The chill in Virginia is a little more intense than the air in the Dominican Republic. The cool mornings here keep me wrapped up tight under the covers more often than I care to admit. I contemplated getting up early as I usually do, but the cold air from a recent snowfall resounded “no” in my heart.
My husband enjoyed his sleep as he snuggled under the comforter and I was taken aback. I gazed at the steady up and down flow of his breath as he peacefully rested and gratefulness for his life overwhelmed me. The ups and the downs of his breathing reminded me of our story. His ability to be at rest while life keeps moving resembles our journey.
I ponder upon each time marriage called us to stand and I don’t regret ever standing by his side. God knows that I’m privileged to know that my man has remained by mine.
We’ve both risen. Two immature kids with a baby chose one another a 24 years ago. We didn’t know what we were doing. We just had a lot of hope and a big dream to grow old together.
So together we stand. Together we pursue that dream. Together we hold out and we hold on.
I remember when I was down. He rose up for me. Each time I let out words that I would later regret, he was there to smooth them over.
When I wasn’t sure about love and what it really meant, he was my teacher.
Oh, I could list many things about this man that anger me to the core, but there isn’t enough paper in the world for me to list all of the good he possesses.
So instead of getting out of bed to prepare for my meeting, I lifted his arm and inched myself underneath. I cuddled in the warmth of his presence, “I love you,” I whispered in his ear. He cracked open his eyes, “I love you too.”
He pulled me closer as he fought his sleep, “What is love to you honey?”
His question took me by surprise. I didn’t know what to say. Then it hit me! “Love is patient. I’m sorry for being so impatient.” I know we find those words in scripture, but life made those words come alive for me.
He squeezed me tighter, “What else?”
It made me think.
“Love is not for the weak. It suffers long and it keeps loving all the while. It never loses hope. It never stops believing the best of the one that Love loves. Love doesn’t quit. Love takes all of what a person has to offer and chooses to see the beauty of the complete package.”
“How do you know?” he was grinning at this point.
“I guess I learned from you,” I forgot about the chill and snuggled closer, “You taught me a lot about love.”
“Hey! What are you trying to say?” We both laughed.
“Really honey, I watched you. You didn’t give me lectures and homework, but I learned by watching you. You helped to remove the tall walls that surrounded me. You helped me to see the value in family. I learned to be loyal to friends because of you. You are a great instructor.”
“You think so?” he was on cloud nine at this point!
“Yes, I think so!”
No matter the demise, love chooses to link arms and to walk it out.
I’m a victim of Hallmark movies during Christmastime. Perhaps the thrill of watching a fantasy play out on the screen is exciting. It’s a false reality of true love. There are moments in life when Disney comes through, but those moments don’t last.
Love lasts. Love never fails. Love holds on and doesn’t let go.
In the everyday of life, love sustains us. Love is the anchor that keeps our family in one piece. Our love created an offspring of itself in our home and they continue to create. Love doesn’t stop.
Love brought Christ to His lowest. Why do we think that it won’t do the same for us? Christ responded to love with love and it resulted in a resurrected life for Him and for us.
So we can’t give up.
I know it gets hard.
I know that there are times when you just want to throw In the towel. I know that its hard to sometimes understand why you married your spouse in the first place.
Those are the moments when you remember that love is patient, amongst other attributes.
Love is willing to wait. Love puts priorities in order and chooses to love first.
It’s not complicated.
I’ll be back on my warm mountain in the Dominican Republic in a few days, but until then I’ll snuggle up close and keep warm with the one I choose to love.