If you had asked me 12 years ago where I would be today, I don’t think I would have given you an answer that looks anything like what my life is like. I had dreams, but life is often so very different than what we imagine.
I did dream of marriage and motherhood so I am not too far off those hopes. I don’t think that I ever imagined having such busy boys and more boys than girls. I didn’t picture how difficult it would be to be the loving, patient, wise mother I saw in my dreams.
I also imagined myself married to a type-A personality man and just different… I still remember the time though when I first met my husband. I did notice his bright blue eyes. I also noticed his politeness. I still remember the first time we really talked. I remember how he had a gift of getting others to talk, quietly asking questions and getting them to talk about themselves. I remember noticing his hands: strong, long, clean — perfect for wiping away tears, cradling a baby, cupping a cheek, brushing hair… I remember prior to meeting him, my momma told me to be open to God’s leading, to not limit myself to specific outward trappings. “Sure, Mom.” I really didn’t think it would happen — that I would meet my future spouse.
I still remember how he called me right after that weekend, how we talked for more than an hour. I remember the respect he showed me and glimpses into the heart of a man that was starting to become God’s man.
I still remember when that man proposed to me, how tears filled his eyes. I remember how excited and yet nervous I was. It was such a huge commitment, and I knew my man was human.
I remember our wedding day. The flowers were so beautiful. The music. The guests. The tulle. The ribbons. The carriage. It was all such a dream. I remember my dad reaching up to hold my hand, to walk me down the aisle. “Are you ready?” Was I really ready? Could one totally be ready?
Then there were those vows. His were personally written. So tender. So protective. So mature. So reverent. He got down on one knee. Those azure blue eyes gazed at me so full of love and tears. He paused, voice clogged with tears. He continued to recite some of the most beautiful wedding vows to ever be written. Many from the audience would talk about them for years to come.
Then, there was the kiss. It was our first kiss, saved ’til we truly were man and wife. With such tenderness, he gently cupped my face in his hands … those hands I had known earlier would be perfect for this. With exquisite gentleness and almost reverence our lips melded. When he finally drew back, I felt bereft and melted into him. Sensing my vulnerability, he was gentle but strong. That night, he showed me the depths of what it means to give in love rather than take. I was his rare gift, and he let me know it. I was his princess. He was my knight.
We loved with joyous abandon. There were no regrets, only delight! No comparisons… Only discovery. The months passed, and challenges came our way. I questioned at times. The years passed. My man continued to grow in maturity and godliness. I began to fall in love all over again… watching him hold our babies, his selflessness, his gentleness, his leadership, his serving… He wasn’t afraid to hold my hair back as I threw up in the toilet. He wasn’t afraid to help me get a shower right after giving birth to a baby. He wasn’t afraid to clean up the bloody mess from giving birth. He wasn’t afraid to love me when I was grumpy.
I am so blessed to have found the right kind of man and to have learned what true love is! Such love exceeds the boundaries of words in describing it. Such love is exquisite in its tenderness, in its beauty, in its vulnerability, in its service, in its selflessness, in its humility, in its kindness, in its transparency, in its oneness. True loves transcends past the passion to the promises that are wrapped up in the gifts of living our love every day. …Beauty in its rarest form! How amazing this thing called love is!
Those hands that I have always loved have caught me by surprise! As they wiped a dirty bottom, swept a floor, washed dishes, held my hands while encouraging me during agonizing contractions, cradled my face, wiped my tears, swung me around in his arms, carried our babies, chased our boys … in those hands, my heart has been captured … true love has taken me by surprise! True love is not a confining/controlling thing — rather it is freedom … exhilarating when offered with joyous abandon!