There are days I read something during my study time that I just know is going to come back to me later. Last week it was this from Henri Nouwen:
"But God's forgiveness is unconditional; it comes from a heart that does not demand anything for itself, a heart that is completely empty of self-seeking. It is this divine forgiveness that I have to practice in my daily life. It calls me to keep stepping over all my arguments that say forgiveness is unwise, unhealthy and impractical. It challenges me to step over all my needs for gratitude and compliments. Finally, it demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control and put conditions between me and the one whom I am asked to forgive."
Read it Wednesday and it showed up again on Saturday. Saturday was supposed to be a date night for me and the SU. It was to celebrate my new job and also a makeup for the Anniversary from Hell when he showed up totally drunk at the restaurant. I specifically asked him to not make Saturday a repeat of AfH.
Well, it was a nice thought. Long story short, he was pretty drunk by the time we were supposed to get ready to go. I told him that I would try an evening with him but that I would walk home if he hit the behavior button. I also told him that if he was not where he needed/wanted to be, then we could postpone and I would (oy vey!) not be angry.
At first, he was really angry and told me HE was going to go out to dinner and a movie even if I wouldn't join him. He calmed down after a bit and admitted he wasn't as "sober as he would like to be" and he didn't want me walking home. He went and laid down on the bed and I sat next to him for a little while before he said he wanted to sleep. I said, okay, and then kissed him and told him I forgave him. Which, dude, so NOT my response several months ago. I didn't really even consciously consider it. It just kinda...happened.
Of course, I sat in the living room and cried a little bit because it's another hurt in a series of hurts. Yet I can't let that take over and rule me. I have to keep going back to God for sustenance and the strength to keep loving him and keep trying. When I went to bed, he woke up and apologized again. I told him he'd already been forgiven.
The interesting thing that seems to have come out of this is that he is talking to me more about God than he has. I've basically been witnessing to my husband on a regular basis. We just had another conversation at 3 o'clock this morning when I got up and found him listening to a sermon on Jesus on the computer. He told me he wants to be a "better man" for me. When I asked what his definition of a "better man" is, he responded, "Less drinking. More Jesus." I thought that was good and told him that he has the ability to make that happen.
When we talk, we can talk for a while until he gets...angry. Not at me, but at God and asks if we can stop for now. When we talked this morning, I pointed out to him how I have changed over the past months and said that God can do the same for him. He has to be able to accept acceptance, though, and let God love him as he is because he will never be what he thinks he should be. And he also has to give over his desire for answers to God (the same way I have had to). It was at that point he asked to stop the conversation so we went back to bed.
But he's talking to me...
"God loves in us what is not yet...since love is what helps us emerge from our darkness and draws us to the light. And this is such a fine thing to do that God invites us to do the same." - Carlo Carretto