This letter to you has terrified me from the moment we chose the topics. Now finally writing it is like painting the invisible elephant that popped into my head when I started mulling it over: I’m not sure that I trust you.
Love and respect – we have that balance most days, but I’ve not yet found a commandment that says I’m to trust a soul. Not even you.
Not even you, and yet I mostly do in a very general way. I trust you, because you love me, not because you are strong or because of your resolve or good nature. I trust you because you are patient and kind. You erase my bad records. You keep faith. I trust you because we’ve endured so far.
All these words sound so simple – abstract, like asking what is love and then imagining rainbows and hickies on the collar bone, when really love can be the most glorious pain, second-by-second forgiveness, or selfless abandon.
Trust is quantifiable and not unconditional, something you can earn or misplace or lose altogether. Trust is a relatively fickle thing.
The way I’m wrestling now, how I’m having a hard time knowing the difference between trusting you and trusting IN you, I know it says something about my fear habit. This reveals that I gain some twisted sense of control by holding on to negative expectations toward you. Part of me lives like I’m bracing myself for the earth to shatter. I’ve hidden this even from myself.
You’ve hurt me before, and a great hurdle in my life has been to surrender fear of future hurt – and for that matter, fear of my own future failure. I know all this means that I have to trust God. I know that when I trust God alone, I certainly come to love you more.
Truly my expectations toward you are good, so good. And when I untwist things, I can say that I do indeed trust you because that kind of surrender is the sweetest part of our marriage, and I’m not sure it’s conditional at all.
Believing with you,
Please do join Seth, Joy, Scott, and me as we hold our marriages up to the light. Call your marriage what it really is. Every Monday in April we’re writing letters because we believe that when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriages of others. If you write a post, simply leave the link to your Marriage Letter post only, and then send your readers to this post for more encouragement from others. Thank you for joining us. Next week our topic is Enduring Loss Together.