When I tell the story of Phat and I falling in love, it almost sounds like a fairy tale. It’s fun to think about the way we met and the sweet looks we exchanged. But…truth be told, it wasn’t so easy. Sure it was fun but I was a basket case…in counseling…in need of understanding, without judgment. If you had spent any time talking with me, as an eighteen year old, you might have run.
I had already determined I was not beautiful or worthy of love, so I could be quite caustic. I was little and vivacious…but a fighter…and a bit on the mean side. Years of being teased helped in solidifying the idea I had to fight to be heard. I also loved debate. To get into a good discussion, sharing ideas back and forth, hoping to persuade someone to see it my way…”please, understand me!”
It didn’t take long for this little firecracker to frustrate Phat. He didn’t want to walk away, but he couldn’t see how to handle someone with such cynicism and obvious pain. He told me one day, “I really don’t think I can handle being with somebody who is so negative.” I was devastated…but, fortunately had a counseling session already scheduled.
I bawled to Chaplain Martin, “Everyone always walks away. See I’m not loveable, I’m not someone anybody wants to get close to.” He let me cry. It was part of what he was working on with me, to let me share my feelings without judgment, without telling me to “grow up, big girls don’t cry.”
Once I’d settled down a bit he told me what to say in return. He explained about the person he had come to know as being one with a tough exterior but an extremely sensitive interior. And if anyone chose to hang around long enough, they would see how much fun I could be.
Long story short…it worked. Phat chose to stay. I am so thankful to. this. day. to have someone in my life who loves all of me. I’m a case (short for basket case) but I’m loved. I am not always loving, some of my old ways can surface in a flash, but…he understands and he loves me through it all.
It’s a beautiful picture of God. He loves all of me. He sees the good, the bad, and the ugly. He understands all my feelings and all my tantrums and all my fears and all my joys and He loves me…unconditionally.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ~1Corinthians 13:4-7