Do you see what I see? 

I doubt it.

Some time ago, when I sat with a close friend—one who’d recently been cheated on and then left by her husband—to explain to her how I’d ended up with at least one foot in the same boat, her response confounded me.

“I can’t believe this happened in your marriage, I always viewed you guys as a power couple.”

A what now? Us? Why? How’s it possible that’s what she saw?

Appearances are deceiving is how. 

But beyond that, what makes two people a power couple? I literally don’t know the answer and can only guess at it, so I don’t see how we could’ve been one. 

We weren’t wealthy or influential in politics or society, we didn’t present as perfect nor were we sweet or well-adjusted to each other at all times or even most of the time, and I was a stay-at-home mom with a side hustle. 

We weren’t regular churchgoers, we weren’t the most adored of all the couples in our circles, we had wonky relationships with family members, and we were hell-fire and really quite scary to play board games with sometimes. None of that translates as particularly powerful to me.

So do you see what I see, yet?

Maybe, but I still doubt it so let’s test it.

I see two people holding on to each other for dear life.

With their teenage daughter behind the camera at their cousin’s lovely, late summer wedding a few years back. A blessed event in resplendent God’s country that brought us to our proverbial knees in regret and remorse over how we’d let each other go in our own marriage, suffering disastrous consequences for doing so.

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I see a couple drawn to a field awash in buttery twilight, boasting a you can almost touch ’em view of the mountain range they call home because they felt God there. A God they’d shut out and ignored for too long, their marriage having withered on the vine for doing so.

I see two people heaven-bent on learning to love each other for no reason and without conditions—even though and anyway. And finally, before the hour grew too late, learning to give each other their first and their best. For too long, they only ever gave of the vapory dregs of love they had leftover after giving of their riches to otherspaying too high a price for doing so.

I see a couple scared over what they’d nearly lost a few months prior. Each other. The life they’d built together. Their family. Their future. 

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I see two people who each, in their own way, risked everything dear over nothing special and how, miraculously, instead of breaking them, the very thing that so easily could have, worked to beautifully remake them.

I see a couple of headstrong, stubborn-as-mules people who refused to lie down and die over what felt like might kill them. 

And now, after all they’ve been through together, I guess I see a power couple, too. 

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A couple who discovered the power of love to help them heal and choose to forgive. The power of God to redeem what seemed beyond repair and use the unlikeliest of people to speak to His glory. The power of sincere and blameless apologies followed up with changed behavior. The power of learning from pain and mistakes instead of letting them destroy you.

Do you see what I see, now?

I pray you can. I pray you can use our story to find and cling to new hope for your own. I hope our failures followed by our successes work in tandem to shine a light on a path you couldn’t yet see your way forward on. I hope you can see that none of us are our mistakes, that we’re more what we do after them. And I hope you can see what the power of forgiveness, both of self and others, does for a couple of hearts.

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

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Jodie Utter

Jodie Utter is a freelance writer & creator of the blog, Utter Imperfection. She calls the Pacific Northwest home and shares it with her husband and two children. As an awkward dancer who’s tired of making dinner and can’t stay awake past nine, she flings her life wide open and tells her stories to connect pain to pain and struggle to struggle in hopes others will feel less alone inside their own stories and more at home in their hearts, minds, and relationships. You can connect with her on her blog, Utter Imperfection and on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.