Welcome to the second annual collection of Love Stories!!!. For the month of February I have the honor of opening up my blog to some gentleman who want to tell the internet just how much they love their wives. If you’d like to read all of the stories, click here.
Today’s story comes from Austin, A creative writer from London, Ohio now residing in Arizona. Austin is a great friend of my husband, Brandon, and myself. We met in college and he was the best man in our wedding. And even though handing him the microphone for the best man speech at our wedding was one of the more questionable moments in my life, I had no hesitations letting him write this piece for his wife today. Freddie is an incredible woman, and today is also her birthday! Enjoy!
for My Bride
Delivering an IT presentation recently, I noted the thinness of my credentials based on the fact of being given a 1960s Smith-Corona Typewriter for Christmas. A student’s reply, “Who hated you!” Surely, a good gift would have been a new computer, tablet, or smartphone, right? I had a computer. I had a pen. But I didn’t have that missing link between ancient and modern—the typewriter. And it was what I wanted, but never asked for. . .and that is the point. I was given a gift not based on what I asked for, but on who I am. Exploration had to have been made. Risk taken. Intimacy gained.
Gift giving for the married couple can sometimes resemble a competitive sport. Who is more generous? More creative? More thoughtful? No one wants to be outdone, so ground rules are set. The husband and wife come to an agreement on what each may spend on the other called the “Limit”. Though both agree on this “Limit,” neither assumes the other will abide by this artificial precept; hoping their own worth considered far more limitless in their spouse’s eyes. If you love me you would buy me. . . ? And you would, only if your monthly income included another zero or two or three. You fantasize then stress then you buy a pair of slippers that are a size too large and a bath robe a size too small. If unsuccessful, try again next year!
During the angst of my college years I thought with enough effort, enough wooing, enough romance, I could win the affection of the fairer sex. Go over the top! Win the maiden’s heart! My failures exposed my false bravado, moreover, my lack of trust in God. What I did not know then was that God is more a romantic than I. He is the bridegroom. He searches the hearts of men and his gifts are better. I did not know how good the gifts of God–flowing from his grace-filled heart—were when in the summer of my twentieth year, while mending a broken heart, I was told by an eye doctor, “You have a freckle in your eye.” “What do you mean?” “It’s like a freckle on your skin, but in your eye.” He might have made it up, but I didn’t care. It was what I needed in that moment: a sign of hope. Not a gift, but a foretaste.
Ten days after meeting the girl with freckles like stars, I sat at work, an assistant to an ophthalmologist, praying to God. I had given up. My desire was singular. For too long I had competed for affection, my heart divided, thinking I knew best. I had made women into goddesses and God into a miser and I was depressed. I wanted nothing more to do with anything that got between God and me. I wanted God and God knew what he wanted. My answer came in a flash. I had a freckle in my eye. God I trusted.
This past Christmas we celebrated our daughter’s first Christmas. My wife gave me a typewriter. I gave a pair of oversized slippers. I’ll let you decide the victor.