The growth in Michael's character over the last three years ~ as a believer and as a husband ~ has been tremendous. As we've walked out our marriage restoration together, this change in him has fostered a deep trust and vulnerability that not only serves to strengthen our relationship, it's also created safety, great love and oneness between the two of us.
You may remember that we just finished a Marriage Intensive a week ago. It was during this time ~ in conversation with one of the couples ~ that a memory came up for me from our bad days; a time when Michael had falsely accused me of inappropriate behavior with a dear friend. I'd been deeply hurt by him over that event (as had my friend and his wife) and it was the first time in our relationship that Michael had made a false accusation of me which was a foreshadow of things to come for us.
I think that because these kinds of accusations continued and worsened over the years, the incredulity of the first time lessened a bit though the relationship between my friends and myself definitely suffered and it was sad for all of us. Where it had once been extremely close, it changed and became very fragile and...careful.
So, here we were ~ at the Intensive ~ and in the course of conversation this particular incident came up and Michael realized that he would have a chance to apologize to my friend in person (no less) because he was going to be in California visiting with another friend (these guys were my late husband's best friends) and they were going to visit with us during our vacation.
It was awesome. Michael greeted both guys warmly and with an openness and a trust that I can SO tell you he never had in our bad days. During the course of their time with us, he took the opportunity to humbly and sincerely apologize for his actions all those years ago. He made it clear that he didn't expect anything in return, even forgiveness; he just wanted them to know that he was deeply sorry.
This may be a bit confusing as I started off mentioning one guy and now Michael's apologizing to two. The one he apologized to for the accusation, the two he apologized to because he knows of their love and friendship towards my late husband and their concern over how Michael had treated me in the past. Got it?
All this to say that we continue to have times of restoration as we walk this out and that it's moments like this that make it all worth it; for my heart, for Michael's heart and for the hearts of others.
And to that I say, "Amen!"