Remember that one time? The time we decided to cut down our own Christmas tree? I wanted to prove my independence so I cut the tree but I left about a 1/3 of it in the ground. You didn’t get mad you just smiled and carried our half tree to the check out and paid full price. I knew deep inside I should have let you chop the tree but I also knew you were letting me be strong. How do you know when I need to be strong?
And remember that one time I had to babysit and the kids wouldn’t stop crying? I was so stressed out and you just came over. You came over and sang to them while I sat on the couch rocking the baby. You forgot the some of the words to the song but you made them up in a stroke of genius. As the baby started to sleep in my arms, you carried the squirming kids upstairs and tucked them in bed. Your strength was felt by those little ones and they felt safe with you. Sometimes I pretend to get scared just so I can grab your arm and wrap myself in it. Because I feel safe with you too.
But where I really saw your character was when I pushed you away. That night we had that fight. You know the really bad one? I said things I’ll always regret and you stood there – pain flickering in your eyes but not lashing back. You had every right to take your arrows and aim them right at my deepest wounds. You knew that’s where I was yelling at you from, but instead you chose to honor me. Even though I said things that were terrible, and I was yelling, and throwing things, you grabbed my flailing arms and just held me. I fought you and I’m pretty sure I threw a feeble right hook that you easily deflected. (You should probably teach me to better throw a punch. I’ve never been good at them.) You wrapped me in your arms and spoke sweet words over me. After I cried the pain out, you lifted my head, smiled at my mascara stained face and told me I had never looked more beautiful.
Do you know how amazing you are? I know I don’t tell you enough but you are. I know you aren’t perfect and we both have wounds to show for it – but that’s the reality of life. We hurt each other. The difference with you is that you’re willing to admit it and it grieves you deeply when you wound me or others. I know you’re a leader and I don’t think I respect anyone as much as I respect you. I’ll stand by your side through good times and bad. I promise you that.
I’m learning to just be with you. To not have to talk or analyze. I’m learning that sometimes you just want me to sit next to you and watch the game or read a book. It’s tough for me. I can talk to the wall. Shoulder to shoulder is important to you. If you have patience with me, I’m willing to try anything. You make me feel like I could jump off the roof and fly.
It drives me crazy when you tease me for the way I can’t say cinnamon, but I also love it. I love that you know my favorite color and how I don’t like ice in my drinks. I love that you can look at me and know what my emotion is. I love that you can glance my way and I know exactly what you’re thinking. I love that you hold the door for everyone and that you always are the first to put yourself last without anyone knowing what happened. I love that you are SO aware of my gluten allergy and protective of me when we go out.
I love to wear your shirts to bed. I love that you think I’m adorable when I do. I love that sometimes you wake up before I do and watch me sleep. Surprised? Sometimes I do the same thing. 🙂
I love that on our wedding day, you gasped when you saw me walk into the church on my dad’s arm. And I love that my dad respects you. I love that you pour into my brothers and have gotten to be friends with my dearest friend’s husbands. I love that you brought my roommate soup when she was sick because I was stuck at work. I love that you showed up at work that one time you hurt my feelings just to say sorry.
I love the every day things. Like that one time we burned the pasta because we started watching Youtube videos and laughing so hard we forgot about dinner. I love that Saturday morning I was cleaning up dishes from our party and you put $20 in my hand, sent me to the nail salon and arranged for me to get a manicure while you cleaned up everything. I loved that night we were doing laundry and I put too much soap in the machine and it flooded. Everywhere. And you didn’t get mad. You just started laughing because you knew that with me, this kind of stuff happens all the time.
I love that you told me the truth about your past before we got married. I love that you trusted me enough to tell me all of the details so I’d never have to worry or compare myself. I love that you were okay when I didn’t know what to say. I love that you trusted ALL of who you are to me.
I love that you are not a dream come true but real. I don’t want you to be a prince charming or a Mr. Darcy. I want a flesh and blood man who makes mistakes, can teach me how to drive stick shift, has lived been through the fire and understands that He is not his own. I want a man who cares for the widow and orphan because we’re called to and as a man – he is more responsible than anyone. I’m giving you the freedom to be that man and not be some sort of unrealistic expectation that hollywood and romance writers have dreamed up.
But most of all? Most of all I love the way you let the LORD use everyone to mold and shape you. I love that your eyes light up when you see a chance to experience Him or you feel His love a little more. I love when you fall asleep on the couch with your Bible spread on your lap. I love that you love the LORD more than you love me. I love when daylight is breaking, your hair is messy, there’s coffee brewing, and I hear you humming a hymn. I love listening to you pray because you talk to Him like you’re talking to your best friend. I love that the more I know you, the more I see the attributes of Christ.
Someday I’ll get to tell you these things and I cannot wait for that day.