"You seriously didn't buy them? I thought this might be the time that you would surprise me. Just another disappointment." I live in Georgia. I don't remember a time when we weren't talking about a rain deficit. We get rain, but never enough. The lake is nasty these days because there just isn't enough water and yet I want rain boots. I thought they were adorable, some people make them look so cute. They even had yellow-jackets on them. I thought he'd go for it. He didn't. He went for dog food and dog food is what he got. I continued, "I mean I know the finances too, I just thought that maybe this once you'd throw it to the wind and buy me something when it wasn't my birthday. Or Mother's Day. Or Christmas. A real surprise." He stood before me, confounded. "Babe, I had no idea that you wanted them. I'll go get them." Say it with me ladies, "That's not the point!"
This is the battle my husband has been fighting ever since he told this insecure sinner, "I will" nearly 12 1/2 years ago. I just want him to prove his love. I want him to gush over me every time I put dinner on the table. I want him to notice when the toilet is scrubbed and set up a cheering section when I mop. I just want to be bathed in love and affection. My way. I want him to love me the way I tell him to. I almost refuse to receive love on any other terms. I could blame it on a million things, but the truth is that I expect him to be my Savior. I remember several years ago saying, "I'm just holding my breath. Waiting on you to leave." This does have something to do with my childhood. I stared him straight in the face and said, "I just need you to promise me you'll never leave me." He stared straight back into my fear and pronounced, "I already did." I remember the absolute relief that rained down on me when that truth finally settled in.
Yet I still demand proof. He has NEVER insinuated that I spend too much, or don't clean enough, or I'm too emotional or irrational, he has NEVER told me that my family (we are HIGH maintenance) is too much and we need to skip a dinner or a function. He packs the car. He loads the pack-n-play, he fills my cup. He keeps his promise every.single.day. I forgot. I kept examining what he wasn't doing. He wasn't buying me rain boots. UGH. Why do I tell you all this? Probably because the internet is such a safe place to give personal information. HA...because I have been STRUGGLING with the Lord lately. Because he didn't buy me rain boots either.
Our house was on the market for 10 months and finally we realized that we were home. We settled in and I was sincerely glad about it. Until my best friend's house got a contract. It was ugly in my heart. When she announced (I've told her this by the way) to our community that she had a "God story" I checked out. I was so angry. "Why didn't I get a God Story?" I felt the Lord gently pick up my face and say, "Rejoice with those who rejoice." He was right. I didn't want to miss out, but what about my story? After a few days I realized that I am the story. Everyday I get to read the story and wait to see how it all plays out in my life. It's how He loves me. It's hardly ever on my terms, but it's always precisely how my spirit needs to be loved. Whether it's a stern rebuke or a kind and gentle answer...a soft place to land...He made a promise too.
I seem to think that only the big stories are His. The ones that we all say, "Who but God?" Pay no mind to the starts that remain in the same place or the leaves that change. The breeze that blows. The sinner that was rescued and lives to tell the story. The soldier spared even when he was willing to trade his life for another...who said "I do" to my baby sister...willing to care for her in sickness (and there is plenty of it) and in health. The children made up of a million intricacies that were knit together in my very body that now live and breathe and laugh and make messes. The broken that is slowly being healed. They are all His stories. We are the story. Do we get that? You are a "God story." You are a witness to the saving power. The grace and mercy.
I'm noticing the little things that Mike does for me. I am focusing on those and I am humbled by his love. I was at Tako Sushi. He was doing dishes and eating leftovers. He was putting children to bed and I was walking the shops of Aiken. He was folding clothes and I was visiting with my mom and sisters. I walked in and he greeted me, glad that I was home. Still no rain boots...but I don't want them now anyway. I want him to love me how he wants to love me.
Slowly I am accepting the Lord's love as well. Trying to receive His love for me as He sees fit. Trying not to boss around the Creator of the universe. I'm also noticing the little miracles...and finding that there are no small miracles. The brand new tennis shoes the perfect size, on discount day...$5.00! My brother making it to lunch, and happy about it. Caroline napping, the buralp for the windows. Every single thing...really EVERY SINGLE inch of my life is consumed by His holiness. His providence. His promise kept. He did stoop to my level. Made His home among us. Filled His holy lungs with our polluted air and when we demand of Him to promise never to leave us...to prove to us how much He loves us, He stares right into our fear and pronounces, "I already did. And lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age."