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What it means to be beloved

April 8th, 2005 · No Comments

Amanda Witt shared how her husband loved and accepted her as she was despite her difficulties with driving.

I don’t mean that I miss an exit now and then. I mean that I have zero sense of direction and worse than zero–I’m somehow fundamentally miswired. When I had lived in Lubbock for almost ten years, I still sometimes got lost going to my sister’s house. Once, driving alone in Oklahoma City (with a frantic cat on the passenger seat, gnawing his way out of his cardboard carrier) I found where the highway ends. It has a road block and, beyond, a big field.

Hey Amanda, if you ever come to our house (she lives in the same county), I’ll be sure to give you good directions because the highway here ends on the ferry boat to Seattle. 🙂

Last night Ted and I happened to discuss how we love each other despite our flaws. We had read an article in which another couple described how they learned to assume the best of each other in situations even when frustrated. While their examples of sloppy, soggy towels and over-peppered eggs seemed trite to me, the principle of loving and persevering through bad habits and annoying character traits was significant.

When we first married, I tried to make Ted happy. Not that I don’t try now. But little things in our home became big deals to me, the miniscule magnified by my insecurities, from the taste of the meals to the appearance of the apartment. I noted how Ted liked eggs cooked and the bed made. I thought if I did everything right, if I could keep him happy, I would be loved. The truth was that I was afraid of being someone who wasn’t loved.

Soon Ted and I went through a time where we were able to glimpse each other’s ugliness. I think mine was pretty glaring and not pretty at all. It was an intense experience of seeing into my soul and realizing that I had rottenness within me. Despite my attempts, I was a mess.

After seeing how little I deserve love, I am grateful for Ted and less concerned with his habits that might annoy me. How can I pick on him when I know that I have many flaws inside me? Mercy means I can learn to love beyond limits and judgments. Grace keeps us dancing despite the stumbling.

The past few years, while calmer for our marriage itself, have taken us through some stormy situations. I’ve learned to hold many aspects of our life with an open hand, seeing how easily they could come or go. Compared to the crises we’ve weathered, little things in our relationship seem miniscule, not worth mentioning.

We’ve come to accept each other as we are. This happens in a physical dimension first in romance. After all, neither one of us married a movie star. Physically, through time, I feel I’ve grown farther from the cultural standard of beauty, yet my husband loves me. Maybe, dare I say, he loves me more than he did years ago. Other aspects of ourselves have been revealed through the years as well. I like to think that parts of me that weren’t so pretty when I was younger, are now emerging in maturity, like stones smoothed by the ocean waves. Yet Ted’s seen other sides of me, raw and rocky. And he’s still here loving me. I’m amazed and grateful.

Love is a gift. It’s a gift given by one flawed soul to another. It’s like gold, valuable and beautiful, adorning the beloved. It’s like a treasured Christmas present made precious because you know it is better than what you deserve. I should have found a lump in my stocking and instead I found love.

Being beloved means every morning becomes Christmas morning.

Tags: marriage

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