Today, I was reading another blog and as usual, was moved and inspired to write the author a letter of thanks. Having read many posts from this blog, I decided that it was finally time for me to create my own blog. This blog/journal will be my exploration of the journey my life has taken and will yet take and the lessons I have learned along the way. I have no idea what the final result will be, only that it will be a journey mapping the insights that I have gained through the experiences of my life.
I like my life. Now. But, it hasn’t always been that way.
Throughout my life, I have been close to my God, my Father in Heaven. He has watched over me tenderly and carefully. My Heavenly Father taught me the true meaning of the word “Father.” He showed me that no matter how much I tried to push Him away, He would never stop loving me.
I suffered from chronic self-loathing and could not imagine why anyone would love me. But, this perfect Father, my Holy Father, reached into my life and touched it through a myriad of tender mercies; golden threads of love that he wove into the fabric of my life that brought new meaning and value to my understanding of who I am.
Who do I understand I am? I am intelligent, spiritual, funny, responsible, compassionate, filled with wonder over God’s creations, loving, courageous, strong, and thoughtful. I live life well on the side of good and try to do what I believe God would want to find me doing. Sorrow has been my frequent companion and as it has wended its way through the halls of my experiences and choices, with joy flitting around, teasing me with temporary moments of wonder. It had never been my privilege to have more than a passing “dance” with joy and wonder. The things I wanted for my life seemed beyond my reach and it seemed my lot in life was to “fight” for the right to breathe the same air as those who would snuff it out of me.
My Life: Now
Now, I am married to a man who is a most wonderful companion. He shies away from any of the accolades that I use to describe him. The first and most prominent quality I ascribe to him is that he is kind. This may not seem like much to the average person, but for me, who has known much distress throughout my life, it has been a great healing balm. His kindness and long suffering has brought a stillness to my life that has helped me see that I am not the bad person I had always been led to believe that I was.
I arrived in the marriage over 14 years ago, emotionally and spiritually scarred and bruised. My self-worth was next to nothing, although I never let on. Early on in those days, he saw my trouble and without telling me, decided that he would never yell at me. To this day, he has kept to that commitment (this is not to say that I haven’t given him plenty of reason!) He decided that there were better ways to deal with the difficult moments and found them. It was years before I found out about this personal commitment he made with himself. I lived with a man who chose peace instead of rancor.
My husband is a gardener. He loves, loves, loves, to go out and sweat and work with seeds, soil, compost and peat moss, and then lovingly, patiently watch and wait for his tender plants to make their appearance on the “canvas” of his garden. Like a loving parent, he carefully tends to his seedlings and nurses them along, making sure they have sun, fertilizer and water. Throughout the summer months, he goes out every chance he gets, no matter how tired he is, and tends to his garden. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. The end result of all of his watchful care is the produce that comes at its specific time. He is a patient man.
Now, you may be wondering why I chose my first post to be about my gardener-husband. It is because, like my Father in Heaven, he tends to me and our marriage the same way he tends to his garden. Daily, in the garden of our united life, he plants a variety of seeds; a variety of acts of kindness that nourish and strengthen our relationship. I make the comparison that my husband’s love and patience with me is a small reflection of the love and patience that God, my Father has with me. God has asked me to trust Him as He works the canvas of my life. Weaving a thread here, clipping another thread there; then stretching me through new, unasked for experiences and lovingly urging me to hang on and move forward. I have been afraid of the perceived pain; but learning to take His hand and let go of my fears I have found new strength.