It is the greatest love story of them all, the story of your dad and me. It’s got all the things that make love stories so magnificent. A beauty who needs to be rescued. A brave and mighty hero, who gives everything up to save her. There is even a dragon of sorts, slayed of course, in the end. Yes, this is the story of your dad and me; it’s the story of all humanity. And one day, my three precious stones, I believe it will be the story of each of you.
Love is always at the threshold. Remember that. But darkening the doorway is the adversary, waiting to prey on our vulnerabilities. Waiting to dance in our blood.
Its been a year now since the time of my greatest wound. I was badly hurt and in great pain. Actually, we both were. Through a series of events and reactions– things we chose and also didn’t see coming–your dad and I ended up in a place neither one of us ever expected. Standing on two separate sides of a great chasm, drenched in our own tears, missing each other.
I was wounded because of my weakness and he because of his strength. But the perplexing part was that we had both let it happen. How could us–the dream team, the couple so deeply in love with each other, so together–end up so divided and alone?
In my weakness I sank into depression, giving up in sheer exhaustion while your father fought on. The battle was all around us. But the problem was that he wasn’t fighting for us. He was fighting for himself. And that was the source of my pain. I couldn’t face it or fix it or fill it up with distractions. So I prayed. I prayed until I was broken. I came to hate a part of your father which had attracted me to him in the beginning: his inventiveness, his tenacity, and his insatiable desire to forge his own way.
He was entrenched. A slave to the world we had made for ourselves; it’s risks and it’s payoffs. And lately, there had been far more of the former than the later. He loved the thrill of the chase more than the pursuit of my heart. It defined every bone in his body. Our life had robbed him of his peace. His joy. His physical health. He looked to it for his self-worth and his purpose. And the more it disappointed, the deeper he fell into the snare. His dreams consumed by the flame. Our life going up in smoke.
Because in his quest to triumph, he had forgotten me. He would do it without me, and hate himself for it. So I stood, watching him wage a pointless war. With the weapons of the world at his fingertips, the only way to ease the pain of his losses was to succeed, and he was failing miserably. And I, too tired from fighting against him, could no longer fight for him. Or for myself.
So there we were, almost nine years into a marriage and almost nine months into a pregnancy. We were disconnected, hurt, lost, and so incredibly worn down. We had tried it all. We sold our home, uprooted our family, traded in for a different life. But really, we were no better off. I spent the days hiding away in deep pain, festering the wounds that your dad never meant to inflict.
And somewhere in all this madness and corruption, Grace interrupted us both. Through the broken pieces of his dashed dreams and hopeless endeavors, he remembered me.
He saw me. Tired. Damaged. Broken in half, scared, pregnant and alone, and still desperately in love with him. And I saw him, rubbed raw from the abrasion of a warped sense of identity that had devoured all his substance.
And so all that was left were two tired people trying to hold together something that had once been so very good.
In our brokenness, a miracle occurred. Your father saw the beast on our doorstep, and me, too vulnerable and too weak to fight. He realized that to gain his life and his wife back, he had to give up himself; his dream of being this person he made for himself in his mind. Holding my hand, he gave me back his heart, while gently picking up the pieces of my own. Standing there in the rubble of our marriage, with a baby so close to arriving, he wept in grief.
And then (and this is the best part) he did what all good men must do; he fought for his beloved. But he did not fight with the weapon of the world as so many might do. He didn’t try harder, push longer, or endure further. That had already failed him. Instead, he laid himself down for his bride.
Repenting and returning to his God, he humbled himself. I stood, watching this transformation. Watching this previously hardened heart melt in the hands of its Maker. I watched him give up himself and gain back his life. It wasn’t an outward act of valor. No one but me saw what was really going on. But inside, your father slayed the great dragon. And he rescued me.
It has been a year since the day of our Exodus, a day in which your Dad confronted the greatest of his fears and courageously lead this family out of the oppression that choked us in its grip. He lifted his eyes from himself, saw the plight of those he loved most, and ran to the only One who can save, with the weight of us all riding on his shoulders.
Since that time a year ago, a boy has grown in stature and spirit. A daughter has risen in strength and song. A son–a miracle–has been born. And two very broken people have been made whole. Oneness mending our family, rooted in the sacrifice and love of than man you call “Dad.”
It’s the Greatest Love Story of All. It’s His story becoming the very definition of our own.