Through the years we’ve all (likely) gotten on and off various treadmills in our lives.
These treadmills are when we try to earn somebody’s love, attention, respect and admiration. I think we’ve all done it–even when we were unaware that’s what we were seeking. The driven executive. The perpetually-busy housewife. The promiscuous teen/young adult (or older). The tough guy. The trendsetter.
Of course there are literal treadmills–”Run run run, fast as you can…” I’ve easily (and sadly) spent half my life chasing this dream. Let’s just say I’m not succeeding.
Then there are other kinds of treadmills we gauge our success by. I tried one (laughable) one: Best cook! That was a briefer stint. Short story? Fail (but a happy one, as any well-fed cook can attest) :)
At some point I set my sights on being “Most popular” with the boys. This I succeeded at quite well, til one day I realized they weren’t always seeking my best interest. So I ran away. And built walls, lots of walls. John Eldredge calls this the “tower” every knight must rescue his princess from, claiming that every lady’s built one [slightly cheesy, but no less true]. Mine was a fortress!
My husband is the only one who persistently broke down my defenses–in just a shade under four years. [I'd label this endeavor of mine a successful fail: I got a fabulous hubby outta the deal, but completely apart from my efforts].
One of my favorite thoughts about my husband is that he met me at my worst. I love it. I was my most homely (which makes me smile :), my most bare-faced, anti-social, uncharming, and in my mind unloveliest.
Enter future hubby.
Somehow God veiled his eyes (?) and he became captivated by me–I mean really captivated. He saw the quirks in my behavior yet pursued me anyway (example: our first full-fledged encounter consisted of him hanging out with me as I tackled Sudoku–for 45 minutes–in near silence. Yes really).
He asked me out that night.
No part of where I was at back then captured me at my best. No part. I was unemployed for crying out loud and living with my parents. I mean, does that scream “MARRY ME” or what?
Yet three-and-a-half years later, that’s precisely what he did. Just a short block from the home we Sudoku-ed in “together”.
And in that very same place–my parents’ beautiful home–we celebrated our engagement, and two months later, our marriage.
Last night I dreamt about my husband. He was personified as a brother, someone who was always around, helping, being considerate, positive and generally awesome (per usual, if you know him! And maybe not-so-usual for the average brother), but someone firmly in the “Just Friends” box.
Or so I thought.
At some point in my dream, he emerged from the Friend Zone and became the man who captured my attention and won my heart. It was an amazing dream, paralleling what happened with us in real life and highlighting all his strengths and fantastic qualities–ones I greatly esteem and admire.
I woke up reinvigorated with love for my husband, who I said “I do” to just 9 1/2 short months ago: New Years Day 2011 (that’s 1.1.11 for you sentimental ones).
We didn’t even plan the timing. But part of me thinks God did.
Another part of me thinks God knew what He was doing when He sent Brian to me when I stood on the lowest rung of the ladder of success. A girl who based her worth on her “ability to perform” meets the man of her dreams at the apex of her failure.
Coincidence? I’m beginning to think not. One day I had this epiphany that reaching rock bottom meant ”It can only go up from here” with him. That was a beautiful and freeing place to be.
God bless him. Really! God, please bless him, for nights like tonight…
I was struggling. So my husband checked outta work early, drove home (while on the phone with Negative Nancy herself), and rushed to my aid. He came in our room, where I was lying on our bed, and just hugged me. Enveloped me. Loved me when I was so incredibly down and feeling broken.
God, You knew what I needed… back then in 2007 when we ‘met’ at my parents’ home… and today in his parents’ home, the one we all share, when he said I’m beautiful and loved me at my worst.
How could that be?
On days like today when I think God can’t possibly love and accept me in light of my failures, weaknesses and bad (okay, terrible) attitudes, I see my husband’s love and accept the growing realization that God must love me, too. Because how else could I deserve to be blessed with such a man in my life? What did I do to earn his love?
I’m so grateful I’ll never know… because someone as incredible as my husband loves me at my worst, and one day (I oh-so-hope) he can love me at my best.
Thanks God for such a gift–a man who is loving me back to life.