Patrick rolled my foot up in the car window last night. I wish I was kidding but this is a REAL story, no parts are fabricated for dramatic effect. The truth is dramatic enough.
So we were driving home from dinner and in typical Nicole fashion I made a joke about something really weird. The joke was a bit dramatic and involved a lot of hand and body movements and at one point I needed to put half of my foot out the window. Just to clarify Patrick was driving so we were being super safe. Back to the story, as I'm making the joke Patrick decides, at that exact moment, that we should roll up the windows and Whoopsie Daisy, my foot gets stuck in the window.
I immediately yell and for maybe 5 seconds neither one of us really knows what's happening and when we realize what's going on we're both too frazzled to resolve it. I'm yelling, Patrick is trying to drive and roll down the window and it takes about 15 or so seconds before my foot is free and the pandemonium has ceased.
Once my foot is out I become overcome with a fit of laughter. I sat there and laughed and laughed until I was snorting and crying. The whole thing was just so outrageous to me that I couldn't stop laughing over it. Patrick is beyond concerned at this point because he can't determine whether or not I'm in pain. Through my laughter I can hear him asking "Babe, are you okay? I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" and I want to answer him but my laughter just won't stop.
Eventually, the laughter begins to wear off and the pain starts to set in. The top of my foot is throbbing and though it wasn't a sharp sensation, it's a constant and forceful pain. As the fullness of the pain begins to set in so does my annoyance and anger. I go from thinking that it's the funniest random happenstance ever, to being completely livid and almost feeling like it was intentional.
"I can't believe you did that," I said, "How did that even happen? Are you going to apologize?" I'm so upset at this point that I'm being completely irrational and even though I know that he has already apologized, I'm insisting that he do it again. Poor Patrick is feeling his own internal anguish over the situation and externally he's being bombarded with my cold shoulders and sharp words. To be completely honest, even though the situation is now completely resolved and I've apologized for being crazy, I was kind of upset about it and upset with him until this morning which led to me writing this post.
I'm typically a very forgiving and gracious person. Throughout our relationship Patrick and I have, of course, had times where we've needed to be forgiving to one another. Thankfully, we both do our best to not hold grudges and to always talk things out instead of harboring feelings of resentment. Last night was completely out of character for me. Even though I had multiple opportunities to move on and let it go and enjoy the rest of our evening together, I made the conscious decision to stay upset with him.
Today, I feel really convicted about the whole thing. As Patrick and I prepare to spend the rest of our lives together, I want forgiveness to be the norm for our family not guilt trips and the inability to accept an apology. I texted Patrick this morning apologizing for my behavior last night and in typical Patrick fashion he sent me the sweetest text back. Saying that he'll always do his best to forgive me when I apologize and give me grace when I'm being a brat.
When I initially started writing this post I wrote that 'no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't forgive Patrick," but the truth is that I absolutely could. That distinction, between the words 'couldn't' and 'wouldn't,' is what provided me with the most valuable lesson. Forgiveness is often a choice that one has to make. One that goes against the feelings that are running rampant through our bodies and goes against our natural inclination.
It's a choice that says, yes the pain of the moment may be constant, may be sharp, but the life that comes from embracing forgiveness is a life of freedom. Patrick and I are going to be starting our premarital counseling soon and I imagine that one of the things that they're going to emphasize to us is the importance of forgiveness. The importance of letting things go, accepting when something is an accident and giving yourself the permission to move on.
I want forgiveness and grace to be the theme of my life with Patrick. I want to reflect the forgiveness that Christ has extended and continues to extend to us each day and I want it to echo throughout our relationship. So I vow to forgive Patrick. I vow to forgive him today and tomorrow and everyday that follows for the rest of our lives. I vow to forgive him for the small and petty things, the things that are done on accident but still hurt. So that when the big things come, as I know they will, forgiveness will be my mode of operation and a relationship that continues to flourish and thrive will be the outcome.