The Man Who Sleeps Beside Me

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It’s early morning, when I wake and feel him next to me. I lie as still as possible, careful not to wake him. I look over through the pale blue morning light, the quiet prelude before dawn. The beeping will sound soon, and he will wake and rush with the rest of the world. But for these few quiet minutes I lay here, hearing nothing but the sound of his breath.

This man.

How did he come to me?

I remember the day I met him, I remember the way his hand greeted mine. The touch of his skin. The only skin I would ever touch or be touched by, again. I had no idea then, that we’d be lying here together, eight years later, like this.

I remember the way his fingers moved with careful fretwork up the neck of his guitar. And the way his voice soothed a part of me I never knew needed soothing.

I remember the first time he kissed me. The gentle flush in his cheeks. The steady green in his eyes, like the sea after it’s rained.

What happened to the wonder? The wonder of…

Of…him?

How did I get like…this? Love-less. And demanding. And more interested in making dinner than making…

Love?

Could I be still enough,
to take him in?
To drink deep and long of love again?

Too many words are spoken, broken, spilled. There are expectations and disappointments, and flaws and failures, and real sin, and real pain, and real…

Grace.

That word, that thing that Jesus came to show us. And poured out His blood for. So we would know what real love looks like. That it sweats, and cries, and bleeds. That it gives up self. And makes itself low.

And is gentle. And is kind.

And is not rude.

Do I see him the way God sees him?

Because: God sees him as precious.

Precious.

Fearfully and wonderfully made…by God Himself.

I have him for only such a short time. I do not even know how short. And I wasn’t chosen just to be his housemaid, or his business partner…but his wife. His bride. His friend.

To have and to…

hold. 

I look over this morning. His chestnut hair falls across his forehead. He is so still. So quiet. So handsome. It all seems so simple here…before the beeping.

But it’s a choice: Who will I rise to be today?

Today, could I bend a little lower,

speak a little softer,

wait a little longer

kiss a little slower?

To fall in love. To fall like leaves, in surrender. To fall to my knees, becoming tender.

For I am his, and he is mine. And the banner over us is Love.
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[Your turn! I am challenging you to participate in the”Fall In Love” challenge. All you have to do is to share in the comment section one thing you love about your spouse. Or, if you are blogger, you are doubly challenged to write a post endearing to your spouse and leave a link to it in the comment section.]

26 thoughts on “The Man Who Sleeps Beside Me

  1. One thing I love about my wife? Her hands. She doesn’t have long, elegant hands. In fact, she once described them as “peasant” hands. They’re beginning to show signs of the arthritis that she silently endures. But … those are the hands that for 34 years now have put food on my table, tended my children, nursed me (and virtually anyone else who was sick) to health. Those fingers typed into the wee hours of the mornings to put me through college. Then law school. Then seminary. Those hands have held mine when I needed consolation. They wiped away tears. Those are not the hands of a Hollywood starlet, but they are the hands of the quintessential woman of Prov. 31. Hard-working. Strong. Steady. And open. Always open.

    • Keith,
      By the time I finished reading your comment, tears were streaming down my face. What a beautiful testimony of who God has blessed you with. Debbie truly is a gift and an incredible woman. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing what you truly love about her (And I’m sure she would like to read it as well!;)

  2. In just 5 years of meeting my husband we have been through so much. His willingness to fight for his body to regain mobility again is just inspiring! After his stroke a year and a few months later he is back to playing drums, and attempting to regain his skills in the kitchen, garage and housework.

    Not ONCE did he blame God for his situation. He kept a very strong faith about him, he kept repeating that WE will get through this. I never doubted God but I am a planner. I enjoy knowing what is going to happen and when. Through this time God showed me I had to take it day by day. Through it all I wouldn’t have changed anything. The struggles, the change in our food choices, even the annoying medications that he now has to take and remember to take.

    It has been a juggling act between work, homeschool, and the other ‘Mom’ stuff we have to cram into our days. One thing is for sure. I’m SURE glad God is right here with me and our family!

    • Shannon,
      Wow, that is incredible that such tough experiences have brought you so much closer. And also that you guys kept your focus on God through those difficult seasons. Often it is the difficult things that bring us closer to each other and to God! And in retrospect, can sometimes be the sweetest seasons of all. I’m so glad that God has blessed you in this way!:)

  3. My amazing husband encourages me to be brave. I am a writer and for four years I’ve been talking about starting a blog. I’ve come up with a million excuses to not blog. It’s just not time for me to share my writing. I’m not good at writing yet. He listened to me talk myself out of it and kept encouraging me to keep writing. One day he called me to his office and explained to me how I could start a blog through words press. He then helped me get started. Now I post non-stop and he encourages me to take the time out to do so. When we were dating he sent me this little note. I love you and I hope your dreams come true. I still have that little not on my wall in my office. My dreams have come true. My dream has always been to be a wife and I’m so thankful for the man that God gave me to love, hold, and cherish.

    • Lisa,
      What a blessing to have a man who sees the God-given gift in you and then nurtures you in a variety of ways to see that it grows. And I’m so glad that you are extending that gift of writing to others, and that you and your husband can share in that joy of walking out God’s calling together. 🙂

  4. I have been with my husband for ten years now. While we have had our ups and downs, the one thing that I will always love about him is his drive. He is driven to make life for our daughter and me better than we could imagine. He is driven to please us however he can and he is driven to love with everything that he had and is.

