I don't know that I can adequately do this subject justice, but I'm gonna give it a try...
I was folding laundry the other day, my baby boys were napping, my wonderful husband was at work. And all of the sudden I was like, super in the moment, and looked around and thought, "Wow! This is my life!" I am a wife, a mother, (other things also, but those are what I would consider my primary descriptions) and I'm standing here folding the laundry of three boys, two of whom I just met in the past three years, and one who I met 8 years ago, but never dreamed that by the time I was 25 our lives would look like this...
So. This is my "present," our present. We are learning parenthood together, pressing into Jesus together, we are learning how to love in busy, busy seasons. Meal planning, scheduling, routine, bath nights, elders meetings, businesses to run, bills to pay, sticky fingers to wipe and little boy tears to dry, legos and toy sharing and naps and.... I. LOVE. IT. It's chaotic, it can be exhausting, but I want our kids to look back on their childhood and smile. And when Shaun and I said I do, although I never fully fathomed all that our future would encompass, this is what I dreamed of. A home, babies, doing life together and loving our way through it. Finding ways to still be romantic, finding ways to remember where we began and be thankful for who we've become.
So that's where all this train of thought began... When I said "I do" I knew that I was promising from that moment on to Shaun. My present and my future. I have no clue what the future is going to look like, but from this point on, our lives are entwined and our souls are becoming one and I am going to know him better than anyone else on the face of the earth and do my darn best job making sure he is loved and encouraged and uplifted and fulfilled, not that I won't mess up and be not that great of a wife at times but thank the Lord we have Jesus and He is our number one because we're only human and are going to let each other down sometimes..... Wow. Long run on sentence. But!
What about our pasts? It seems to me that maybe the harder part of our spouse's life time line to embrace is the part we were not part of. However- if I seriously want to know Shaun better than anyone else on the face of the earth, then I want to know his past as well. I want to embrace it as if it were part of me, because, after all, he IS part of me, and so I guess his past is now too. Let me say it clearly- I am THANKFUL for Shaun's past without me. We were both shaped, we grew, we learned, we came to a point where we undoubtedly chose Jesus over all else, and then we met each other. We appreciate each other so much more because we both experienced relationships where we were not cherished, not encouraged to be who we are in Christ, and where we were not encouraging the other person to be all they could be either. But beyond just embracing each other's pasts and appreciating the way they shaped us into who we are today, we have been redeemed by the power of Jesus. Any mistakes we made are as if they are no more in Jesus' eyes, and I want the one I promised to love and to cherish to know that he is redeemed in my eyes too.
The other night as we fell asleep we talked about our pasts. From Shaun's little boy years, to teen years, to rebellious years, to falling in love with Jesus years, I treasure everything about him, and I am so in love with who he has become. He has challenged me to know Jesus in a deeper, more real way than I ever knew before. I felt so close to him as I fell asleep. It feels good to trust your spouse with all of who you are, not just the good pieces, but every piece.
So... there it is. My thoughts on loving my husband, not just right now in the moment, or wherever life takes us next, but loving our stories, both individual and together, that have brought us to this point. Remembering is a powerful thing. There is something about knowing and remembering where you came from that just makes you want to get down on your knees and thank God for his faithfulness. I am so grateful for what my life is today. There were many moments along the way where it could have gone in a different direction... one that would look nothing like what it does now.
Jesus, Jesus thank you. For never letting go of me. For whispering to me along the way, intervening at times, guiding and directing me, and letting me experience your presence in my life. Even when I didn't know it you held me in the palm of your hand. I am so, so, so thankful. I can never tell you enough.