rose

At 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, I was simmering steel cut oats on the stove, counting down the minutes we had left to get ready before heading to the farmers’ market and then church.

At 8 a.m. Sunday morning, I was head over bowl puking. (Sorry.) Without warning, a normal day turned into a sick day and as soon as the throwing up stopped, I was bundled in bed, leaning my head against an ice pack, clutching a cold washcloth to my face, and almost crying. Not with misery, but with joy at being so tenderly cared for.

Brad is the best, you guys. Nobody wants to read the details of someone being really sick and all the gross, intimate, and necessary ways that person requires care, so I’ll instead tell you that while I was laying in bed with that muscular anxiety being sick gives me, Brad laid his hand on my back and gently stroked it and my body’s panic reaction immediately ceased. My breath slowed, my muscles relaxed, and that’s when I almost cried. It’s not just his right-then touch that soothed me, it’s the six years he has unselfishly loved me and served me and shown me in every possible way, every single day, that I am more important to him than he is to him. He has banked half a decade of ego-less, unjudging love in my heart so that the very moment he placed his hand on my back, my body did what my heart has learned it can do around Brad: Relax. Be taken care of. Be completely loved.

I floated that whole day on his kindness but it wasn’t until Monday night when we both lay in bed, about to go to sleep (me completely recovered), and both feeling downtrodden about his health, not having kids, finding an apartment, wondering what our calling in life is, that I got the real point. Brad rolled over on his side away from me and wrapped my arm around him, kissed my hand lightly, then stroked it as we both fell asleep. Then I did cry. Again, not because we were so miserable or so discouraged, but because yet again, Brad treated me with so much tenderness. As I cried I thought, how much more does my Father love me? How much more tender is His love for me? It’s so much more. It’s unfathomably more.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:17-19)

 Our problems haven’t dropped away, but they matter a little less now that I’ve been filled.

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