how long I've loved you,
you know I love you still,
will I wait a lonely lifetime,
if you want me to,
This post is not for re-posting. I will not be sharing it on Facebook. And there are dozens of love songs that I could have used to keynote this piece. But none of them said enough -- and most said too much. Allison Krauss' "I Will," comes closest to saying everything and nothing -- all at once.
This post is written to put on record the heart of a man who loves genuinely, selflessly, and intuitively. He is my husband. It is to put on record for his children -- and their children -- his legacy of grace.
He is kind -- inimitably so. He is generous -- and in this time of "me first" social politics -- it would seem, to a fault. He loves me in ways that none have ever seen, or will ever know -- until today.
When I was a child, I never knew what it felt like to have unconditional love or support. Everything was earned. Everything was reciprocity-based. Babysit your siblings, and you were shown appreciation. Be accommodating, and you might know some kindness. Share your wages, and you would be fed. Do unto others, or nothing was done for you.
I became a sponge for approval. An achievement junkie. I became addicted to proving -- to anyone and everyone -- that I was likable, deserving of friendship, worthy of the company of others.
As I have sought to become a woman of integrity -- and it has been a difficult, painful journey -- I wanted nothing more than to give my daughters the kind of support that I hadn't even realized I was starving for. I dreamed of being the kind of parent who put their children's successes above their own. I wanted to be the mom of my dreams.
Asking my daughters to live through a divorce and remarriage was devastating to me. In its wake, I felt a greater sense of failure than I could ever have imagined. I almost didn't survive my own self-doubt and sorrow. I would not be here today if it hadn't been for my husband's constant reminder that I was - by divine design - inherently good. And that I was made so, not by my own efforts, but by the very nature of my one and only Parent who loved me without variableness -- God.
Over the last decade my husband has given me a glimpse of what God's love actually looks and feels like -- up close and personal. He has helped me discover the coincidence between divinity and humanity. He has put our children's needs, dreams, and successes so far above his own that it has taken my breath away.
And he has put my need to parent -- in a way that redeemed my own childhood -- ahead of everything else.
He has loved the part of me that was broken, shattered, vulnerable, and fragile. And in doing so, he has given me a view of myself that is whole -- deeply grounded in spiritual integrity. There is no part of my life that is at variance with my desire for growth in grace.
I love him for what he has taught me about selflessness. When his sense of duty and service-to-mankind urged him to take a job in a distant city, he lived out of his car so that all of his earnings could come home to serve the greater needs of our family. His weekends were spent traveling to another state to care for his mother, and he spent every spare moment working a second job to support our home, and our children's education.
He rarely takes a moment for himself, often working through the night. And I've never heard him turn away from a friend -- or stranger - in need. He listens without judgment, he gives without condition, and he serves without any need for recognition or appreciation.
If I am becoming a better friend, mother, healer, and neighbor, it is because he has given me the rich soil of his unconditional love to grow in. He never ceases to encourage me to turn to God more fully, trust Him more courageously, and love more generously.
His love for all five of our children is knee-buckling. He has never complained that all of our resources go towards making their lives better, their dreams more achievable, and their potential for blessing the world around them more possible -- every day.
I am blessed. He has given me the gift of redemption. Through his generous love, he has allowed me to walk away from self, and into an ever-higher sense of who I can be as the perfect, pure, innocent, honest child of my divine Parent. He has shown me that I am not a product of my past -- but the promise of God's love.
This post contains no quotes, it tries to make no connections, I am not seeking to say anything pithy or profound. It is simply an utterance of love. I testament to a man of great kindness, integrity, and selfless devotion to family, friendship, community -- and to God. Most supremely to God.
I am grateful. Our children are blessed. He has been a gift of grace.
offered with deep love and gratitude to Love,