“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoings, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. Love never ends…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We were a few miles over the Florida-Georgia border when I looked up from my book and noticed the tight formation of cars and semi trucks around us. I slammed my eyes shut, my chest tightening as though someone placed a heavy boulder on my diaphragm.
Being in another car’s blind spot on I-75 is very difficult for me because I’ve seen the results of a couple seconds of blindness. It can be deadly. But driving in a semi’s blind spot for a long period of time is nearly unbearable for me. The boulder pressed down and I forced myself to breathe.
18-wheelers surrounded us. One kept pace with us directly on our right, so close I could reach out and touch it; another truck was out ahead of us; still a third semi took up the far right lane. In front trailed a long line of cars, all tightly packed in the left lane where we drove.
I squinted, my gaze sliding to the right, hoping the gigantic truck next to us had magically disappeared. Nope. Reach-out-and-touch-me-truck was still right next door, a flag tattoo visible on the driver’s gnarled arm as it rested on the steering wheel.
Inside our Expedition I felt like a terrier next to a Rottweiler, stuck against a fence with no chance of escape.
My hand crept to Trev’s forearm and gripped, spider-like, tension radiating through me. He didn’t need the reminder. I knew he knew my fear. I glanced at my husband’s profile, knowing every inch of the map of his face and every nuance of expression, taking in a deep breath at the determination and understanding in his expression.
Even though Trevor didn’t feel the same – driving next to an 18-wheeler’s blind spot doesn’t faze him – he intrinsically knew the panic that was blooming inside me. A swell of love crashed into me, packed full with appreciation for this relationship God ordained for our well-being, one that we spend our lifetime learning to honor and fulfill.
Marriage. The covenant between a man and woman, husband and wife, between two very different people sharing a common bond of affection and faithfulness.
This is what you intended, Lord. This is 1 Corinthians 13…love that’s kind, love that puts another first and isn’t resentful when doing so. Trevor knew my deep-seated fear and though he didn’t share it, he cared enough to acknowledge that fear while working to alleviate the situation.
In marriage God calls us to cover our spouse’s blind spots with love. Criticizing is easy and selfish; loving through insecurities is tough and selfless. John 3:30 is a verse I pray often, because on my own I fail miserably. In order to love Trevor well I have to empty myself of me and fill up on Jesus and His unconditional love.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
After 11 years of marriage, we’re considered newlyweds by many. I’m still learning to listen, respect and defer, while Trevor has learned to understand, share, and protect. There are times when vast differences in marriage frustrate and seem insurmountable, but it’s in those times that we have to stretch ourselves in love, trusting our Savior to be our all in all while learning to give our spouse the grace God gives us.
My sensitive husband watched traffic carefully until he found a way out. He sped up just enough that we were ahead of the 18-wheeler and no longer boxed in all sides. He readjusted the cruise when we were out of the tight formation of cars and trucks, and my fingers eased up on his forearm.
But I didn’t let go. I just held on, grateful.
“These things I command you, that you love one another.” ~ John 15:17