Yesterday was our 21st Valentine’s Day together. The kids were off of school, and my husband had to work. The morning started more slowly than others, as there was no need to get the kids up and ready for school. But, the typical morning shuffle was present- with heart-shaped pancakes, and taking the dog to daycare (It’s freezing and he needs exercise, don’t judge), and changing the laundry, and my husband rushing out the door. And if you saw my post, yesterday, you know that much of my focus was on my kids… and how I could make their day full of love- in the way they most love to be loved. And I am certain that many of you (or maybe it’s my insecurity) wondered- but what about your husband?
This sent me down a rabbit-hole of thought about marriage, and romance and the person that I get to call mine. I thought about how we started- in the basement of a college house party- where he adorably saw a friend of ours hitting on me that I wasn’t totally into, and after telling the guy to kindly back off, asked if I would mind if he hit on me instead. (Love his confidence) I thought about the times that let me love him the way I wanted to be loved- in cards, and snacks on his seat before work, and jars full of notes that tell him why I love him. I thought about the times that he has asked me to love him the way he needs to be loved- by sitting in a tree stand, by letting him open a door for me or drop me off at a restaurant (instead of insisting that I can do it myself), and sometimes being willing to just stop and sit and cuddle.
I also found that many of my thoughts about why I love my husband, were around gratitude for the hours, days and maybe even years- that he has spent waiting for me.
Do you ever think about that? How your person sees the real you- maybe even when you can’t, and stands by you waiting for her to come back? Like, when you were a newly engaged bride-to-be and he lost you to the planning of the day, the stress over family dynamics and the focus of your life went from being with him, to whatever was unsettled within you? Or the times when you were a new mother, and while you praised God for the blessing of the new life, you also mourned the loss of the independence and your sleep, and feeling like your body was your own. Maybe you were like me and went inside of yourself for a bit- to your quiet space- while you worked out what this would look like for you- while maybe not considering that with the birth of your child, there was a bit of a loss of YOU for your husband in the same moment? And he waited.
What about when you fought for your career? When you asked him to take on more that his fair share? To give-up some of his own focus so you could have yours? Or to see you sit in something that didn’t honor who you were- and while he wasn’t silent about his feelings, he also knew, that in the end- your process would lead you back to yourself, and back to him. And he waited.
Or the times that as you grew and transitioned throughout your life together, he held your hand, crawled into bed every night and put his hand on the soft part of your thigh, and said, “I love you.” A sign that whatever the circumstance- he will always be waiting for you.
I look back at our life thus far and consider the times that my husband has been willing to wait for me. And while I would like to think that if asked, he would always say that I have always been willing to do the same for him, the part of our love story that is most profound, has not always been about grandiose gifts, or lavish dinners, or bouquets of flowers- but it has been about our willingness to wait.
I can be a very impatient person. I am often more interested in the motion of life than in the stillness and waiting. But marriage has taught me that the moments of waiting- for your person, for understanding, for connection to the person you get to call yours, is worth every single, painful, glorious, growth-inducing moment.
I used to think it was stubbornness- but I now know that one of the reasons my husband is my person, is because he has taught me the gift of waiting. And his waiting for me has always reminded me that the version of me that he sees- with his generous, patient and loving way- is worth waiting for. I couldn’t imagine being loved in any more profound way.
On this day after Valentine’s Day- I’m so grateful to know what it feels like to be loved by his waiting.
Mother, Wife, Teacher and Believer.