The following blog I did not write. My baby girl, Ashlee, did. I only contributed very minimal edits. It's such a sweet, spiritually rich post, and I don't just say this because I'm her mom. It just is.
Presently, Ashlee is participating in a two-week training with her Army National Guard unit. On Tuesday afternoon last week, I read a text from her: "Oh do I have something for you to write about." We didn't have a chance to talk until Wednesday evening after her day's duties were completed, when she began telling me about a special letter that my precious son-in-law had written and given her before her departure, and the spiritual insight she had gleaned from it. Even though she shared it with me so that I might write about in a future piece, I said, "Ashlee, you write it. God gave this revelation to you, so you should be the one to do it. You write it, and I'll share it on my blog."
I'm so touched by what she's written. And reading it has prompted much spiritual pondering in my writer's mind. Knowing myself as I do, at some point, as the Spirit prompts, I'm sure I'll piggyback off her insights and write another blog.
But for now, I'm just so very proud to share with you my Ashlee's words. I know you'll be blessed.
During my two week annual training with the Army, as a newlywed, I have dearly missed my husband. We definitely don't like being apart and knew these weeks would be challenging. Before I left, I gave him letters to be opened, one for each day I was going to be gone. To my surprise, he handed me a few to open as well.
My husband Guy and I have always been sweet to one another and very loving with our words. Something my mom specifically prayed for regarding my future husband was that he would be kind. Guy is undoubtedly the kindest person I know, and I know that the Lord truly answered my mother's prayer. In fact, throughout our dating, the verse that we based our relationship on was Proverbs 16:24: “Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul."
So, as I was lying in bed one night last week, after finishing my duties, I was missing him a whole lot. The letters he had given me were titled “Open when. . .," each with a different ending, such as “when you need a laugh," or “when you've had a bad day." There was one in particular that I was saving, and that night I felt like it was the time to open it. The title had intrigued me, and I knew that I needed a boost of confidence to end my hard, exhausting day. The letter was titled “Open when you want to know how much I love you.”
When I opened it and started reading the first sentence, I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. Guy had written out his entire marriage vows to me from our wedding day and ended with, “Do you remember this? I love you." Big tears ran down my face, and I read it two more times. When I thought about it, that was truly the most perfect way to remind me of his love. Our wedding vows represent our commitment to one another, a commitment no matter what. And to do this, we must love each other like none other.
Right then, I began to thank God for blessing me with a husband who not only fears Him, but truly demonstrates a love like Jesus. That's when it hit me. This letter represented a whole lot more. Something bigger. Something spiritual.
Truly, the Bible deserves this title—Open When You Want to Know How Much I Love You.
Open when you need reminding of the unconditional, never-ending love that God has for you. Open when you need reminding of the sacrificial love that Jesus poured out on the cross so that you could receive forgiveness of your sins. Open when you are weak, insecure, in need of knowing who He says you are.
Open when you want to know—when you need to know—just how much you are loved.
His Word is love.
Kindness and sweetness for the soul.
All you have to do to know is open it.