How Love Changes Everything

by | Feb 1, 2012 | Uncategorized

When I enter the bedroom, put my phone on the charger for the night, he lays on my side of the bed, warming up my spot. He loves me this way for as long as I can remember. And when I approach my side of the bed to crawl in, he looks up from the Kindle to see my eyes and asks, “How are you?”

It’s not a casual question. He’s looking for the truth.

I hesitate to respond. Because sometimes the truth of what we hide on the inside, when self-doubt enters through the back door, it isn’t pretty. I vacillate. Count the cost of revealing the truth, about the lies I have just told myself.

That I feel insignificant when I read about what others do to advance the Kingdom, wonder if I do enough.  And really, it’s not just about sharing my faith, the accusations shout when it comes to parenting, being a wife, a friend, a housekeeper, and writer. Am I enough? Doing enough?

And when I tell him what swirls in my cerebral hemisphere, he throws his hands up in exasperation. Exasperation over my refusal to believe the truth he tells me repeatedly for twenty-one years now. That I am beautiful just the way I am, that God uses me in ways unique to how He created me, that I am enough.

Comparison is a sneaky diversion, a fork in the road to destiny. This truth telling, it keeps me from wrong turns, roadblocks, and major delays due to re-construction. It splits me open to heavens eyes, puts me back on the journey to hope.

When he apologizes, says he is sorry for the way he responds, love clears the fog that hangs between conviction and condemnation.  Clears vision when the reflection of me blurs.

It is hard to explain how love from a man that stands sturdy through wavering days and wondering can transform a girl into woman. Explain how fragments become pieces of beauty when tended by a farmer of truth who trusts in the power of redemption above sainthood to grow a person.

Marriage isn’t about meeting needs, but laying them down and forgetting you ever had them.

When I crawl into the warm spot he left on my side of the bed, curl up next to him, hold onto his arm, I laugh. All that guilt I carried into the room, it looks hilarious and out of place laying here beside love.

Joining the High Calling over at Jennifer’s place to explore the joys and struggles of marriage during the month of February. Also linking with Ann, and for one last time (for now) with Emily and Bonnie at Faith Barista, Unwrapping Love.

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  1. HopeUnbroken

    wow. this same conversation could have taken place in my bedroom! so much truth. and each time i tell myself the hope will carry me through, make a real change, keep the same thing from happening again. sigh. we are a continual work in progress, are we not? i thank God for His patience, and how He continues to smooth out the rough edges, show me His love for me. . . and somehow bring a reflection of that on the better days 🙂
    blessings to you this day,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Isn’t it good to know that most of what we experience in life – the joys, doubts, fears – are common to all of us? Yet, we often walk around feeling naked, like we are the only ones! So glad you stopped by Steph.

  2. Tara@pohlkottepress

    I cannot tell you how much this speaks my own heart, my own life and relationship. So much goes on inside my head {so much doubt, a muddled mess}, and when I find I try to speak it out loud to my husband, it all seems as it is, sometimes silly, sometimes complicated for the sake of complication. His presence makes me lie down and just rest, to be me. Even if sometimes he has to fight with me to get there… thank you for sharing your hearts. I loved this.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Tara, its funny, because when I read you, I often see myself in what you write too. I think you and I are a lot alike actually. Wouldn’t it be great to meet face to face over a cup of tea (or coffee). Oh the luxury! So glad this spoke to you (I almost fainted when I pressed publish) and hope your little one is on the mend.

      • Tara@pohlkottepress

        oh, how I would love this!! {she is, back to her spunky self 🙂 }

  3. Paula

    Marriage isn’t about meeting needs, but laying them down and forgetting you ever had them.Love this truth! Great post. I love to hear about other husbands who can love so great. What a treasure!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Paula, I actually have a hard time writing about my husband. It feels sacred, like holy ground I don’t want to tread on lightly. Glad it spoke to you!

  4. Brandee Shafer

    I’m so glad you have him! May God continue to bless and keep you (the only you there is). Your heart beats for a reason. Or 6,300 of them.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Me too Brandee. I thank God every day for the gift of my husband. Thanks for your encouragement.

  5. Lisa Wakefield

    God has truly blessed us, Shelly, with Godly men who love the ugliness of our pasts away into the beauty of our present and future with Christ as the compass. Along with Scott’s unconditional love, acceptance and support God has delivered me from fear, anger, self-loathing and self-doubt as well as opening my ears to hear the TRUTH of God’s opinion of me…………….HE is good. By the way-the photo of you and H in this blog is my favorite of you two so far!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lisa, I still remember when you first began to date Scott. Thanking God for His faithfulness to us in bringing Godly men to share life and bring wholeness where we were broken. It makes me teary just thinking about it. Thanks for your gracious comment about the photo. I love the gal who takes our pictures, she is amazing!

  6. Kristen

    I loved this!! Brought tears to my eyes. I often feel as tho I’m not enough and forget the countless times my amazing hubby reaffirms me that I am enough and that God is pleased with me. It takes him reminding me of all the good I do – saying he couldn’t do it. He knows my heart truly and still loves me and thinks in enough – it’s crazy that God thinks the same things about me and more!! You and H Jane such a beautiful marriage. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kristen, it just makes me smile to know you found a man who loves you that way and reveals Christ’s love even more. And maybe it comes with being a girl, being so hard on ourselves and expecting too much. Let’s rest in who we are today, no striving to be more. Shall we?

