Saturday, February 16, 2008

Time, Love, and Tenderness

This is not a tribute to Michael Bolton, although he's got a couple things going for him.

There's a lot I could say about time. First of all, it's been a long time since I've written. It's been a long time since I was home. I love spending time "with" Cassidy, and I am so glad that my time in Iraq is coming to a close.

Time is a funny scale. With the passing of Valentine's Day and her birthday approaching, Cassidy and I have been comparing notes and memories on our early days together. In so many ways it feels as if time is going to make us start over when I am finally home. We've spent nearly two years married factually, psychologically, mentally, and spiritually. We've spent a mere six months of that time in daily life together.

God has used this time to deepen the emotional, mental, and spiritual ties between us in a powerful way. I guess it would be something like braiding small strands of a precious metal (we'll say white gold) together and then putting them in an oven so hot it melts the strands together, but not so hotly that the strands lose their identity. That is what this separation has done in the spiritual realm for Cassidy and me.

We're so ready, so looking forward to the precious jewel of "time together" being set in the framework and back-drop of these 15 months.

We may have forgotten how the other one brushes their teeth, we may be surprised again at just how deep the other one's eyes are, I know I will lose my breath when I see the beautiful picture that I have looked at all year finally come to life.

Yes, time is a funny scale. It's made us seem farther apart and yet closer together. While we know the shared experience we've had, we also know the separate experiences that have run concurrent on separate sides of the world.

I tease Cassidy sometimes that there is more than one of her, and she KNOWS about my three distinct personalities. In this context of time, however, I'd have to say that our experience is even multi-faceted... There's "her daily life", "his daily life", and "our daily life"... and as God gives us grace, in time, those three will melt into one. Sometime after, and probably long after, the first of April.

It all has taken, and it all will take - time.

I love Cassidy with all my heart. She loves me. I know Cassidy better than I have ever known anyone, and sometimes better than I know myself. She knows me just as well.

The thing that I know about love, is that it flows from God. We've reminded each other of that multiple times over the course of this deployment. I know that my grace to be loving, tender, and giving as a husband stems directly from walking with my God. It's funny, but it's like God put us in circumstances where I was forced to learn that only as I surrender to and seek God first, only then, can I give Cassidy the love she needs. The reverse is true, but the responsibility is primarily mine.

Cassidy's last post was an excellent reminder that this "God as our love-source" concept is not just true of the marriage relationship. Our experience has been so exceptional that I sometimes get narrowly focused on the two of us and what God is doing with us... (read: Andrew gets stubborn and selfish sometimes... and wishes that God would do things in a way that was easier to handle).

The truth is, I know when I am walking close with the Lord and when loving is just too hard. "When loving is just too hard"... that's the choice isn't it? Walk with God, or walk without love.

This has been the week to think about love, to think about going home, to think about Cassidy's upcoming birthday, and to think about where we are in our relationship. We can't wait to be together and spend some time, love and tenderness melding, mending and building. Something tells me the order has GOT to be the same then as it has become here in the desert: 1. I surrender to God, 2. There is abundant love.


Cathy said...

You put it so well. In some ways, it sounds like you guys have been married forever...because of that deepening Love that can only come from God first. Both of you have been an inspiration as we have been following along in your journey. You started with a solid foundation and there's nothing that can compete with that. Yes, Satan will try, but our God is bigger than that! It's really hard to go through those hard times. Whoah, can you imagine what it would be like going through the last two years without God? Uggh! You and Cassidy do have some catching up to do when you get home, but as long as you remember your words and live them, you'll do just fine. By the way, Lamar and I will be celebrating our 29th year of marriage this summer. He's the love of my life and he puts God first too. It shows. 19 years ago, we pretty much had to start over, and it was hard, but by God's grace, our marriage is stronger than its ever been.
You summed it all up in your last sentence. Thanks for the reminder!
Even us old folks needed to read those words!

Sunshine said...


How sweet it is that your long awaited day is just around the corner. In the movies, everything stops just seconds after the couple is reuited. So glad that in the real world, it is a beautiful moment in a long scene in a play that will end in an eternity of an even more amazing love. God is very romantic.

Your sister in Christ, Sunshine

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