This is me.
This is also me.
This post is kind of about me, but it’s also about you and the one you love.
This childhood picture of me tells a story. The details behind that story aren’t essential, but their significance matters to me, and Steven knows it. He has listened to me talk about what this picture means, what it used to mean, and what it means for me now.
One thing I love most about Steven is that he never dismisses me. Ever. So when I show him childhood pictures of me and tell him what I believe God is showing me about myself both then and now, he gets excited with me instead of assuming I’m one small step away from traveling the world with this guy. (No offense, Jesus Man.)
In short, he cheers me on, and here’s an example of how he cheers me on.
Not long ago, he surprised me with a gift that signified all I’d been telling him about myself — about how I needed to shed parts of me that were broken and afraid and holding me back.
We’d been having conversations about how I let life change who I was in that childhood picture — a girl unafraid and barefoot who embraced life and loved every minute of it. The girl in that picture was full of excitement for each new day. She couldn’t wait to get outside and climb a tree or scale a jungle gym. She caught caterpillars and fireflies and roller-skated down neighborhood streets.
That was me.
I once lived to discover the possibility hiding in each day with a passion I’d since lost.
Maybe you can relate.
As life happened, I experienced tough times, and a heaviness crept close that I couldn’t shake. My heaviness became a dysfunctional best friend with whom it was time to part ways. I could feel God leading me back to my true self, back to that unafraid girl who was ready to take on the next challenge.
So, Steven came home from work one day, and he gave me this.
And, I cried.
I cried because he took all my words and listened to them. He heard me, and he took the time show me that he heard me. He found someone (Thank you, Chase Velarde!) capable of creating a visual inspiration to cheer me on my journey toward wholeness.
What did this picture say to me?
- “I hear you.”
- “I believe in you.”
- “I’m cheering for you.”
So, while my husband IS amazing, and I don’t mind shouting about his amazingness to the world, I am sharing this with the hope of inspiring you to be amazing to the one you love, too.
- We CAN create these moments for each other.
- We CAN listen to each other.
- We CAN inspire hope and cheer each other on as we journey through life together.
SO, What Now?
Listen to the one you walk through life with. Find ways to express your attention. Show your excitement. Believe in each other. Cheer for each other. Love each other.
And do it well.
Think about conversations you’ve had with your spouse.
- What has he or she been saying?
- What has he or she been feeling?
- What does he or she need?
- How can you support him or her?
Now do something.
The important thing is to impart empathy and affection and connection. The goal is to express:
- You are present.
- You are listening.
- You care.
Ready? Go, and try it out!
*Be sure to come back and share how you found a way to cheer your partner on. We’d love to hear all about it.