How can eyes that have witnessed such incredible tragedy and participated in the horrors of battle look on me with so much tenderness?
How can a heart that’s endured such catastrophic pain risk loving me with such vulnerability and openness and trust?
It stuns me that it’s possible for you to have survived everything that happened to you. You’re a living, breathing miracle. To have an early life filled with so much abuse and abandonment, to have grown into adulthood with those wounds still open, and then endured the effects of combat, followed by betrayal, and loss, and heartbreak. I don’t understand how you managed to find a way out of that darkness. How you kept hope alive while being so starved for real, unconditional love, because of the string of disasters that life kept throwing at you.
Lesser men, and those who’ve experienced less trauma than you, have become callous, cruel, and closed off. They’ve made it their goal in life to ensure everyone around them is just as miserable as they are. They’ve pushed away the people who try to love them, blamed their past experience for their present behavior, and lived every day trying to find ways to dull their pain rather than work to heal the broken parts.
But not you.
You’ve worked so hard to keep anger from overtaking you. You’ve spent so much time trying to heal and grow past the effects of your childhood. You’ve risked love over and over again, opening your heart to those who don’t understand you and can’t appreciate you for who you are. You’ve been relentless in your quest for companionship, and stability, and peace.
You’re my hero. Not just because you’ve fought for our country. Not just because you look out for me, and keep me safe now. But because you inspire me every single day. A hero is someone you admire, someone who displays the characteristics of nobility, bravery, and fortitude in the face of danger and adversity. And I don’t know anybody who fits that description better than you.
You inspire me with your courage and strength in exerting the effort to keep on healing. You give so much of yourself, in your tenderness and present-ness in our relationship. Your continued willingness to keep trusting me a little more every day? The preciousness of that fact is not lost on me. You so graciously give me the emotional intimacy I crave, and you believe in our relationship, wanting as much as I do for it to last for the rest of our lives. All of those things are so important to me, and give me so much hope.
I know that you look back on your past, wishing it were different. You hold on to a lot of regret, and guilt, and shame. In a lot of ways I think you wish you were different. But I love who you are. I love the man you were created to be, with your innate ability for leadership, your talent for strategy, your physical strength and skill, your perceptiveness, and your character and integrity. Those qualities are balanced so well by your softness and sensitivity. I also love the man that’s risen out of the life you’ve led. The challenges you’ve faced have changed you, and have scarred you, and those are the things I think you wish were different. But those things have also made you insightful, wise, understanding, supportive, respectful, and incredibly compassionate. You get people who have been through stuff. You see the world from a different perspective. And it’s a lot like mine.
I’m overwhelmed and humbled to be with you. Every day, I’m aware of how blessed I am to have you in my life. And I’m not just saying that. At some point each day, I can honestly say that I stop in my tracks and feel a sense of gratefulness to God for giving you to me. For those moments to just randomly hit me almost a year and a half into our relationship make me so proud of how far we’ve come.
Believe it, my love. You are my heart. I love you.
Linking up with Lisa-Jo and others prompted by the word Hero for
Author’s Note: I’ve had deep and profound thoughts of admiration for my Viking practically seeping from my pores lately. I just can’t even tell you how much I love this man. It’s taken a long, long time for us to break down walls around our hearts and really start to love each other like healthy, complete people do, but we’re really getting somewhere these days. And I’m just besotted, doe-eyed, stoopit in love with him.