April 17th ~ Our Day

Breath escapes me when I see my reflection. It’s my 9-year-old self, playing this day with friends. This was it. The day every girl dreams of at one time or another. And here I was, draped in white satin, laced in pearls, awaiting you.

Questions abound as my inner child grasps for reality. Does he really know what he’s getting into? It feels too good to be true, so isn’t it? Look at me, I’m just a child. Why is He blessing me with you? I don’t deserve this. Does God really love me this much?

Dad accepts my arm proudly as we start our long venture, both trying to match pace. All eyes focused on me and my knees can hardly stand it. It’s your gaze that keeps me upright. Making me want to pick up speed.

The crinkled runner has finally ended. I breathe slow, catching the scent of lilacs held. And as I stand between your parents and mine, waiting to be given away, your pooled eyes reflect I’m not alone. You feel the same way. Never have we known such love.

Oh how He loves us.

Your strong hand encompasses mine, squelching any dangles of doubt. And we dive head first into love. Vowing to walk each other home as long as God allows. Every evening since, we have sealed it the same way: With a kiss.

Nine years later to the day. Your familiar hand surrounds mine once again. And yet it feels different. I look down and see what is holding you back. We learn it becomes difficult to squelch out fear with an IV in the way.

My inner child returns with more questions. Does God really feel we’re ready for this? Am I good enough to be entrusted with such a blessing? Look at me, I’m just a child, laboring to have one of my own. Do I have enough to give? Am I spreading love too thin?

But soon his strong cry encompasses my heart, squelching any dangles of doubt. And you and I dive head first into love again. Praising our Father along the way.

They take our son to the other side of the room and your hand doesn’t want to leave mine. Our eyes meet and we both know. God has blessed us with enough. Never have we known such love.

Oh how He loves us.

I make it easy on you, asking you to go to him. For me. And I witness you welcoming our firstborn. He knows you right away, even the nurses can tell. And me, well I can hardly breathe.

For 13 years now, this has been our day. The day to celebrate our choice to share the road home. God surprised us with a son on the same day 9 years later and we couldn’t agree more. There is no better way to celebrate our love.

Karen Sunde wrote “To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” And I know it to be true. For I see my home in you. I gain a bigger perspective of heaven in our son’s eyes. And I know we have received but a glimpse of what our second son already knows.

Thank you for holding my hand. Thank you for walking alongside me. Thank you for being the father my sons deserve.

I’ll dive head first with you anytime. For now I know…

Oh how He loves us.

And oh, how I love you.


Love’s Presence

I can still hear him. In the black of night when the earth feels still, I hear his rich voice welcoming me. He would greet me with that special name he had just for me. And every time, it made me feel like I was his whole world. Yes, my Grandpa Al knew how to love well. He wasn’t afraid of it. He chose to proclaim it. 

Some days when the phone rings I’m taken back to that day. The day that made me change my ring tone. I remember my two-letter word of denial — the only word I could seem to push passed my lips. Yet reality strikes true no matter how you try to look around it. And sometimes your present day is something you never expected. Not yet anyway.

But I can close my eyes and invite memories to warm my soul. There I can see him with open arms ready to embrace. I can hear his contagious laughter and see his bright eyes beam with pride. And love comes rushing in to the hole he left deep inside.

For love knows no bounds.
Time can’t contain it. Death cannot penetrate it.
And even after years in-between,
love can still make its presence known.

~~~~~~~~~~

Love can creep up on you when you least expect it. It rushes in like a tidal wave the minute you see the positive test result. The second you hear a heartbeat. For love has no bounds. And sometimes you just know. That even after 22 weeks, you have loved so deep you’ll never be the same again. Its presence has been made known.

~~~~~~~~~~

I can’t recall when I learned love is a choice. That the emotions surrounding love are merely side effects to the experience. But the day you realize that is the day you begin to understand what God is asking of us. When He asks us to love with all that we have. For most of us know in this journey of love, pain can apply. Yet love holds no regrets. There is not one instance where love should have been avoided.

And we can accept the gift of mourning. We can allow the process of love to make its presence known. For in grieving we acknowledge that we are fully capable of submitting to love. And as we mourn what we think we lost, we come to realize that all we wanted was more. More time to experience love’s presence. That which cannot be lost at all.

For love has no bounds.
Even in grief it can thrive.
Our thoughts alone can keep love alive.

And when God asks me daily to love Him with all that I have, I choose to say yes.  For I have seen love in all its glory. Its presence has been made known to me. And I like what it makes me become when I submit to it whole-heartedly. 

It is God’s greatest gift.
It is God’s Greatest Commandment.
It is the greatest decision one can ever make.

Yes, Lord. I will love You. With all that I am.
I will make love’s presence known.

For God IS love.
God has no bounds.
Time can’t contain Him. Death cannot penetrate Him.

And I choose to enjoy making His presence known.

Do you? Have you chosen love? Will you join me in making God’s presence known even when it’s uncomfortable? Even when it downright hurts?

For love has no bounds. There’s no telling what we could do if we choose to abide in His greatest gift. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to keep striving to find out.

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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