  7. Celeste A.

    I’m with Hope. I know I have had that same conversation and more than once. Which is what I adore about my husband. He has clarity and recognizes it for what it is.
    Yet, that struggle seems to always be there. The accusing voices that invade our thoughts when all I/we really need to hear is the one saying, “my beloved”.
    Thanks. A timely message for me today

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Celeste, so glad this was timely for you today. I think those voices are common to most of us, at least the females. Thank God for men who see clearly and help us remove the foggy thinking. Blessings to you.

  8. Messy Marriage

    I love reading about a marriage that has weathered the winds of time and made you into a woman who sees her beauty inside and out. That’s a real man who can help you blossom as you have. Very inspiring, Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So grateful for providence knowing this might not have been my story. Always one decision away from good or ill. Thanking. God for his faithfulness in marriage.

  9. abailey

    This is beautiful, Shelly! I love how you describe comparison as a fork in the road to destiny. I have wasted so much of my time trying to be someone else because I don’t think I am enough. Love your sweet portrait of marriage and the warming up your side of the bed. You have brightened my spirit today.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes that ugly comparison. It gets us off track. Thankful you were inspired by grace today. Blessings.

  10. Jennifer@GDWJ

    What a lovely picture of marriage. It’s clear how much your husband honors you and the gifts that God has given you.

    I’m really glad you linked with the “I Do” project at the High Calling.

    And … I am loving all the truth that this one line holds: “… the power of redemption over sainthood to grow a person.”

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jennifer, so glad that my husband honoring me showed through, because he does. Thanks for the opportunity, it pushed me to write in a way I might have avoided.

  11. Sherri

    “farmer of truth” – love it. And this post.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Sherri! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Haven’t seen you in a while.

  12. Sharon O

    Beautiful sharing… I understand some of what you wrote about, after being married 38 years, love still resides between us. Sometimes the real sharing from the heart is hard, the key is knowing if he is really listening.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sharon, you have a few years of experience on me. We celebrate 22 this year. And we love to de-brief with each other, feel like something is missing if life gets to hectic to talk.

  13. Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

    That truth-telling thing. For me it always boils down to a question, “Can he really love me enough to handle this?” Thanks be to God, the answer for twenty-eight years has been, “yes.” Sometimes I think of how it must hurt him when I don’t trust his love enough, when I hide pieces of my self. In many ways, that fear parallels the one I have about God, the one that ask, “Can He really love me in this?” Again the answer is, “Thanks be to God, He does.”

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I don’t think I have trouble telling the truth, maybe just fearful about the response! Growing up in with an alcohoic, the fear of abandonment roots deep. His loving, unjudgemental responses have been healing to me on so many levels. And I shout a hefty “Amen” to your comment Nancy!

  14. roseann elliott

    so blessed is a woman who has that kind of love from her husband…I am so blessed as well…how his love can be part of God’s healing hands and heart to me…
    beautiful post…
    Blessings as you rest in God’s and your husband’s love…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanking God with you Roseann for a loving husband. I often take for granted what so many women long for. So glad to hear from you.

  15. Deidra

    It’s like stepping out on the ice, holding your breath and hoping it doesn’t slice itself open right beneath you and plunge you into the cold. And instead? Instead, this: “It splits me open to heavens eyes, puts me back on the journey to hope.” Wow.

    (Guess what? I pinned that H.)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh, you made me laugh about pinning the H. Glad you liked it. I took that photo at the Tower of London (just fyi). Couldn’t resist! Love your analogy of the ice, grateful I’m not plunging into that cold. It makes me shiver just thinking about it.

  16. imperfect prose

    oh what a glorious picture of you both! i love those last lines, about how you laugh, guilt having no place next to love. that is a powerful statement, friend. i am so grateful for you. please stay in touch, okay? love e.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I will happily keep in touch. Look forward to hearing about all God is doing in and through you in the coming days. Much love!

  17. Elizabeth

    Love this writing. Beautiful.

  18. toshowthemjesus

    ‘Comparison is a sneaky diversion, a fork in the road to destiny.” So true of me. I truly appreciated this post. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I struggle with it more than I would like to admit! So glad you visited.

  19. wolfsrosebud

    “Marriage isn’t about meeting needs, but laying them down and forgetting you ever had them.”

    Truly loved this line.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you, that blesses me. God inspires the words and sometimes after I write them I have to take a step back and breathe.

  20. janaecharlotte

    “I laugh” – I love that you shared your heart, heard his, and then you laughed. I think that is invaluable, friend.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m glad you pointed that out Janae. Great insight there. Always good to see you in the comment box my friend. Thanks!

  21. Debbie

    Just when I think you can’t possibly top the writings you’ve already shared, then you blow me away with this one. Keep up the good writings – they are wonderful.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Debbie, you’re good for my ego. Thank you so much!

  22. keLi

    much truth here — how love frees us up from the guilt that slumps us over. thanks for sharing …

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Keli, loved visiting your blog for the first time today. You truly have a gift with words!

  23. melissasmallwood

    Why do we struggle so with believing what they have been telling us for so long? I do the same thing. Thankful, along with you, for husbands that keep speaking that truth even though we aren’t always listening.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I wish I knew the answer to that question! But thankful for the patience and understanding from a loving husband along the way. Thanks for visiting for the first time.

  24. waterthecamels

    “Marriage isn’t about meeting needs, but laying them down and forgetting you ever had them.”

    Wow, what a powerful sentence. I have written this in my journal. Life isn’t about needs being met, by rather lives being transformed. Man fails horrible at this, yet Christ excels in it. My husband can help me, sharpen me, but it is the Lord I need for transformation and completeness. I look forward to reading more!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jody, so thrilled to have you join this little community and share in the conversations here. I think I have learned more about how to live life through my relationship with my husband (and my kids) more than anything else. True fulfillment comes in laying down our lives. It’s opposite of what the culture says, but so true.

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