I am writing this letter to you in a public place because I want the entire world to know how I feel about you. I think that when you love somebody it shouldn’t be a secret, and the world needs to know what a wonderful man you are.
When we first met, I brought an entire lifetime of baggage. I didn’t trust “love,” I had no self esteem on a regular basis, and quite frankly, I was a mess. But somewhere in the hot mess I was, you scooped me up and found me lovely. Worth loving. You were the first man who ever found me deserving of a true love.
And I fought you on it. We both know that. I questioned your intentions, I argued your methods of loving me, and I kicked and screamed against you, all the while craving what you brought to my life. It wasn’t because you were doing things wrong. I just had no idea what true loved really looked like. I couldn’t pick a deep and lasting relationship out of a line up with only 2 choices. I was utterly clueless.
And through it all, you loved me. More and more every day. You let me kick and scream and fight you on stupid things. You let me peel off and show you the layers of me, one painful insecurity at a time. With every mask I removed, your love only intensified for me. I don’t know why, because the parts of me you saw weren’t pretty. They weren’t lovely. They were broken and scared, terrified with each new “part” of me that you would go running for the hills.
Yet it was to my intense delight, each of these moments made you run TOWARD me. You wrapped me in your arms and reminded me that I was safe. I was loved and desired. There was no place I could go where you would not come after me.
I know that you are not a Christian, but baby, your love is more Christ-like than you will ever realize. In my heart, when I think about the love and kindness of my King, I am reminded of his champion. YOU. Even though your don’t intend for it to do so, your love has taught me to love God in a deeper way. It was your love that helped me trust God could love me like He does. I know that it’s supposed to be the other way around, God’s love changing us so we can love others, but I have never been the girl who does things in the right order anyway. However it all came down, God brought you into my life at the time I needed you most. I didn’t necessarily think I wanted the kind of love you had for me, but I can see now how much I NEEDED your love in my life. I needed the whole and complete love to be demonstrated in my life. It was then that I really began to want to be the kind of spouse you are to me in return.
So, here are a few things I love completely about you.
1. The way you provide for our family.
I know we don’t always have great things. Most of our belongings are glued together or duct taped. Or stained. And I know sometimes our money doesn’t stretch out as far as we need it too. I never really thought about how that stresses you out, especially when I am buying things I “think” we need but can really live without. Yet you never complained about the purchases I thought were important. Instead, you just tried to figure out a better way to manage things, not manage me. We both know you are MUCH better with money than me, and even though I knew that, I never loved that about you before. But knowing how important that is to you, I love it now. And I will knock off the extra spending and clip coupons till I’m blue in the face if it helps remind you what a fantastic provider you are. You go into work every day without complaining, or needing to be prodded. You don’t work long hours like some men have too, and you always come home ready to be super daddy and mega husband. I am amazed at the level of generosity you have towards us- and to others. You are a wonderful provider.
2. The kind of Daddy you are.
The role of a step-parent is hard. You could have been one of those guys that comes into a family and says “I’m hands off- they are YOUR kids.” But from the first week, when 4 year old Natalie threw up all over your legs and into your hands as you tried to catch it, you have been the very best kind of parent. You are compassionate, tender, and patient- which is a rare combination in this day and age. Even when the kids are bouncing off the walls (as they often do) you deal with the chaos like a pro. When the kids have questions, you don’t make up answers so you look like a know-it-all. Instead, you work with them to find the correct answers and learn right alongside the kids. It takes a big man to admit he doesn’t know something in front of his kids. But you make everything fun. You take the time to let them learn how to do new tasks, even when that means the job is going to take twice as long as you originally intended. You never chastise them for the learning curve they have, or make them feel like they are doing something wrong. Instead, you are a constant source of encouragement for them to expand their wings. I look at the way our family behaves, and it warms my heart. Our kids aren’t afraid to live in this home. We are not ruled here with an iron fist. Instead, you have made sure we are safe and secure and all of us know we are loved. I am amazed at the kind of Daddy you are, and I love you all the more for it.
3. You are the Dream Weaver
This is one of the most important things for me. One day, the kids will grow up and move out. And it will just be you and I in the house. That is why I cannot thank you enough for not only encouraging me, but insisting that I pursue my dreams. Neither one of us want to wake up 20 years from now and wonder why we never took a chance at something we wanted. And you have made it clear that right now is my turn to chase down my dream of being a bonafide author and speaker. You allow me the freedom to write and make music and create. When my first article was published in P31 Magazine, you celebrated with me, cheering me on to continue what I was doing! If it hadn’t been for you reminding me that not only do I have talents, but it’s my job to use them, I would never have reached for the stars. I never realized my dreams were so important until you allowed me to keep dreaming bigger. And to keep reaching for it. The most amazing words you have ever spoken to me (besides “You are SAFE.” That’s number 1) were “I believe in you and what you can do. Go for it.” THOSE WORDS gave me a freedom I have never known. You made my dreams important, and for that I owe you more than either of us can ever pay. (Even though you are a fantastic provider!) Thank you, my darling, for believing in me.
4. The size of my Love
You loved me completely when I was the fattest I have ever been. You loved me unconditionally when I was depressed about my body. You made me feel beautiful, inside and OUT. And the fact that I’m skinnyish now hasn’t changed how you feel about me. Granted, it’s changed how I feel about me, which has allowed our love to intensify… but your love has been as constant as the stars above. You do not place limits or conditions on your love. You love me for the sake of loving me. That only makes me love you more. What a beautiful cycle that has become, huh?
I hope after reading this post, you are encouraged, my love. I could live without you, but I don’t ever want too. Thank you for being my best friend, my partner, my biggest fan, and my husband.
All my love forever-