We took a walk today and I told him that I am so happy, and I am so thankful for him. He said, "Thats good." His response is never overly emotional or romantic, but it is sure and something more real than romance. I remember when I first met him. If you read my book, you know the story, the one where I almost dumped him out of the canoe telling him that we were going to get married. And he said, "okay." After a few weeks of us dreaming of our future together, he told me something. He said, "I won't buy you flowers and I am not a romantic, so if you take me as I am, you will know that I will always be here for you. Romance and gifts are not what makes up real love, it is just being there. Most guys, they do that, and then when all the romance fades, there is nothing left." I remember hearing those words and thinking, that is kind of romantic in a way, but yet it was as sure as the sun coming up each morning.
His words were true. He was there for me when I was a screaming, crazy woman with a whole list of demands and an ungrateful heart. He was there when I was disabled, caring for me and the kids. Cooking meals, homeschooling the kids, cleaning up the house, while I was over in the hospital bed crying in pain day in and day out. One time he passed me with his hands over his ears and briskly walked like he wanted to shut me out. And it took years to understand that it about killed him to hear my cries each day and night. I felt like a burden but it was a burden he proudly bore because of his deep love for me. I was precious to him. It took years for me to love the sweet silence of a man with few words. It took me time to understand his faithful heart and his devotion to me. I wish I would have not wasted so many years being mad at him and feeling like I was not worthy of him. Almost everyday since we met I always asked him why he could love me and he always just simply said, "because I do." It never seemed enough, and I always wanted a better reason until one day he told me that I was not allowed to ask that any more. He said, "You should know by now that if I stayed by your side through all that we have been through, that I truly love you and that I would die for you." I guess it came from my own deep need to know that I was loved. A part of my past I never knew that was still robbing me of joy. A little of that little girl inside that felt she did not deserve happiness.
Just about a week ago, my life changed forever. I had no idea that I have been suffering a lot of my life for NOTHING! So many things I assumed and things I did not have to understand that caused me to ponder and lose sleep over. People's actions or words, (or lack of words in some cases) that I would get upset over. Christians not being nice, or not being merciful. And I would literally try to figure it all out in my mind, how it could be that way when the answer could never be understood because I will never know the heart of man. I was the queen of taking everything personally. I never wanted to hurt people or cause problems yet I caused a million of them for myself. I finally found the freedom. I found that all people base their beliefs on their own experience, the truth that has nothing to do with me. I have spent a thousand words already about what others have done to hurt me, and what others have said. Made drama from nothing and suffered greatly for no reason at all because of things I made up in my head.
I made a decision. No more. No more taking things personally, no more assuming, and I have made a decision to keep my thoughts pure. I made up my mind to never read into things nor to use my words to spread emotional poison. And now I can truly enjoy my life for the first time. I know there were glimmers of joy but it would go away as soon as another situation came up to steal it. And I gave my joy and peace up all too easily. My joy was like a light switch that you could turn on an off by a flick of a switch. Half of the time on and the other half off.
My marriage was that way a lot of times because of me. My husband never changed. He may have grown in his love for me, learning how to be flexible for my whims, but his love never wavered. When he would come home from work, he could tell in the first five minutes whether it was going to be a good day or a bad one. Whether I was crying out of sadness or feeling rejected because someone said something that I perceived as malicious, it was something that I made my whole family endure. Oh, those hurts would cut deep and leave me wounded for weeks. He was like my doctor trying to fill my IV with life giving truths from God's word and I would slowly heal because I knew the truth. BUT now, what is great is that I am not in the intensive care unit any longer, I am now in the pasture enjoying the freedom of life.
I can be around people and just feel love for them because there is an absence of fear. It is so freeing. I wish this on everyone. So as I go forth on our anniversary, I just appreciate the gift of a happy life and a happy marriage that so few ever get to experience because they war with their minds on a daily basis. They are in and out of the intensive care unit. I am just thankful that I realized this now. There is a lot of life left for me to live, if it is the Lord's will, so I might as well live my life full of joy instead of sorrow. I am truly blessed. Thank you Lord for giving me such an amazing husband. He is my best friend and the man I am glad I get to grow old with! Joy is a choice. It is available to all.