Monday, February 14, 2011

My Beloved Is Mine and I Am His

"My beloved is mine and I am his." (Song of Solomon 2:16)

From nothing, a brown cluster of root, springs life. A green shoot reaching to the sky. And soon a bud, tightly bound in its calyx, still green. The warmth of the spring sun coaxing the stem upward. Stem reveals thorns, red and sharp, dissuading a curious touch or mindless nudge. As spring dances with the upcoming summer, the green binding slowly loosens to reveal color. Casually the bud begins to blossom, revealing layer upon layer of sweet smelling petals. An intricate maze of petals finally revealing it's golden center.

Love is like a rose.

It starts from nothing. Interest and connection spurring forth a "shoot". I am worthy of love. At first, all is new, our guard is up, the bud is bound up tight. We continue forward, a complicated mix of character, personality, upbringing and opinions, either coaxing love upward or wilting it. We meet the first of many thorns. Will our differences get in the way? The dance continues with optimistic enthusiasm, but as time progresses, we (hopefully) begin to unravel the beauty and intricacies of the person we are pursuing. It doesn't take long to see whether you compliment or clash with each other. The pursuit convinces you to let love in, to slowly loosen your grip, and allow glimpses of the real you. Your love begins to blossom, an intricate maze of getting to know each other and growing into a full, mature love.

Unlike the rose, it may take a lifetime to grow into beautiful, sweet smelling love. We are all at different points in the process. The maze of layers keep things new. Going on 12 years of marriage I'm still learning things about my husband. God wants us to continuously be growing and maturing in our faith. As we mature in faith, it takes our love to new levels.

There is great comfort and gratitude to be able to say and mean "my beloved is mine and I am his". This is a promise and a commitment to one man, forever. It will (not may) come with a pile of conflict, disagreements, and "worse" times. But it will also be full of a whole lot of "better".

To my husband, Adam -- to know that God chose you for me, to trust His dreams for us, and to feel and see all the many ways you love me is a great blessing to me -- I am in this until the end. With love, Your Forever Wife

Happy Valentine's Day!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

-- Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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