Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Like Us

On Tuesday mornings David and I have a standing coffee date. For two hours, we step away from our computers, put down our books, turn off our phones, and we connect. We rarely leave the comfort of our own home, yet the time together feels special.

For one of his classes, David is reading the book His Needs, Her Needs. It's one of those classic books on marriage that both of us read many, many years ago. As newlyweds, we soaked up the words on the page like sponges, eager to learn from experts. However, after 21 years of marriage, we approach the book with some wisdom of our own. David will read certain sentences aloud, and we'll chuckle because, frankly, not everything applies. That doesn't mean that the book isn't insightful or even helpful. It just means that we've learned a few things along the way, and after studying me for 21, David has a level of intimate expertise on the subject of one particular woman's needs that can't quite be captured by the generic "Her Needs." And vice versa.

And so over the past few weeks, we've been talking through the book, discussing what does resonate and what doesn't. Because one of the things we have learned is that we have to keep on learning. David and I are both dynamic individuals who are in the process of being redeemed by a loving savior. That means that we are each growing and changing day by day. Basically, I'm not the girl he married. He doesn't expect me to be. He expects me to be transformed and he cooperates with God and me in that transformation process. And vice versa.

Today I am feeling profoundly grateful for my husband, my fellow-sojourner, my very best friend. I'm blessed by his love and delighted by both who he is and who he is becoming. And I am glad he loves me and still gives me room to grow. As each of the individual "I"s change, the collective "we" changes too. We're not who we were 21 years ago, and that's a good thing. We're better, and that's grace.

Still, here in the midst of this redemptive process, in the messy places between then and not yet, in those awkward moments of becoming, I like us. Yes, I like us a lot.

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