deform my head on his chest for the rest of my married life.
 
Not long after that resolution, the Lord began to show me all the ways He designed us to fit that were made of much more substance than hand-holding and snuggle walking…
How his teary eyes met my teary eyes when we heard Andrew Peterson sing High Noon and The Reckoning live, because we both love the gospel-resurrection story.  Or when we heard of the violent attacks against our brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Kenya, and stopped our day to weep and pray for them.  Or how we both love the taste of authentic Taqueria tacos, complete with a real-cane-sugar Coca, because it transports us back to Iguala, Guererro, Mexico and the people we love there.  Or how a source of strong comfort in 40+ hours of labor was Mr. O's voice reading the book of Hebrews aloud to me.
 
We went on a date about a month ago, and since we didn’t have a stroller to push, we snuggle walked and held hands.  To my surprise, our strides were the same.  My neck didn’t hurt.  Our hands, while still a little twisted, fit so much better than when we first met.  I transported myself through the last three years of marriage, wondering when something had changed.  Which of us had changed our stride?  Which of our body structures had morphed?  How did our hands fit now, when my knobby knuckles were still there?  When did my head start nestling into his chest? 
 
It made me wonder, if only three years of marriage would sync us together like that, what will 50 years of walking together look like?  How much more will I get his humor?  Will we still cry at the same songs, be impassioned by the same Scripture?

God doesn’t sculpt our perfect spouse from day one, not physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally.  Marriage is about becoming one, together.  Day to day, fight to fight, romance to romance, tragedy to tragedy, the Almighty God is sculpting a place under Mr. O’s arm just for me.
 
*yes that’s a thing.  That I just made up.