Recently, when I was brushing my teeth, Michael uncharacteristically leaned in very close to me, shattering my tooth brushing bubble of space, stared at my toothbrush and said,
“how long have you been using that toothbrush?”
“since I bought it a few months ago.”
“I thought that was mine.”
‘What color is mine?’
I love being married to Michael. We’ve been best friends for 16 years, married for 9. We laugh so much. I think almost everything he says is slap you in the face hilarious. The other day he told me, ‘I hashtag at the END of my words’. Which I think is the funniest thing I have ever heard and I laughed so hard at that coffee shot out my nose. I still think he’s the hottest guy in the room. I still can’t wait until he gets home. I still melt a little when his name pops up on my phone – ‘It’s him!’
But Michael is not my soul mate.
I don’t believe in soul mates. I think that we met because we lived in the same geographical area, had a similar socioeconomic status, and several mutual friends. I think we had a mutual attraction, and we made a decision, and so on and so forth, and it’s 16 years later and we’re still choosing each other.
Because all the gush. But also…all the stuff. There are days. And you have them too, so you know what I mean. Choosing self seems so enticing. Because there are days, doggonit, when I am right. And it would feel so good to waller in that. Ok, and sometimes I do for a bit. But I usually come around, or he does. And there is forgiveness, there is seeking to understand rather than to be understood, and there is a continual melding into one flesh. There is surrender to Christ out of reverence for the covenant we made August 21, 2004.
And it is darn hard honest to goodness bone fide work.
Michael isn’t my soul mate.
I once had a friend who was in pain because of a broken heart. She was seeking. Seeking something. She was seeking, but never finding, her identity through relationships with men. She seemed so confused as to why she wasn’t able to find herself in them. And I mustered up every ounce of my infantile wisdom that I had found in Christ and said to her, “you have a God shaped hole in your heart. Christ is the only one who can fill that space.”
It was a lesson I had to learn as well. Because I don’t know how you fared in algebra, but 16 years together – 9 years of marriage = 7 long stinking years of waiting for a ring.
I don’t like to wait for things like the coffee to make, the microwave to beep, or the boyfriend to propose. Just come on already..everything! Obviously, I was impatient. And you need to know that we weren’t one of those couples who talked about marriage all the time before we were engaged. We literally never talked about it. The subject was off limits pre-proposal.
So I was in a bit of turmoil, especially that last year of ‘dating’. Finally, one day amidst the turmoil, I sensed God say in my spirit,
“Who do you desire more?”
Who, indeed. I had some serious perspective shifting, prioritizing, and soul searching of my own to do. And I am not going to tell you that God waved a magic wand over Michael to speed things up. He didn’t. Michael, my sweet tortoise, did eventually propose, and when he did I was ready. But only because I had already found my Soulmate. When I expect ‘man’ to fulfill a role only God can fulfill, man will fail every time. Because it’s not his job, as popculture would have it, to ‘complete’ me.
My soul has a mate. Your soul has a mate. It’s Jesus. No one else will do.