In honor of Valentines Day and our epic love affair, here’s a post from last year that still captures it all. I love you, Josh.
It’s May and someone is in love. The sun is hot and glistening on my naked shoulders. I am fresh, with a face like clean linen, shining eyes and dark lashes low and inspired. You smell like romance. Red roses without the thorns.
We send sparks and shivers with every touch, tracing your finger along the hollow shelf of my collarbone. Our rings new and awkward weighing our hands down with the importance of an epic love affair. Your skin is salty and thick. I taste the ocean on you. It’s all a mystery, this love of ours. We are children playing house. All giggles and joy.
And then it’s May and we are reeling. The thorns have grown out from the romance and we are pierced and bleeding out. They say your soul mate will be able to look into your eyes and draw something out you never knew existed. And that is true. But this is not beauty.
There is no filter between us and the dregs are seeping through, the unholy parts and oh how they bleed onto everything clean. I don’t want this to be drawn out, in fact, have denied its very existence. But out it comes, in fiery words and tears, in threats and curses. In confusion and questioning and silence. In insecurities and hurts.
Why is this so hard? Why am I still empty when only a few Mays past you filled me?
The serpent’s bite, so deep and penetrating, fills me with venom. The bitter poison causing my heart to die. And I can’t look at you without despising how far we’ve fallen.
And the doubt. Had I made the wrong choice? Christian circles tout “the one,” like a chosen key that only fits one lock. And maybe you aren’t it for me? The key to my happiness.
And my eyes and heart wander so far. And my ring no longer fits, it is loose and cumbersome and soon forgotten in my jewelry box. That May I forget you, forget our God, forget my promises.
When I lost you, drifting out of my heart, I felt that it would be forever. I am so clumsy with our love.
And then May comes again. Bringing with it spring and all things new. Broken earth and broken hearts and frost melts from frozen soil revealing the mess beneath. God digs down to the fragile roots, almost dead in the icy ground.
You see me. And I see you are the soul mate that draws out what I never knew existed. The hurts so deep, fangs sunk into wounded flesh from years past and all the lies of happiness and romance and wholeness found not in God. Sucking venom from my open wound, you help draw out the bitterness. Taking on the hurts to save me. Forgiveness.
And my heart begins to beat again. And we are naked and not ashamed. You help cover me. And I see you.
God’s perfect gift to me. Imperfect and broken but unspoiled and holy. The dregs washed cleared in blood.
And then it’s May, and someone is in love. My shoulders have carried burdens with you. I am no longer fresh-faced, but these eyes can see. The days of labor and hard work drift off your skin and smell like faithfulness. We have known thorns but still plant and reap.
There’s beauty here. We no longer feel our rings, but they have encircled our family. Familiar as the lines on your face or the feel of your hands, calloused and strong, pulling me close. It’s May and I’m in love.
Love your wife,