Who doesn't LOVE being tagged in a Facebook post and then asked to post pictures depicting how you love your spouse? This girl. That's a lot of pressure! Facebook posts on a normal day are trying enough, let's be honest. So, when my sister-in-law (whom I love dearly) tagged me in the Love Your Spouse challenge, I figured I'd blog about it instead. You're welcome.
Love Your Spouse Challenge- Post 1
We met in 1996. I was 22. He was 27. We had no idea where this road would lead.
This picture was taken on our first trip together. We flew out to California to visit my aunt and uncle. It was the first time I'd gone on a trip like this and I was over the moon excited to get away with my hot new boyfriend! We had been dating for about five months.
I was really young. I had a handful of "serious" boyfriends, and a boatload of not so serious ones prior to meeting Pat. I had never known love. I had never felt worthy of love. I certainly didn't love myself. Instead, I began our relationship putting that burden on him. I expected him to provide me with happiness. That isn't a strong foundation, but we honestly didn't know any better. I thought my deeds earned his love, and his were the basis of mine. We had mismanaged expectations. But those kids, smiling on that hammock, we didn't know we were going at it wrong. We were blissful. We were happy. So happy that I was scared. Petrified, really. What if he left? More like, WHEN will he leave? He's too good for me. When that's what you've seen and experienced in the relationships around you, that's what becomes the norm.
If I could talk to that girl in the picture, whisper in her ear, I'd tell her she is enough. She is so loved, not by the handsome guy next to her, but by her Father. Not her earthly father who left her first, but by the one who will never leave her. Not only is she loved, she's redeemed. She's forgiven and worth more than gold. Luckily, she will learn that later. It's because of His grace that those two smiling faces are still smiling together. They haven't always smiled. Their mismanaged expectations got the best of them at times. But for every broken love story, there's mending at the cross. Ours is no different, and I thank God for that each and every day.
Father- We are broken. Our words and deeds do not define the love we have, but it's in our surrender to you, to your perfect ways, to your loving forgiveness that we find our home. Forgive me for having put that burden on another, and remind me, Lord, to seek You first. It is in Your presence that love finds me. For this I am grateful. Amen