    • Rachel,
      I have yet to hear of the perfect marriage! We too have had some high highs and low lows. I try to remember that we are two imperfect people that have been joined together and are both in the process of being transformed into who Christ has called us to be! That is awesome you are married to a man who values you and your daughter and is willing to work long and hard to take good care of you guys and show you his love! Praise God for that. 🙂

  5. This is so beautiful. And so necessary right now. New motherhood has made me tired. Critical. Frustrated. With him. And my handsome husband has such a good heart, a heart I fell in love with. I need to focus on that more. And offer grace.

    Thank you!

    • Keri,
      I love your comment because I feel you have captured the very essence of this. It is so easy to throw tenderness out the window when there are a hundred other things to accomplish/or a little person screaming at you. But, although in some ways, it can seem like “the honeymoon is over”..I’m realizing that tenderness and grace aren’t a “honeymoon” mentality, they are what God has called us to, no matter how old we get together! Thanks for your words and honesty. And may you enjoy the man God has placed before you, more and more. 🙂

  6. I definitely resonate with what you have said, Rebekah. It is amazing how “keeping the love alive” is a lifetime pursuit.

    What I love about my spouse and my marriage? First, it is such a comfort to know that in my church we believe my husband and I, as well as our children are sealed together forever. Even after we die, our relationships will continue. This is such a comfort. Then my husband, I am so grateful for His ability to reign me in and remind me what matters most. He grounds me in the best of ways. He is the calm to my storm, the sunshine to my storm clouds. And one of my other favorites? He is absolutely, amazing at extending forgiveness. Which is such a relief and blessing to me as he has seen me at my worst so much. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to ponder about my sweet husband. 🙂

    • Marla,
      Thanks for sharing! To have a husband who extends forgiveness is such a blessing. Forgiveness I think is one of the most powerful things in marriage! I am not sure what our relationships will be like in heaven, but I do know that whatever God has planned will be better than anything I ever could have imagined here on earth. And as long as I’m here on earth I want to love my husband in a way that honors and exalts Christ. It is amazing that just a little time to reflect on our husbands, helps us to love and appreciate them more, and really see the gift that they are. 🙂

  7. We were in college during our dating years. I remember John’s great patience as he coached me through my upper level math classes. I was so frustrated and whiny and ornery when I didn’t understand. For thirty-one + years I have appreciated his great patience. I’m not studying math anymore, but sometimes life hands me frustrating challenges and sometimes (not too often, I hope) I’m still whiny and ornery. And we have children…..who are studying math, and physics and get frustrated by normal life challenges. And I still appreciate his patience and his example and his love.

    • Cindy,
      Loved hearing your response! (I too am married to a math guy!) What a gift to have someone who is patient, not only for math but, like you said, all of life’s challenges. And truly, as 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient.” 🙂

    • Sarah,
      I have truly enjoyed the post “Fall In Love” you’ve written on your blog! It was so tender toward your husband, glorifying to the Lord, and beautifully written. I also loved the parallels to this season, and what God is doing in our hearts to strip and transform us. Thank you for taking the challenge and enjoying your man. 🙂 Loved it!

  8. Rebekah, what a bride your husband truly has! You are such a sweet soul and I can only imagine the years of beauty you two will share together. I loved the way you spent those moments to simply stare. To remember the good things about the him, the positive.

    I am definitely inspired and will try to participate in the “Fall in Love” challenge soon!

  9. Hmmm. This is what I needed to hear today. After 10 years of marriage, about 7 of which we have struggled with infertility, it is easy to forget the breathless moments of anticipation that brought me here. The moments counted down waiting to be in his presence. The feeling of such utter peace, knowing he was mine and that God made me for him and gave him to me. If I could simply see through the tediously mundane moments of this life that we often trudge through, I would see that he is still handsome…even more than when we married..for men age like wine growing better with time. I would see that he is still kind, with the hands of a warrior and the heart of a child. He is still selfless, thinking of me and sacrificing so often. How shameful that I should ever forget that I once ONLY longed to be right where I am right now.

    • Ashley,
      I love your response to this. It is exactly the type of response I hoped for as I wrote this. It is so easy to lose sight of the gift our husband’s truly are. So many other things, and voices, and demands, and expectations crowd out the sweet, and simple love we had at first. And yet, the love is better now, because we know each other more. And I think Timothy Keller said, “To be fully known, and fully loved…is something of God.” May God give us the grace as we know one another more and more fully, to love one another more and more fully. Sometimes I just need to step back and really realize how precious of a gift my husband is to me. I’m so thankful you could do this. And may God empower you to love him when it’s easy and when it’s not, and all the times in between. Blessings to you and your man! And thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
      Rebekah

    • I am so glad you have been inspired! I say go for it! Write those posts! It’s amazing how writing (especially affectionately) about others truly does a work in our own hearts! 🙂

  10. Oh, wow! I missed this one! A thousand thoughts flood my brain. We have only been together three years, three years that went like a breath, yet three long years of climbing mountains I too often have contemplated with a derisive, “You’ve gotta be kidding me!”. I reflect on this challenge and find I could’ve been far more supportive of this fine, strong, beautiful man of God I have been blessed with. For he took one look at me and my insecure, often-wounded heart, my utterly wonderful but completely exhausting life raising special needs children, and said resoundingly,, “Yes! I love you! Yes! I love your kids! Yes! I want to spend the rest of my life with all of you!” He saw it all and didn’t run screaming. He saw it all and jumped in with complete determination to help shoulder my burdens. He saw it all and then some. Because, he saw in me what I struggle so often to see in myself. He saw my worth not from the context of worldly perspective but, rather, with God’s eyes, and still today is patiently working on getting me to see it, too. Such a wonderful gift alone ought always to keep my heart bubbling with gratitude, but, oh, how often life crowds in and causes those mommy moments of grouchy forgetfulness! Thanks for your heart. It always seems to speak directly to my experience.

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