mysteveHe’s the most loving and giving man I know. That I’ve ever known, actually. After all these years he gets mad at himself for what he took back then, wishes he could go back and make wiser decisions, wishes he could give those treasures back. But we don’t get to go back.

While I, too, wish we could go backward and make wiser decisions, I remain grateful beyond what I can describe that things are the way they are now.

I was 15 when he followed me home on a late summer Friday night. He gave me his heart and asked me to marry him two months later, then gave me a ring on my 16th birthday. Seven months later he gave me a hug by the Mustang outside the women’s health center, the day we found out we were three. Three weeks later he gave me a wedding ring and his last name.

He’s given me a houseful of children and a heart full of love. He’s given our family stability and a God-centered foundation that has held strong when the winds blew hard against our walls.

Even with all this, he always says he wishes he could have given us more, wishes he could do more, be more, provide more. That is just his way.

I don’t deserve all this—this haven, this home, this family, this love.

I don’t deserve it and yet it is all mine, and will continue to be mine until God calls one of us home. I trust his constancy like I’ve trusted few things in my lifetime. There is nothing to compare with knowing beyond doubt that someone’s word can be trusted, that nothing could steal love away.

He passes me at the kitchen island and slows to touch my hair, bends to give a kiss before walking on by. I receive his affection naturally and gratefully, pondering in my heart the amazing grace that has made him my beloved for the past 32 years. It is largely because of this man that I know God is good.

I don’t talk to others often about him, my beloved, my giver, my gentle towering tree of a husband, but not because I don’t want to. I shrink from talking of him because what I would describe doesn’t fit with what most view as realistically possible. It is more than just possible for me.

Of the gifts he’s given me, one of the dearest of all is hope in the form of a fairy tale I dreamed as a little girl, my happily ever after all wrapped in satin ribbons and held out for me to behold every day of our life together. I don’t take his gifts lightly, any of them. I hug them close and thank our God and pray that somehow I can return to him even a small measure of what he has given me.

Mostly I thank him for his example that spurs me to be a giver, too.



Featured at Write Where It Hurts

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