Sometimes it's difficult to really put my finger on what is actually different about our marriage.  Yes, we're happy. That's different.  Yes, we get along.  That's different. Yes, we feel connected more than ever before. That's different too.

I guess the really difficult thing for me to pin down is the cause behind those effects.  Even though I know that ultimately that Cause is God.

I can't really tell you a lot about how Michael has changed, and I don't really think that's my place.  He has his own story to tell and I'll let him do that when and if he's ready.  For now, I'll just tell mine.

Not long ago I was stuck in a shopping center and spent the time in a book store where I flipped through Shaunti Feldahn's latest book.  I usually read books on marriage taking notes on things I need to change.  But this time was different.  I came to one section where she was explaining that "happy couples" had a general sense that the other person cared about them...and I totally smiled to myself because that was something I had been thinking about recently...because THAT is another change.

I have a general sense that Michael loves me.  I know before he tells me.  And when he does something insensitive, I don't lose that sense.  So why the change?  Did Michael change? Probably.  But I think the problem in that area was me all along.  For the first six to seven years of our marriage I didn't feel that way. I often felt like he didn't care for me because I had an idea in my head of what someone who cares about you does to show you they care about you. And he didn't do those things.  As a result almost every area of our marriage was tainted.

But when I finally realized and pin pointed the way he shows love...I can see it all the time.  He researches my phone options, keeping in mind my likes and what will serve me best, and then goes and buys it for me so I don't have to go through the rigamarole.  He brings the van back to me full of gas.  He's kind of an "Acts of Service" love giver I guess.  Which is kind of weird since he's a "Words of Encouragement" receiver.

I think the most important change is that I have truly felt the gravity of my sin, the desperation of being caught in a cycle and the freedom of finally getting out.  I'm not sure why I never went through this process before, but I finally did. That process has given me a new perspective toward others sin and Michael's in particular. I don't feel the need to take his sin personally (I never ever thought I would ever be able to say that!), and I am free to love him in a way I never could before. I understand that he doesn't sin because he's a horrible person and he doesn't love me....he sins because he's human and that's what we do.  It's what I do.

All of this has brought a whole new atmosphere to our marriage. We can finally be real. With no strings attached.  It's not that we don't care about sin.  We do.  But we repent, we pray and we move on. But most of all, we love.

It's so amazing to look around and be able to see concrete evidence of God working in our lives.  I am truly thankful!!

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