January 29, 1970
Nate did something on our 2nd month anniversary that was completely unexpected. He bought me a dozen long-stemmed red roses! This was over-the-top generosity, since our finances were so lean, and I was astounded. He explained:
“I’ll never get over that I found you. I don’t deserve you, and yet here you are – married to me. All the roses in town couldn’t express my love for you.”
I heard his words, but as always had trouble believing I could possibly mean that much to him. My thinking was just the opposite – that I didn’t deserve him. And I certainly hadn’t done anything to merit a dozen roses or the “love forever” he pledged on the card.
But Nate’s love didn’t originate in my being worthy to receive it or performing well. It was just based on me…. self-focused, flawed me.
He was one of a kind. He listened carefully whenever I talked. He made no effort to sway my decisions or change my opinions. And he never criticized my many mistakes. Instead he spoke encouragement and heaped praise on me for even the small things, like doing the dishes.
Though I felt I didn’t deserve such devotion, it sure felt good to receive it. And it let me be me, without having to pretend about anything.
As I stood holding my gorgeous roses, I felt sheepish giving Nate my modest anniversary gift. It was a contemporary card that said, “We’ve got what it takes to have a Happy Anniversary…. each other.” (right) I had taped a picture of myself inside and written a note, thanking him for all the help he gave me around the apartment (below).
He took the roses from me and set them down so he could deliver some Happy Anniversary hugs and kisses. And as always, he had made everything turn out just right.
“A man’s ways are in full view of the Lord.” (Proverbs 5:21)