Friday, July 26, 2013

Love Determinedly

23 years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, giving persons with disabilities a chance at inclusion and equal opportunities for a full and purposeful life in society.

7 years ago today, I got a call from a man I greatly respected asking me to go to dinner with him...

5 years ago today, I married that man, wheelchair and all...

Today, I reflect in beautiful astonishment at God's loving mischief.

Everyone always says that the day you get married is the day you love your spouse the least.  Not that you don't love them at that time, but that you learn how love grows, changes, and deepens over your years together.  I believe this deeply, but I also think that time has a way of helping you reinterpret what you didn't already know. I love my husband passionately.  He is my best friend, soul mate, supporter, protector, comic relief, writing/teaching partner, and road trip buddy.  I am his wife, friend, confidant, sounding board, and caregiver. Everyday of the last 5 years, in some capacity or another, I have acted as his eyes, feet, hands, and strength. There are days I am called to love my husband by setting aside the needs of my own body to stand in the gap and act as a bridge between his inabilities and the flow of life. I may love Justin passionately, but the last 5 years have taught me lessons in how to love determinedly.

We all choose how we are going to love another in the face of obstacles. Some choose to love in spite of, other because of, but we choose to love in the midst of. Today, this is what I celebrate. I celebrate the sleepless nights, broken down van, tumbles and falls, hospital experiences, spilled drinks, gouged walls, extra laundry, and sore muscles. These are the Ebenezer stones marking our way in the journey of learning to love with God. These are worthy of celebration.

I remember a young 19 year old woman who accepted an invitation 7 years ago. She couldn't have understood what it means to love determinedly. But she did make a choice to give this guy on the other line a chance. She chose to see a man sitting in a wheelchair rather than a wheelchair-bound man. She took a chance that God works in mysterious and mischievous ways. She was right, and I am forever thankful.