I have been outspoken about my lack of confidence before and how my Sam came into play. Well, I had another “aha!” moment as I was reading my friend Margot’s new book “Not Who I Imagined”. (You should get it by the way) Anyway, she was talking about how she struggled with not receiving love or feeling welcomed. Nouwen even says that we struggle with a fear of not being welcomed into this earth or being welcomed into the life after this earth. And Margot points out that even in the most functional families or life stories, we all wonder whether or not we’re worth loving.
On the week before my 8 year wedding anniversary, I read that sentence and it shook me. And it shook me in a way that shattered my heart with gratitude. Sam showed me that I was worth loving in a way that I didn’t think I deserved – romantic love.
I never felt lacking in love by my family, in fact, I have the most affirming family in the world. My parents are so affirming that their crazy children think we are capable of doing anything… which is probably why two of us are trying to be writers (least.lucrative.career.ever.). I never went a day without being told “I love you” by both parents. I got plenty of snuggles, hugs, and kisses. But at around age 17, I began to wonder if I’d ever be worthy of romantic love because I never could quite fit into the Nicholas Sparks’ female rom-com mold.
Truth is, I have a sense of humor that I thought more identified with the male species… although now I realize there are thousands of hilarious females who are finally breaking out of that box.
I curse a lot.
There are weeks when I won’t put on a drop of make-up (and I’m not one of those cute Jennifer Garner types, I need make-up on my face region).
I like to hunt and fish.
I don’t care about getting my hands dirty, both figuratively and literally.
And because I grew up surrounded by 6 boys, I used to be terrible at processing my emotions in a healthy way. Before the past 7 years or so, I would just solve my problems by going for a run or making a joke to get out of a serious conversation. (Now I just watch Parenthood anytime I am feeling emotionally constipated and the tears start a flowin’)
I just figured my destiny was to play the role of the best friend forever- stuck in a tragic terrible movie that only plays on TBS at 10pm. I was just missing the nerdy glasses and Chuck Taylors.
But then, when I was least expecting it, Sam saw me.
He saw me.
He saw the silliness, the sense of humor, the dirty hands, and he loved it all. I thought I’d have to do a lot of convincing to whatever man finally asked me out. I thought I’d have to play the part of the cute, baby talking female who says things like, “Oh gee, I don’t really eat refined sugar.” and then after they put a ring on it, reveal my secret hoarder’s closet full of Gobstoppers and Chewy Sprees. But Sam showed me he wanted me before I had time to do any convincing.
When things get tough with deployments, long and stressful work hours, the ebb and flow of parenting, I want to remember how life-changing it was for me to meet Sam. I love that man and the father, husband, and leader he has become. I am not writing this to fluff his ego. I’m writing this so I don’t forget to rejoice in the view-changer that he was for me.
He showed me that I am in fact, worthy of romantic love.
He showed me that I wouldn’t have to change a thing about myself and he’d chuckle his sexy little chuckle at my inability to keep a car clean.
He tells me I’m beautiful when I have greasy hair and no make-up on.
And best yet, he laughs and joins in on my inappropriate jokes.
Happy 8 years my love.