Last week, on the hottest early may bank holiday since records began, while the rest of the UK was out having fun in the sun, I was shivering in my bed… Tonsillitis!
The light was unbearable so I kept the curtains closed, my sunglasses on, and my eyes shut. My throat was so painful, it was agony to swallow. My body continually veered from freezing cold to sweltering hot and back again. I was shaky and weak – too exhausted to think or explain myself.
In fact, I could do nothing for myself.
My guardian angel
But in the background, my guardian angel. As the light breeze fluttered the curtains and the sun tried to sneak in around the corners, I knew he was there, watching, waiting, protecting, caring.
My wonderful husband.
In that moment, I felt so unbelievably loved.
The girls were being cared for by his parents (thank goodness we were staying with them for the weekend because usually we would be at least 2 hours away from family), so that he could focus all his attention on caring for his sick wife (me!).
And there he sat at my bedside, hour upon hour, in the dark, ready to be there for me as soon as I needed him.
Love is an action!
Nothing to give
My hair was matted, my skin was clammy, my face was blotchy, I was sweating more than I ever have in my entire life (!), and still he waited.
Whenever I awoke from my delirium, he was there, pottering around the room or watching YouTube videos on his phone. And I would sink back into a peaceful sleep, knowing I was being watched over. Whatever I needed – pain killers, drinks, the window opening, an escort to the toilet – he did it without question, at a moment’s notice.
I had nothing to offer him – no sparkling conversation or flirty body language, no shared interests or responsibilities, no bargaining of “If you do x, I’ll do y”. It was a one way flow of giving and there was nothing I could do but dwell in his generosity.
Sometimes we think love is a fuzzy feeling and sex. Sometimes we think it’s fancy restaurant meals and lavish gifts. Sometimes we think it’s staying together as the years tick by and being comfortable with each other. And yes I guess all those things have their place, but ultimately, love is an action. It’s about doing. It’s about choosing to do things in a loving way and to put others first.
This is the kind of love I want in my life.
The love I’ve longed for
As much as I love being whisked off for romantic weekends away and tearing the wrapping paper off a big present, what I really want is someone who can love me at my worst!
I want someone who will sit up with me through the night because my depression is too vast to let me sleep. I want someone who is happy spending the boring, mundane days with me as well as the planned, exciting ones. I want someone who has proved themselves to be so incredibly trustworthy that, even as a naturally guarded person, I can bare my soul.
That’s the kind of love I have dreamed about since being a little girl.
It’s the kind of love I saw my mum and dad sharing, and it’s the kind of love I am incredibly lucky to share with my wonderful husband.
This beautiful quote pretty much sums it up:
“Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not want what belongs to others.
It does not brag. It is not proud.
It does not dishonour other people.
It does not look out for its own interests.
It does not easily become angry.
It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs.
Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken.
It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes.
It never gives up.”
— The Bible
Love is an action
Love is about choosing to love every single day; choosing to love the unlovable, choosing to love the familiar, choosing to love the changing. Some days, it is even about choosing to love when you know you will get nothing in return.
You can’t sit back and expect love to happen. Love is an action. You can’t meander along and hope it will survive – you have to work at it. Love is about serving the other person and investing in them. It’s about prioritising them and thinking about ways to be involved in their life.
Love isn’t easy. But the best things in life never are!
Somehow we understand that to love our children means to care for them and to nurture them and to be there for them, but we don’t apply that to our adult relationships. We think adult love should be about us and what we can get out of it.
Nope! Love is an action.
This weekend, I truly saw love IN action and I feel so utterly grateful and blessed. xxx
How do you try to show love to those around you? Do you find it easy to love or difficult? When you feel really ill, who is the one person you want around? Let me know in the comments section below.
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