This is a guest blog by Ellie Bakk, winner of last week’s contest. It also just so happens that today is her Birthday! Happy Birthday, Ellie! I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did. If you’d like to guest post on this blog, contact me here for guidelines.
When I began to love. I began to cry. True story.
Not that I’ve ever lacked emotion in my life (I’m sure my parents could testify to my adolescent years…represent 14!)…sure, I dealt (okay, deal) with my fair share of emotions. Anger, fear, joy, jealousy, sadness, trust, even love.
Oh, love…it changed me. It made me cry.
When I met my husband, back when he was not my husband, rather just a rugged, mysterious Alaskan who could’ve passed for The Man From Snowy River every day of the week, and I was, well an 18 year old Texan, who acted like she had it all together, and sort of kind of almost did.
Anyway, way back then, he fell in love fast and was unashamed.
And then there was me…little ole me. I was slow at forming the words with my mouth, even though my heart was ready. Sooooo slooooooow.
“I love you, Ellie.”
Is how our dates at the foot of the San Juan Mountains would end for MONTHS. On any given night, we would have just ridden bare back on a horse up the side of a mountain where he would have built a fire out of branches and his bare hands (there was no burning of hands, but you get the picture) and we would have talked and talked under the Colorado stars where he would confess his love…and in the end, all I had to say was “thanks!”
Who does that?
Some freckle-face full of sassiness whose head put a cap on her emotions, that’s who.
Some girl who talked herself out of feeling too much, that’s who.
Okay, me. That’s who.
Over time, though, his romance-esqe novel ways wore me down and my heart’s contents bubbled over (pardon the cheese)…I loved him too.
I knew it, I felt it, and I had to tell him.
And so I did.
Slowly but surely, the permission I gave myself to really love him seeped into my entire being…all of a sudden I felt emotion about so many things so much more deeply.
And that’s where the tears come in. I started to cry…really cry.
Don’t hear me say I was ever stone-cold…Hallmark commercials had always made me teary, the star-spangled banner regularly choked me up and a friend relaying a story of hardship would bring tears to my eyes…but as far as FEELING the tears and letting them fall…that happened only when I really allowed myself to love…and be loved, let’s be honest.
Maybe this doesn’t sound like a very fitting Valentine’s Day post – being about tears and all – but I have definitely experienced that the more I love, the more I cry.
I fell in love with my husband.
I loved him with a capacity I’d never known.
I fell in love with my firstborn child.
My capacity to love grew.
I cried harder.
I fell in love with my second born child.
My capacity to love grew even more.
I cried even harder.
Now that I think about it, those aforementioned peeps cry harder than the one above them as well…maybe this elucidates my tears?
No, those aren’t the type of tears I’m talking about.
I’m talking living-life-abundantly-and-really-feeling-it type of tears.
I’m talking well-up-with-pride-because-your-husband-is-gifted-by-God-to-do-great-things type of tears.
I’m talking sweep-the-hair-out-of-your-three-year-old’s-eyes-and-stare-speechless-in-them-when-she-says “I sure love to hold your hand Mama” type of tears.
I’m talking ache-to-the-depths-of-your-soul-for-your-baby-and-the-potential-adversity-she-may-endure type of tears.
I’m talking turn-your-face-to-the-ground-because-the-thought-of-Jesus-loving-you-so-much-and-hanging-on-the-cross-for-you-is-too-much-to-comprehend type of tears.
It’s THOSE types of tears that love brought into my life. It’s the raw emotion that can set me soaring or rip my gut out. It’s love. It’s real. It’s incredible. It’s love.
God’s love, yes…but in so many ways, His changing love manifested itself in a mysterious Alaskan who taught me how to truly love and be loved and let’s face it…how to cry.
Now, excuse me while I go find a tissue.
Ellie is still a freckle-face Jesus follower who is passionate about her Alaskan, two fun loving little girls, people in general, missions, most anything Mac, creating, intercultural studies, the written word, supporting her husband through seminary, and her red guitar. She blogs at thebakkfamily.blogspot.com