Ever had to do an assignment in which you were asked to think about your funeral? Never. Well…I had never been either, until reading through the next chapter in the weekly devotional my husband and I have been completing together.
Full disclosure: We are on our second round. Really our first and less than half. Let me explain: We got through the first few weeks upon first starting it, only to stop because of a misunderstanding. We misunderstood the others motivation and motives. We also only read it halfway. Meaning we did none of the actual written work.
So…we started over. From the beginning, because sometimes this is what you have to do in marriages, even long ones-start over.
But really? Funeral planning? Who wants to think about that? No one, really. We didn’t that night, either. But I did think of this: what would I want to be said about me upon my leaving? What would I want to be known for? Essentially-how do people see me? Do they even see the real me at all?
I now know. How he sees me, anyway. My husband, that is. A small part of the things he sees me do, that he knows bring God glory. The things he knows about me. My likes. Dislikes. My passions. My gifts. The things that time, commitment, and pure respect allow a person to see.
This-that pic above-was what I walked into on Sunday morning. I wasn’t going to share this. Thought it could be one of those humble brags. And I am trying to watch those. Watch how they may make others feel, because I know how I tend to compare. Worry at times if my gifts. My talents. Heck, even just me…are good enough compared to others. And I know I’m not alone. The constant bombarding of pics and accomplishments on social media ensures we are not alone in these feelings.
But, I realized something later.
I didn’t put this together. I didn’t slap pictures on this board. I didn’t even choose those that would be placed there.
My husband did.
I have wondered at times how others see me. How I am viewed by those that encounter me, spend time with me. Am I a good mother? What would my kids say about me? And yes, if I were to go tomorrow, who would write my eulogy? What would they say?
It’s eye-opening to see yourself through the eyes of another; even if at first the pictures staring at you from a board are a bit jarring.
I asked my husband in passing who dared to display an entire board of ME, to which he calmly responded, “Me.” Thinking nothing of it, I later did. A lot. This is how he sees me.
My husband didn’t know me as that little girl in that “then” picture, but he knows about her. He’s heard the stories, and for a good part of a year he watched me fight to find the parts of her I let die. Find the parts of her I held back because someone put her light out once. He listened to the parts of the little girl that didn’t have a voice, that came out to roar. Sometimes in not so loving ways. And he still honored her. The little girl she was, and the woman she is now.
He knows my coffee and how I like it. He could go to Starbucks and order it, and wouldn’t have to ask me beforehand what I wanted. He’s the one who knows I like the Holiday Blend and buys it in bulk-just because. He sees her. He cares for her. He honors her. Even when she hasn’t had her coffee, and is irritable.
He knows where I enjoy my coffee, and knows it includes a blanket, a Bible, or a book. He knows I have an extreme fondness for Christmas, and DIY’ing costumes, decorations, and themed costumes and holiday decor. He knows this. He may shake his head, and think some of it is silly, but he honors me. Respects me.
He knows I have several tattoos on my body, but there’s one that’s special. He knows my life verse, and that tattoo is it. He knows this, because he knows me. He honors me.
He has supported every ministry endeavor I have been “called” to, even if some I was not able to accomplish. He listened to me, heard my sorrows. Shared in my adventures. Some that even involved slime, duct tape, and whipped cream pies. He has prayed with me and for me, and knew without ever complaining that he was a “co-children’s pastor,” “co-Liberian pastor,” “co-whatever” by default. Because he knows God. He honors Him, and in turn honors me, and what I am called to do for Him.
He is responsible for the motivation to pursue dreams, because he didn’t allow me to sit and wallow; or give up on them. He touted them, praised them, helped me even tweak some. Because he honors me. He honors the gifts God has given me.
He has seen me fail. He has seen me rock babies, and grandbabies. Sweat over test results. Triumphed over small kid victories. And climbed every parenting hill and mountain with me. He has been by my side for surgeries. Been my nurse, and for several weeks after wrist surgery even carried my bright blue purse. He watched me cry after an important meeting didn’t go so well, and told me how great I was…even if I left the meeting feeling so less than.
He sees me as a superhero, and has said as much (even in said meeting) . He believes it even when he knows I have been anything but at times. He has been patient when I not so. He has been strong when I have been weak. He has seen the worst in me, been through the worst with me; and never faltered.
He has seen mistakes. He has seen mountains moved. He has seen wavering. He has seen steadfastness. He has seen hidden pain. He has seen healing. He has seen the frayed edges often hidden behind the surface, and he has stayed to watch the edges become seamless again. He has watched me come unglued, and has patiently waited for God to put me back together.
He has seen bad.
Yet still chooses to see good.
At the end of the day, this is what it takes to be a godly man. Because God sees our bad, but still chooses to see good too.
God sees our worst, and helps us become our best.
He knows us.
He honors us.
He respects us.
Ours has not been perfect. My goodness, no. But we have one thing that insists we stay the course and see each other past the worst we sometimes give: God.
Maybe you don’t have the one. You know the one. The one all the dating apps tell you you’ll find. Maybe you haven’t found the one who “sees” you just yet. Who sees past your habits, quirks, crazy desire for kettle-cooked chips, or those things others just don’t tolerate for long. You can search for the ONE: God. He is the ONE who sees you. Everything about you. And still sees you with nothing but love. Honor. Respect. Just reach for that ONE.
With Him you can rest assured someone always sees you.