“Sometimes, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”
On February 13, 2012 I stepped out of the airport and into the cool California night. I was excited to see Brad and Naomi again despite my fatigue. We’d been apart for a week while I got acquainted with my new nephew, and Brad had returned to work. I’d been navigating airports and airplanes with Oliver for the last 11 hours, and I knew I’d be asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.
Our reunion was pleasant, and we laughed at Naomi and Oliver who greeted one another like long-lost lovers. Their eyes lit up, they chattered endlessly, and they held hands in delight. Brad loaded our bags in the truck, and we drove home talking the whole way about our days and what had happened while the other was away.
When we arrived back at the house, Brad told me to go ahead and take Oliver in the house and he would get our bags. As I stepped through the backdoor, the first thing I noticed was the peculiar smell. I wondered aloud what it was, even as I also began to wonder why the kitchen seemed so…white. Then it dawned on me. My face lit up in a huge smile as I turned to look at Brad as he followed me in the door. He could barely contain his excitement.
He (and a friend) had rehung all of my kitchen cabinets and painted them white. They had been in the garage for the past 5 months undergoing sanding and cleaning, while inside I did my best to keep the kids out the cabinets and my kitchen supplies. In addition to hanging and painting the cabinets, he had also painted the hallway. As I admired his painting (and the pot of roses he’d placed by the bed), I began to notice cartoon Valentines placed in random locations around the house…on the calendar, in a dish, on a light fixture. I asked him what they were, and he informed me that there were 32 Valentines placed around the house for me to find. Each one had a handwritten love note written on the back. Even today I have not found them all, and we’re both thrilled when I discover another hidden Valentine.
As I admired Brad’s work and stood in awe of the love he had poured into his labor, I began to understand 1 Corinthians 13:12 as Paul describes the nature of love, “Then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Maybe another woman would not feel so loved by these gestures, but I was speechless with gratitude and delight in my lover. The things he had chosen to do for me showed me how well he KNOWS me–my needs, my desires, my preferences, and my heart.
Today I am grateful for a husband who daily shows me that true love means truly knowing me, and loving me despite my flaws. Today I am grateful for a husband who teaches me how to love as Christ loves us.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25