I Love You As Is

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When I started dating Nathan I knew the central truth that if I didn’t love him exactly as he was right at that moment then I shouldn’t marry him based on how I could change him. Of course time would change him in some ways but it wasn’t going to be because I catered him to my desires. Well God blessed me with a man I did love as is and we later married.

I was reminded of this foundational piece of our marriage the other night as I was ranting and raving about how little progress I felt we were having with Jaydn. Sure there are some steps forward but not the ones I needed. In my fit of frustration I found myself revealing the true nature of my desire- change. I wanted Jaydn to change. It hurts to even see myself type that let alone admit it to all of you. But here I was saying that I wanted to seek healing for Jaydn and for her to be whole, but when it comes down to it the destination of the path I have been on was to change her. But that’s not love.

Love doesn’t come in the form of wanting to change the other person all the time- its meeting them where they are and staying there unless they decide to go elsewhere. Even their choice to move may not be in the direction you would want but a commitment to love that person means going with them there anyway.

What if Jaydn never stops chewing on her tongue? What if she never stops trying to manipulate people and situations? What if she never starts understanding the meaning of words and not just what they sound like? What if she always gets out of her bed in the middle of the night and wakes up her sister? Etc. Where will my love be then? Over and over again you hear about how love is a choice and this relationship is no different- I have to CHOOSE love regardless of whether anything changes.

As I was making this self discovery, I had a mental flash of the words I etched onto my living room wall that I adapted from the book Captivating by Staci Eldridge. It says, “May you find here the grace to be and the room to become.” Like a dagger to my heart those words dredged up in me my deepest desire to love others as they are. That philosophy applies to strangers, friends and yes Bethany, even to your children.

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I have been married 9 years to a worship pastor, a rock star, and the most involved and intentional dad I have ever seen! Together, we have the privilege of parenting three amazing children (Jaxon- 7, Jovie- 4, and Jaydn 3). Jaydn came to us by way of adoption from Uganda, Africa. We just moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, but I am a west-coast girl at heart. I enjoy photography, adventure recreation, and teaching high-school students about Jesus. I enjoy writing as a way to learn life lessons out loud because, most of the time, the right (wise) answers are in me somewhere; I just have to dig to find them. 

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