I have read and re-read this post by Booktrope author Allison J. Kennedy. What a beautiful reminder of how much we are loved by God, and how we can teach our children about love, and Who loved us first.
Choosing Love, by Allison J. Kennedy
Choosing love is rarely effortless. Any time you have to choose something regarding your emotions, the choices typically teeter between something easy and something hard. How often is it easier to close yourself off than to be vulnerable? Love always makes you vulnerable. And when you’ve been hurt, it is often the hardest thing to embrace.
Like many of us, I have experienced the types of wounds that don’t just happen once, but rather come again and again, reopening the scars that had barely begun to heal. I often wonder how many of them were self-inflicted; how many of them I brought on myself because healing would be much more painful. But I’m not here today to reminisce about those wounds. I’m here to tell you why choosing love is what saved me.
When I met my husband, I was on the tail end of several years of battling for inner peace. I was hard and cold, but strangely receptive to his kindness, even if it only reached the outermost layer of my walls. For months I wondered what this gentle, God fearing, devoted man could possibly see in me. Why did he pray with me, even when I refused to close my eyes? There was a time when I loved God too. There was a time when I trusted Him with my life. But that time had passed, and somehow that didn’t matter to him. Somehow he knew I was worth the wait.
I remember saying my vows on our wedding day, still broken, but filled with hope. I remember thinking my new husband would wake up next to me in the weeks to come and realize he made a mistake. But there was something inside of me that chose to believe he knew what he was doing, and that meant he knew I would let him down or be difficult to love a times. Something within me believed in his love for me. And I loved him with everything I could offer. Looking back, I know it wasn’t nearly what he deserved.
Let me be clear and say my husband didn’t save me. I was clinging to the hope that his love (which, when from a human heart, always has the potential to fail) was perfect and complete. I thought I was saved. I even began to pray again. But my walls were still there, and there came a point when I knew he would give up on me. I looked him in the eye and waited for him to pack his bags and run. I even offered him the option, shrinking into myself with hopeless tears. And then he said something that I knew didn’t come from him at all. It came from something much bigger, and much more perfect.
He said, “You don’t get to choose how much I love you. There is nothing you could do that will ever make me love you less.”
It hit me like a blast of wind off the ocean, clearing my mind and opening my heart. My husband chose love, and not because it was within him alone to do so, but because God first loved him.
Friends, that was the day I woke up. That was the day I really understood what love means. Through my husband, I learned how perfectly and unconditionally I am loved, even in my ugliness. And though embracing it was hard, I too found the courage to love vulnerably and completely.
Now I sit here feeling my unborn child moving within: a new, innocent life whose heart will be open to everything good and bad when she is born. And the only thing I can do in this moment is weep with thankfulness for this gift, looking forward to the days when we can not only pour that love into her, but also teach her Who loved her first.
About Allison J. Kennedy
Allison is the author of four books, which have all caught fire with her young adult readership. She enjoys writing for a young adult audience, and her style is emotional, raw, and passionate.
Born and raised in Oregon, she now resides in Oklahoma with her husband and two cats.
Connect with Allison online: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest
Read More from Allison
How do you heal from your past when you're still trapped within it?
I lost myself the night of the party. Just like that, my innocence and my sanity were torn away.
I would like to say that time heals all wounds, but it doesn't. And I would like to say that falling in love is what rescued me, but it wasn't. Nobody told me what to expect in the coming days and weeks and months after conceiving a rapist's child. Years later, my wounds are still just as fresh as the night they were made. It would be so easy to disappear and allow the memories to consume me.
But that's the choice, isn't it? To live instead.
**This book contains rape triggers. Discretion is advised.
Get it here: Amazon * Barnes & Noble