On Food and Fighting

Nothing quite brings the fight out of me like a lack of food.

You only know what I want you to.

It happened last night, the way it always does. Low blood sugar, empty stomach, shaking hands, angry words.

I know everything you don’t want me to.

It always starts simple. It always ends so much worse. The layers peel back, like the most potent of onions.

Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine.

It starts with a fuss, and ends in distrust. He peels back my layers of pride and anger and ugliness with the most wounded of glances.

Oh you think your dreams are the same as mine.

It’s amazing how ugly I really am. How the depths of my depravity show up in the most sudden moments, brought on by a lack of food or a misunderstood phrase or not-quite-enough caffeine. A trigger so simple reveals the worst in me.

Oh I don’t love you, but I always will.

I invite him into my whole self, the way no one else will ever know me. He sees everything. The ugly. The painful. The hurtful. And he fights for me when I run out of fight for him, and for myself.

Oh I don’t love you, but I always will.

He just wanted to take me to dinner. I just wanted to sleep. He came with me to a new place, on a new journey, to let me become more”me” than I have ever been before. To give up the known and the comfortable and the easy, in exchange for answering a somewhat ambiguous “call” that we both feel but don’t really understand.

I wish you’d hold me when I turn my back.

He told me the other day that sometimes when we get angry, when we fight, when we disappoint, that he just wants to hold me. To not let me go. To keep me from running into the depths of my own brokenness. Because that’s how he won me, and how he will continue to win me.

The less I give the more I get back.

It’s beautiful, how the ultimate narrative of creation-fall-redemption plays out in our house, our car, our marriage. It’s beautiful how unconditional love shows up and smacks me in the face. It says, you aren’t perfect, but you are mine. And I will love you and fight you and woo you and mourn you until the day we die.

Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise.

My need for grace and forgiveness rises. He meets me there. Together, we beg each other and God for the love we need to keep going. The tense, broken, painful silence – that pokes and prods and bruises our souls – eases slowly into sadness. I always mess it up, I say. I always try to take control. I always try to win.

I don’t have a choice, but I still choose you.

It’s ok. Creation-Fall-Redemption. We won’t be perfect. We won’t be fully redeemed. We won’t taste the pure, untouched, perfect sweetness until we are both far, far away from here. But we will taste it together.

I don’t love you, but I always will.

We finally park, after 5 failed attempts, thwarted by hour-long wait times and too-expensive entrees. We smile. We order pretzels. We drink beer. We hold hands under the table and laugh.

I don’t love you, but I always will.

It’s ok. All is well, the world is in balance, the low-blood-sugar-induced pain is long gone. My sin is still here. My brokenness, displayed on the table listed out like the menu we pour over. Control. Impatience. Fear.

I don’t love you, but I always will.

But he loves me anyway. And I am humbled, to be journeying with a man who knows my deepest heart, my lowest sin, and fights for me anyway. And isn’t that the point of our covenant? To love regardless, to point each other to the Cross in our moments of sweetest joy and deepest despair. They are beautiful, these promises we made, to love and fight and pray and seek. And they are unfolding now, unpeeling, showing their layers of joy and sorrow. And they are so beautiful.

I always will.

I always will.

I always will.



3 thoughts on “On Food and Fighting

  1. I don’t even know how to reply to this.

    I’m speechless.

    You just described me. And Mark. And our marriage. It made me cry.

    I am so thankful for men like ours, who love us when we can’t love ourselves, and who fight for us when we can’t fight anymore.

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