When I say, “I love you,” what I mean is that my heart doesn’t know what it’s like to not know you. I mean that I didn’t know what love really felt like until I saw you. What I want to say is that I will never be able to stop, even if I tried. I am saying that you forever changed me and I am forever grateful for it.
When I say, “I love you,” I am extending open hands to you to feed you, clothe you, catch you when you fall, help you stand, steady your steps, dance, cook, mend, cradle, embrace, play, check for fevers, and tickle.
When I say, “I love you,” I am telling you that my heart breaks every time I see fear in your eyes and it rejoices when you stand up bravely to what scares you. I am telling you that if you weren’t with me, I would search mountains, rivers, oceans, valleys, and all the heavens to find you.
When I say, “I love you,” I am admitting that some days are hard. Some days you make me cry. Some days you make me scream. Some days you make me want to lock myself in the bathroom. But what I really mean is that I love you anyway. I love you still.
When I say, “I love you,” I am not saying that I am strong, that I am infallible, or that I will never disappoint you. I am saying that I will get back up, that I will ask for forgiveness, and I will seek wisdom for the next time.
I am not saying that you will always get what you want, that I will always try to make you happy and that you will never hate me. I am saying that I will do whatever I can to get you what you need, that I will teach you joy in all circumstances, and that I will not be intimidated away from my calling to guide and instruct you.
When I say, “I love you,” I am saying that I will not leave you when you are sick, I will bandage up your wounds, I will stroke your head, and I will scratch your back. I will lay on the floor next to you all night to help you find the bathroom when you can’t keep anything down. I will rush you to the doctor, even for the slightest thing, if I feel like I need to. And I will not apologize for it.
When I say, “I love you,” I am making sure you know that there is not ever anything, ever, that will break my love for you. You can’t cry enough, you can’t scream enough, you can’t throw enough, curse enough, yell enough, fight enough, hate enough or lie enough to make me change my mind.
When I say, “I love you,” I am reminding myself that God loves you more and that He created me for this purpose. I am reminding myself that there is no greater love than for me to give up my dreams, to give up my wellbeing, and, as Christ did, to give up my life for you. I am also reminding myself that I will do everything within my power to be strong and healthy for you for as long as I can.
When I say, “I love you,” I am saying that I love your daddy and that I always will. I am saying that we will not give up on each other, that I will put him before you, and that we will always be a united front to guide and protect you. We will take date nights, and weekend trips without you because nurturing our relationship is required… and fun.
When I say, “I love you,” I am pointing you towards the One who loves you with an everlasting love – the One to whom my love can’t even compare. I am giving you a glimpse, the slightest, faintest glimpse, of the unconditional, sin-shattering, fear-scattering, hope-delivering love found in the redeeming gift of Jesus Christ.
When I say, “I love you,” I am praying out loud for your present and future. I am asking for redemption from my mistakes in the past, for grace to handle today, and for provision for tomorrow. I am praying that our good God would guard your heart, take your hand, and lead you gently in this life. I am praying that your soul would know peace and rest in the steady arms of the Mighty Savior.
When I say, “I love you,” I mean every single word.
I love you, sweet girls. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Did I miss anything? What would you add to my "love list?"
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