My husband loves me

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It’s beginning to sink in, this love thing.

I’m sure I’ve exasperated him all these years, half listening to his compliments, half listening to my own graceless voice. But his words are taking root now. Deeply.

He’s made a concerted effort to praise how I look. And yet, my reflection in the mirror is not what it used to be. I used to be rail thin. I used to be without gray hair. I used to be able to eat the kitchen sink and still be thin. I used to never have love handles.

He says I don’t realize my beauty.

But today after I slipped on my jogging gear, I caught a glimpse of me in the mirror. Un-makeupped. Unkempt. Hair pulled back. And for a moment I thought it might just be true. Beautiful.

Unfortunately I’ve whispered ugly or not enough or not perfect over myself so many years I can’t seem to see what is good. And yet, persistence by my husband, the look in his eyes, the barrage of beautiful compliments has brought me to a new place. A place where I replace the scale with his words. Where I replace my naysaying with his perception of me.

To be loved like that, to be wanted, is almost too much to bear.

In the classic allegory Hinds Feet on High Places, Much Afraid receives the thorn of love. It is excruciatingly painful and beautiful all at once. That is love. Kind words spoken over broken dreams. The ache of trying to hear the truth. The outrageous risk it is to give our hearts to another.

I am still much afraid.

But I am beautiful. In my husband’s eyes.

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