I could have killed him – but then he nearly died!
Inside my home…
You know, last Saturday I could have nearly killed my dearest husband. He was having such a fun relaxing day, the rugby was on, and try as I might with the vacuum cleaner I just could not drown out all that on- as well as off-screen roaring. Seeing him so relaxed while I was working so hard sent my temperature soaring. Quite frankly it amazed me how he didn’t notice my stomping and clanging about the kitchen later as I washed up the home baking my girls had decided to do.
Then on Sunday morning, when he nearly DID die, I realised in a split second that in spite of our differences, I really did NOT want to kill him anymore, in fact, I love him very much and would much rather that he stuck around a bit longer.
Just to clarify, it wasn’t me who tried to kill him on Sunday. We were driving and almost collided with another car. The other car skimmed around the front of our bonnet as it passed us, a split second difference in the timing and we would have connected. The other car was travelling fast and my husband (and his side of the bonnet) would have been most badly hit.
It only takes a small thing to make you appreciate the big things. Conversely, when the big things are taken away, you appreciate the small things.
Inside my head…
After a few moments of quiet and shock, a window suddenly opened into my mind and my own petty behavior at times. The previous day, I had a long list in my head of jobs ‘that needed to be done’ (by him). I often fall in to the trap of worrying that if all the things are not done by when I think they need to be done then ‘something’ terrible might happen. I chase myself around with an invisible whip of criticism and then I apply that to those around me too. He should be able to read my mind, of course, of all the urgent jobs he needs to do – according to me. Weekends are NOT for lolling about watching sport if you’ve been working hard all week, no sirree, they are for being Mr DIY man.
But something terrible almost did happen and whether those jobs had been done or not wouldn’t have made any difference in the world.
Inside my body…
I was also premenstrual and didn’t realise it at the time. People joke about PMT but when I know that it’s the reason for my irritability it suddenly all makes sense and helps me understand why I feel irrationally annoyed. The result is that I calm down a bit, it’s like a cool cloth of understanding to my feverish forehead of anger. However, I didn’t know that on that Saturday as I’m not on a regular cycle any longer, sometime last year my body seemed to have hit peri-menopause. (That fact in itself has been a bit distressing.) I know you can get apps to help track your cycle and if mine were regular I’d definitely download one to warn me when I need to take a chill pill. I somehow need to be reminded that sometimes my body negatively affects my mind.
On Sunday, following our near accident, I popped into the bathrooms at church (to wash the post survival shock tears off my face – because I’m in church now, everyone is perfect in church aren’t they?) and just the friend I needed to talk to was standing at the basins. She’s been through this change and she pointed out to me that I may be hormonal, it was a mini light bulb moment and I felt instant relief as well as instant gratitude that of all the women, it was her in the bathrooms at that time.
Inside my heart…
That brief meeting with my friend was obviously no accident. God knows. Neither of us are perfect – we admit that readily and that’s why we choose to go to church in the first place! My friend and I are in that place where we recognise we are sorry for those things we’ve done wrong and where we find forgiveness and so we meet up with others to express our gratitude to Him (Hebrews 10:19-25).
There’s a Matt Redman song we sang that morning where the one line goes ‘He gives and takes away’, it’s a difficult one to sing if you’ve been confronted with loss. Although we’d been spared that morning, there are others in our family who have not. At some point, after a bereavement, you need to come to accept or reject the truth of that statement and some of the tears are the result my wrestling with it. I do acknowledge that God is sovereign and is all wise, sometimes the hard lessons of life hurt though and I fight against them.
My friend and I agreed to meet up for a coffee later in the week which we did, and as we did so we had a good laugh about how similar are dear husbands are and how similar we are and how on earth did we all put up with each other? I often marvel at how lovely my friends are. I also love how laughing is such great medicine. I appreciate the irony that it took an unhappy moment to bring me to reconciliation and this point of joy.
It wasn’t until I was confronted with a near miss that everything was put into perspective and I realised how much the small irritations are so silly and so insignificant. Actually I have so much more to be grateful for as there are a multitude of lovely things about my husband (one of them is that fact that he is willing and able to endure the equally enormous multitude of irritating things that I do too). I am so grateful that of all the women in the world, he picked me.
There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, because not one of us is perfect ourselves. I’m still learning to point the finger at my own heart a bit longer before I start pointing it at his.
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