H goes to bed before me lately. Tired is a common word in our conversations. I put my phone on the charger next the lamp on the nightstand. He’s lying on my side, warming up my spot. He loves me this way for as long as I can remember, even when he is tired.
After I wash my face, complete the bedtime ritual, he looks up from his Kindle to see my eyes when I approach the bed to crawl in. “How are you,” he asks.
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 where I come up short, the accusations shout when it comes to parenting, being a wife, a friend, a housekeeper, and a writer. Am I enough? Doing enough?
I say it out loud; tell him about the fragments of doubt swirling in mind. He throws his hands up in exasperation over my refusal to believe the truth he’s told me repeatedly for twenty-three years. That I am beautiful just the way I am, and I am enough.
Comparison is a sneaky diversion, a fork in the road on the way to destiny. And his speaking the truth, it keeps me from wrong turns and roadblocks to hope. Love wipes away the fog hanging between conviction and condemnation. It clarifies my blurry reflection.
It’s hard to explain how love from a man that stands sturdy through wavering days and wondering can transform a girl into woman. 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 and hold on to his arm, laughter pours from my belly. All that guilt I carried into the room, it looks hilarious and out of place laying there beside love.
On this Valentine’s Day and every day, may you know that you are enough. Because Christ is enough. And He loves you.
Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose with the word prompt: Love.
Recalling conversations like this I’ve had with my husband, when I felt like you, when he responded with grace. Enough–yes, with God all is enough.
So thankful for his loving voice of truth that pulls me back to reality and grateful you have that in your husband too Lisa.
Oh yes, beautiful and loved.
B E A UT I F U L – both of you!
Thanks Coleta, it was so great to see you at the Winter Conference. Keep in touch.
This is just so beautiful! Thank you!
I love this Shelly. I am taking the bold words here, the ones about laying down our needs in a marriage, and I am holding them close as I walk through this day of “love”. 🙂
Hope you know you are loved today Danelle, in a hundred little ways.
Good Morning Shelly…Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ah yes, the ‘comparison game’…one of the greatest Joy-Stealer’s ever! You’ve heard my sad story of living waaay out here in the boonies, a non-driver, and wondering what in the world I can do for the Kingdom? Well, I just do what I can do. Keep in touch with family and friends—there’s a mission field all in itself. Just last week I had online conversation with my sweet brother and sent him the YouTube video “Falling Plates”. If you haven’t seen it, you should go there. Powerful! I simply pray he ‘heard’ the gospel through it. For me, it’s just those little things I can do to maybe cause another to think about God…maybe for the first time in their life. And I pray.
Believe me Shelly…You are more than enough! You touch hearts every day with your words. Both for the ‘saved’ and the yet ‘unsaved’! Your Christ-heart shines through!
A million little things add up to one redeemed life. I know you are making a difference in mine with your words here Jillie. I’m so thankful God brought us together.
This is so lovely, Shelly! And so is the updated design. And so are you. Your H sounds as wonderful as my Dave. Maybe V day is a good day to remember how rare our good fortune is. Love to you on love day!
I’ve often thought the same thing regarding our husbands when you write about Dave.Glad you stopped by Heather.
Laughter is like medicine for the soul! Happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂
To you too Tammy. We could all use more laughter in our lives.
I enjoyed this – authentic stories are the best.
I agree Chris. They are the ones I remember the most.
Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story…..sounds like you and H have a great relationship/partnership – one where each person’s good qualities complement the other’s. Thanks for sharing! Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I’m thankful for the way God brought us together Sherri. I don’t take it for granted.
It is about laying down needs and forgetting we ever had them isn’t it? Great thought.
I think it is something I’ve learned from my husband. He models that well.
Love the new look!
I feel like with the yucky stuff my husband and I have recently gone through, we’re both finally letting go of our needs and forgetting we ever had them. And just loving each other.
Thanks Megan. And it’s good to be in a place of surrender isn’t it? It just provides so much peace.
I know I’m cashing in all my cool points when I admit this, but I’ve never read Blue Like Jazz all the way through. I am doing so presently (ten years late, I know).
One part in it talks about marriage and he says something profound there, something I think I get from your words, too, if I’m catching it right, between the lines.
“I mean that to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can’t accept who God is: a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people. That is why God tells us so many times to love one another.”
So glad you have a man who loves you and reminds you that you are enough and you are lovely. I agree with him. 🙂
That book is one of my favorites of all time. I underlined half of it. Funny, I just picked it back up last week to re-read it. I love that quote, so appropriate and yes you read between the lines well Kelli.
oh friend. i love this honest, transparent glimpse into your life. and i love the way he warms up your side, even when he’s tired. (and i LOVE the new look to your site! so clean and fresh!) xoxo
Thanks Emily. I think you and I are both blessed by the men God brought to us to share life.
Oh, I love how he warms you–not just in that one small place in bed, but through and through.
We are enough because He is enough.
Yes, I am grateful for it too. It still surprises me after 23 years.
It still surprises me after 41 years. 🙂