I spent the first few years feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed when he said it.
I spent the next couple of years craving hearing it. Going out of my way to create moments that sparked it.
Now, I just feel overwhelmed by grace whenever it comes up.
When he stares in my eyes.
When he touches my face.
When my hunky hubby tells me I look great or calls me “hot mama”.
I just linger. A warm sensation from some dark corner of my scarred heart rises up and I feel the weight of an overwhelming grace.
He thinks I’m beautiful.
He loves me.
That girl who was called “chubs” in elementary school, never got asked to prom and once chased men around hoping for something that felt like love.
That girl who on any given day hates her hair, has nothing to wear and chooses not to look in the mirror.
When we were first married and there were whispers of beauty or long, loving gazes it made me embarrassed. Uncomfortable. I felt like I had to reject the compliment or ignore it. Because I wasn’t worthy of what he was offering.
Despite a whirlwind romance, a beautiful wedding and this dream boat of a guy. I still felt unlovable.
Most of my life I have felt unlovable.
Unworthy of love.
But his love didn’t stop.
I went from squirming underneath his compliments to craving them. Like somehow it was only in his words that I could find affirmation…that it was only his love that could save me, keep me whole, or heal me. That’s a lot pressure for a guy to live under. And its a lot of work to chase words that cannot be coaxed or set up if they are to be heartfelt.
But still, I felt unlovable.
His words. His compliments. Him. Someone in those moments, I felt loveable and if I could just hear it again or linger in the space where they hung maybe I could feel loveable a bit longer.
But life moves on. Words fade. And emotions change.
I felt unlovable.
But his love didn’t stop.
And in this life where I teach school, dig in the Bible, sweep up endless piles of dog hair, try to match all the socks and nestle in his arms whenever I get the chance. Something changed.
Compliments kiss my soul. His touch still sends electricity straight to my heart. And his green eyes gaze somewhere deep in my soul. And I linger there….
Not for more…but because there is grace there.
There is love there.
I don’t know when I knew or even really realized it. But, one day I noticed.
I’m okay with being loved.
I’m loved…and I feel lovable.
Worthy of being loved.
Saved by grace…searching for Christ in me…somewhere…somewhere way down deep something began to grow.
No scar makes you unlovable. No mistake or wrong doing takes away your worthiness. No man, no boy, no indiscretion will ever change how much God loves you or how much He thinks you are worth.
I needed to learn about God’s love.
To learn to accept. To feel it. To live in it.
And God knew that.
So he sent me my husband. A man wise and gentle. Crazy and funny. Hunky and romantic. He sent me a man who would whisper to my soul words I couldn’t understand….
….over and over again….
…until one day like a new language learned it would begin to click.