I wish he could.
I wish that his entrance into my life would have immediately resolved all my issues. That our marriage and his affirming words would have evaporated all my insecurities and fears.
Not so much.
True, his kindness and love can be like a balm for my past wounds and current insecurities. True, I feel more beautiful and loved with him than I ever have in my life.
But he can’t fix me. He can’t solve the problems that were here before he arrived.
And in my heart, I know that’s because fixing me isn’t his job.
His mission is to love me as I am, where I am, with all my brokenness and baggage. It is only that, time and the power of God that will lessen these aches inside.
The Truth About Baggage
This means at times, that baggage will affect him.
Because it’s oh-os-easy to respond to my husband — and anyone, really — because of A, B, C or D incident from the past.
Fair or unfair, it seems the ones who love me best have to answer for wounds that were not of their making.
I guess that’s true for all of us, though.
Whether or not we realize it, so many of our actions and reactions are influenced by the hurts, biases or even advantages of our pasts.
At the end of the day, none of us is truly worthy of unconditional love because we are imperfect. We break, bend and hurt one another — even those we love the most. We all need grace at one point or another.
That’s what love truly is.
We all have our baggage. We choose to forgive. We choose to extend grace. We choose to love each other anyway.
If only that logic would lessen my frustration when irrational insecurities rear their ugly heads and cause chaos in my heart.
And yet — I wonder if my husband or my friends would love me the same if I did not have this baggage.
I Am My Past Hurts
My baggage is so much a part of me. It has shaped and formed me so that I do not know where it ends and I begin.
I am my past hurts. I am the collection of scars and broken dreams. They, through the grace of God, were redeemed and worked into the woman I am. Who I am today would not exist without them.
And besides that, would my marriage be as treasured by me if I were without such baggage? If I were less scarred, would I still cry every time my husband and I resolve an issue? Would I still be overwhelmed when he speaks words of affirmation or helps me without questioning?
I don’t know that answer for sure, but my heart thinks not. For it is because of the grief I experienced that I receive with such joy the gift of my marriage.
In the words of Switchfoot, the shadow proves the sunshine.
Leaning into true love
So I’m going to lean into my marriage, into my husband’s love, into the love of friends and family with joy — but without expecting it to fix me.
For in the end, all true love is only a shadow of the One who loves me best. My husband’s love only whispers the greater truth of God’s love.
And that love, well, that is the love that will redeem, restore and fix me — someday fully, even if not on this side of heaven.
God and God alone can fix me. My husband, not so much.