I write this to my wife, and to all those loved ones who helped sustain not just us, but life in the midst of the season.
In a way it’s my anthem to the ‘spouses of Valor’ immitating the spirit of our former Hebrew brothers in their anthem of appreciation toward their own “woman of valor” (eshet hayil - in Hebrew), in Proverbs 31. An appreciation and anthem to their courage and strength for many things - in which only represent things not required or demanded, but done to reveal love. Today as the season draws to an end, we celebrate the valor of our loved ones.
For a referee, the spouse (our pit crew- from REF Con 2021) the significant other is burdened with much over this season. A season that can only easily be described as “being single”. May these words speak appreciation and life to all those who love a referee. Who withstand a long season of ups and downs and lots of time alone. We thank you, your grace, patience, and strength truly help us endure.
To my bride,
As I was reading this morning’s daily devotional it stirred a way to communicate my love and appreciation for you. Here’s what stirred from this time:
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).
I just wanted to thank you for your love this season. The love that bore the weight of all the family things that still needed done, regardless if I was around to help. The bedtime stories, the cooking, the maintaining relationships with friends and family. The love that was big enough to be enough, as our time wasn’t daily, or even enough.
I thank you for your love that “believes all things” not to mean you are gullible or to prescribe that there was falsity in our relationship this season, but that your love portrayed the position in which you never perceived in a way that was cynical, divisive, or closed off. A love that believes all things leads to higher faith and love- to outcomes that build up rather than tear down. A love that truly believed in me - all of me: my abilities, my skills, my passion, my dreams and my capacity.
I thank you for your “love that hopes all things” and I’m not talking about hoping the season to be over. But a hope filled with strength. This hope was not selfish oriented but that God would accomplish his will for my life this season, as too yours. A hope that the season would bring growth, joy, and blessing with it. Hope that through the various struggles, challenges and sufferings we’d end the season not just stronger together but, a little closer to the individuals God created us to be. Praise be To God.
Lastly, thank you for your “love that endures all things.” Im not sure of a way to say it better than Cynthia Bourgeault when she says:
“Everything that is tough and brittle shatters; everything that is cynical rots. The only way to endure is to forgive, over and over, to give back that openness and possibility for new beginning which is the very essence of love itself. And in such a way love comes full circle and can fully “sustain and make fruitful,” and the cycle begins again, at a deeper place. And conscious love deepens and becomes more and more rooted. . . .”
Thus it’s power becomes more capable of enduring. Your love continues to endure empty nights in bed, meals alone, tantrums solo, a full time career, ministering to others, and yet you don’t just remain physically, but spiritually. Mentally. Still loving and hoping and still praying. Loving me as you did like I never left. Your love never faded regardless of the extra burdens such a schedule and season redirects to your shoulders. Truly, my eshet hayil (woman of valor).
Thank you that through your courage and strength you led me into deeper understanding of God’s unjudging- and unconditional love.
So today I encourage you to celebrate your support. Your loved ones who help you got through another season. May this draw you into deep appreciation of the love given to you!