For weeks now, I haven’t been able to stop staring at this picture.
I love everything about it.
The way my head rests on his shoulder, the genuineness of his smile, the depth of his eyes.
The way my eyes and smile unite to exude peace, contentment, security, even a deep groundedness, if that’s a word.
I adore him. I love who I am when I’m with him. I love who we are together.
I love the way the hood of his sweatshirt is slightly out of place and he doesn’t notice or care. The turquoise scarf around my neck, reminding me of how from the time I was a kid, my mom has said that color looks best close to my face. I think I agree with her.
I love that our kiddos were nearby when this was taken, unabashedly being themselves. Being a part of us.
Oh, and then there’s the way my iPhone’s camera somehow turned my eyes from hazel to purple. Weird, but I absolutely love it.
So yeah, I can’t tear my gaze away from the two of us here. Together. From our obvious contentedness just to be next to one another.
Because there are stories reflected in our eyes. Stories of love and joy and loss and grief. Of misunderstandings. Of change.
The grabbing hold and not letting go, the fighting to see God’s goodness woven through our story, the pushing deeper into trusting God and each other, the fighting back toward one another again and again. Late night talks, giving the benefit of the doubt, pressing in tighter and closer to each other’s hearts.
Six and a half years of standing on the edge of the everyday and choosing to fall in love again. And again.
Love that covers, and covers, and covers.
I’m wrecked by the way this man covers me. By how he fights for and toward me, not against me. Stalwart in the face of my sometimes intense emotions, pressing in through my storms to pull me in closer. Calling me out and drawing me out and beckoning me out.
How he desires me — all of me.
And the more my weakness surfaces, the more the steadfastness of his love undoes me. Just deconstructs me till all that’s left for me is to receive it. To receive him.
The way he bathes my heart in Truth, reminding me over and over of my Real Identity — and reminding me who I’m not. Who I answer to, and who I don’t.
The way he uses scripture to fashion a shield for my heart and holds it there firm, unmoving, deflecting opinions and insecurity and fear and self-doubt.
This man is faithful. A tender declarer of truth into my raw places. A proven haven like no other human being on the planet. My partner in the Kingdom and parenting and knowing Jesus and life.
Stan sees. Sees Christ in me. Sees who I am when I can’t see myself.
His love and leadership make me brave. And on this journey deeper into freedom and facing fears, into calling and courage, he holds my hand and all the other voices are drowned out by his loud, confident cheering me on.
I’m thankful for Stan-my-man today, y’all. So thankful. And I couldn’t resist saying so.