Thursday, June 18, 2015

When love is six years long

It felt like I was finding a treasure map. I unfolded the first piece of paper carefully, tenderly, and began to remember. The dates began in late May, 2009.  "I love you because..."
In a quiet, reverent moment, I turned back the pages of history to the beginning of Us.

We walked home hand in hand. Each day was a mystery but also an adventure. He captured me so completely I was hopeless. It was an unfamiliar feeling to my heart, and I knew that he loved me. Yet young love, though exciting as it is, is a meager start. I could scarcely imagine the love that would grow out of such ordinary beginnings.

Could I imagine today? Today, his love is six years long.

Could I imagine the precious gift of being chosen over and over again? He's given me his life. He's given me the gift of all of his years until the day he dies--and then, the eternities. He chose that. He chose me as the one to spend it with. He chose today, and last year, and yesterday, and the last 6 years, and many more to come. I thank God that Ben's love is mine, and I am his choice, today and forever.

Could I imagine what forgiveness would look like, entrenched over six years? Hurting and forgiving, hurting and forgiving, I grow softer and softer until that selfish, hard heart of mine starts to change. He returns my lashing out with kindness. My stinging words with an embrace. In the morning I see a smile on his face, and I choke back the tears in disbelief. I never could have comprehended how forgiveness would change me. I thank God for this man who forgives.

Could I have seen infatuation lived out in the day-to-day? Today I discover an admiral quality, again, as if for the first time. Laughing at one of his jokes that reminds me, yes.... yes, this is the same boy I fell in love with. It can come as an intense spark at odd times-- folding his socks, or watching him mow the lawn. Intently loving who he is, and what you are, together, over and over again.

Routine is how our brain works. But resigning to monotony is a choice.

Boredom is the opposite of gratitude. I write here to express gratitude for the one I love. To pause and remember how this routine all started in the first place, and give thanks to that boy who so graciously stole my heart and has kept it safe ever since.

Give the gift of appreciation. Nothing too small, nothing too mundane. Take the time to write out what you love and appreciate about someone today.

1 comment:

  1. Thought provoking post, Ashley. It's true--resigning to monotony is a choice and it's so easy to forget how wonderful is!!