Unshaken Joy (And How To Get There)

Dear boyfriend,

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You can’t fix me.


I wish you could. I really REALLY wish I could hear the words that you say, and all my insecurities and fears would evaporate. I wish I could see what you see when you look at me, because then I might be able to accept your words in that deep down place.


But I can’t. Not really, anyway. True, they are like balm to the past wounds that have caused my current insecurities. True, I feel more beautiful and loved with you than I ever have in my life. True, you often make me feel less broken.


But you can’t fix me. You know that. I know that.


Fixing me isn’t your job, and it isn’t your task in our relationship. Instead, you must love me as I am, where I am, with all my brokenness and baggage. It is only that, time and God that will lessen this ache inside.


It doesn’t seem fair, does it? That you should have to answer for wounds that were not of your making. I guess that’s true for all of us, though. Whether or not we realize it, so many of our actions and reactions are flavored by the hurts, biases and even advantages of our pasts. We all have our baggage. We all love each other anyway. That’s what love is.


Still, I do not like the ways that I react (at least internally, at times) toward you because of A, B, C or D incident from the past. I have learned over the years that my emotions are not always reality. I have learned that I cannot wholly live out of them. Truth. This is truth. But that does not make me feel less frustrated when irrational insecurities rear their heads.


And yet at times I wonder if you would love me the same if I did not have all this baggage. All of it is a part of me–it has shaped and formed me so that I do not know where it ends and I begin. I am my past hurts. I am the collection of scars and broken dreams. They, through the grace of God, were redeemed and worked into the woman I am.  Me today would not exist without them.


On the heels of that thought, I wonder, too, if your love would be as treasured by me if I were without such baggage. If I were less scarred, would I still cry when you hold me? Would I still be overwhelmed by your kindness and affirmation? I don’t know the answer with certainty, but I think not. For it is because I have been grieved that I receive with such joy what I now hold in my hands.


It seems unfair, yes. But when is love ever fair? None of us is truly worthy of unconditional love because we are imperfect. We break, bend and hurt one another–even those we love the deepest. But love remains. Love, as a choice, sustains and forgives and binds.


So I will let you love me. I will choose to accept the words and the actions inspired by such love. I will stop acting as if I am not worth loving and start believing what you say about me–what you see in me. For if you feel that way toward me–choose to love me that way–then I know for certain that God’s love is even deeper than what I have previously understood. It is His love that inspires you. And it’s His love that gives me value.


You are not perfect. The future is not set in stone. Yet I have already learned so much from your words, your thoughts, your love. So I shall choose to believe what you see in me, because it whispers the greater truth of His love. And in both regards, I am astonished by such love.

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