Saturday, February 11, 2017

outgrown shoes

this season of life is a really weird one for me. I don't like things that don't feel like they're cut to suit me, and this period of time definitely doesn't. Casey eloquently put it as "outgrowing our shoes", which I feel like perfectly sums up so many of the things I am uneasy about these days.

I'll be honest, it's really weird for me to be open about being in love. it feels weird even admitting that so publicly and bluntly. makes me uneasy. I want to shout about it everywhere, I want everyone to know how amazing this is (insert Buddy the Elf "I'M IN LOVE I'M IN LOVE AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT" gif here). But I also feel like it is something that should be held sacred and soft between just us two. There's a weird balance there that I have yet to strike. I'm not sure how or where to find it. I'm not sure if anyone has ever found it before-- now that I think about it, every relationship I know seems either too public or too silent, there is no in-between.

I feel like I should be able to sit down and calmly talk about this without giggling and avoiding eye contact because I know I'm blushing so hard and WHY DO I FEEL LIKE I SHOULDN'T ADMIT HOW MUCH I CARE ABOUT HIM AND HOW LOVELY THIS IS? I find myself, even now, almost three years into this wonderfully imperfect relationship, sometimes avoiding his loving gaze when in the presence of others cause I don't want to have some magical gushy moment that might make them realize that we're kind of madly in love. I find myself being uncomfortable using the term 'madly in love' even though that's simply it.
How can you not be madly in love with a man who spends new years eve building legos with you?

I'm not old enough for this, but I'm also finally old enough for this.
We're outgrowing the shoes of 'boyfriend/girlfriend' and 'just a relationship' (we might have outgrown the 'just' a long way back), but it isn't time for the new shoes yet. so... we just uncomfortably waddle in the outgrown shoes and make the best of it and giggle at the waddling and talk in funny voices.

A long time ago, I told him,
"I am the book you tried to write at 3 AM.
Then everything I am came pouring forth and you realized you were unprepared, you had not the capacity for me. You set me aside so you could go buy reams of paper, and boxes of pens, and a big, comfy chair, and pounds of coffee beans, and brightly colored mugs, and all the supplies one forgets about with the small writings that go on, but they suddenly remember when The Novel sneaks up on them. You left to prepare yourself for me, and me for you. You left so that there would be no doubt that when you returned, you would be more than ready to sit in a chair and leisurely pen my lines for the rest of your life."
And I think this outgrown-shoes phase is the next part, like writer's block. The book will happen eventually, but right now is not the time for it to come flowing forth.


I wish everyone who ever fell in love got to experience it the way I'm experiencing it, outgrown shoes included. I understand not everyone gets it this way- though I don't understand why- but I just wish we all did.
Falling in love with someone who loves me so weightily and stickily brushes away any and all fear. I suppose because it is a Christ-centered, pure love- and therefore, perfect love- it drives out fear. I'm not afraid of what he might say or do or become or think. I'm not afraid of being too much for him. I'm even not afraid of my own dark parts anymore.
Without my knowing when or how, he fell quickly and fiercely in love with the parts of me I have struggled hardest to accept or change.
And that doesn't mean he just accepted them. That means he sat down, and pointed them out to me, and held them up to my face and said, "I see this part of you. It isn't something I don't notice because you try not to bring it up. I see it and I already love it. I see how it has changed you and grown you and shaped you and refined you. I cherish how it has made that part of you softer and more sensitive and more guarded. It makes me want to put a balm on it and guard it with you. It makes me want to teach you how to love it since you haven't learned how to yet."
From my overactive thoughts to my thunder thighs, to my inability to talk normally about ways people hurt me, to my tiny "lucky" tooth, to how mad I get in traffic. From acne scars to stretch marks to cellulite to yellow teeth to weird toes to suspicious mind to mean self-talk to gossiping nature to lazy heart.
He says, "Babe, I've noticed you don't really know how to talk about your deepest hurts, and you are beginning to realize you've never realized how huge they are. I just want you to know you can talk to me about it anytime. You don't have to have it figured out. I want to hear your heart."
He says, "I love your lucky tooth and if you ever do anything to change it at all I will never forgive you, because that funny tooth is one of the first things that drew me to you and I adore it."
He says, "You overthink a lot, sweetie, and it takes up too much of your mental power. Give yourself a break and just pray for people instead of overanalyzing situations, your heart will feel so much better. Here, hold my hand and I'll help you."
He says, "Sweetheart, I love and appreciate every piece of you, no matter how messy or frumpy you feel. I know you don't like your thighs or rolls, and you sometimes think the stretch marks and cellulite are ugly, but I think they are womanly and strong and beautiful, and they show that you have lived. Let yourself see that as beauty."
He says, "I know it's a fight for you to keep from gossiping about people but I treasure the fact that you fight it daily and seek to speak truth and life instead. Your mouth speaks beautiful things."
He says, "I hope you know you are the fiercest, most delicate creature I know. And that is the best combination I can imagine and you perfectly embody it."
And girls don't always get to fall in love with that. Girls fall in love with "I wish you would lose weight", "shut up", and "you're kinda pretty in your own way" every day. They don't fall in love with men who know what it means for a woman to be fierce and delicate. They don't fall in love with men whose eyes are so perceptive to things both concrete and abstract, and whose eyes are so faithful to a covenant of purity even before marriage.
They don't fall in love with men whose compliments are "you refresh me", "your mind amazes me", and "I love just looking at your eyes."
They fall in love with "you're hot", "come over baby", and much more vulgar things than I dare type.
Girls don't always get to fall in love the way I'm getting to fall in love. I wish we all did. And I don't know why we don't all have that (I guess that's not for me to figure out), but I'm here to show you that it's possible to.

It may not sound fun to walk with outgrown shoes, but the feet walking beside me are faithful and gracious and loving, far more than I could ever ask for or deserve. If you're looking for a nudge or a sign to trust, to wait, to stay, to love someone you could only deserve through the grace of God, then this is it. Trust Him.
"Take a break from all the plans that you have made,

And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper.

Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister.
Shine the light on every corner of your life,
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open.
Then read the Word and put to test the things you've heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken"
(-clear the stage, jimmy needham)

this season of life is really weird, and I don't love feeling uncomfortable with most things most days, but the one constant is the goodness of God. I think we all outgrow our shoes in different ways throughout life; I am sure I'm not the first of His children to have felt like they had outgrown something, who yearned for the future instead of living in the present. I am certain He took care of them, in His time, and in His way, just as He has for me and for Casey- from the first day until now. I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! I know that I have already seen as much of it as I can handle. I am so grateful for the life and experiences He has given me, including the now-moments I get with Casey, and that is enough. 

welcome to midnight.

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