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  • Writer's picturepsbycarrie

Let me try again.

I struggled to write a super catchy intro for this post. But after about 23 rewrites, I’m giving it up. To summarize: This blog is a long-overdue answer to a question I was asked a few years ago. I hope it’s not too late to give a much better response.

When I worked for Oklahoma State, one of my students (who is now a treasured friend) asked me how I knew I loved my now-husband Bailey. I stumbled around with half-decent answer, but I knew deep down I had missed my mark. I could not put into words why or how I knew he was the one for me.

So I did what I always do when I get into a situation like this. I obsessed about it. Without a doubt I knew I loved him, but why. It was more than his charming smile and contagious laugh. It went beyond the fact he treated me like a princess. It was even more than the fact he loved me. I mean, I could have made a list of great qualities, but I just could not put my finger on that one why.

Now I couldn’t tell you where the epiphany happened, but it finally did. Safe. Bailey made me feel safe. Not just, “Oh, being curled up next to you helps me sleep better.” He made (makes) me feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe.

Let’s go through those one at a time, because each one is important on its own. First, he makes me feel physically safe. Not just the “I’m going to protect you from harm,” but the “let me care for you” safe. The safe that honored my desire to wait until marriage for sex. The safe that helped me feel beautiful even though I gained 15 pounds after we got married. The safe that recognizes when I am too exhausted to cook, entertain, or move some days. The safe that supports my (mostly) healthy eating plan. The safe that panics more than I do when I can’t find my glasses (I’m almost blind, y’all. It’s a real thing.). Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate having him around to scare away the coyotes, but knowing he values my overall physical well-being is priceless.

Bailey is also very protective of my emotions. He is the first to tell me when he thinks someone else has done me wrong. He wants to fix my heart when it hurts. He reminds me that a job is not worth my happiness. He gently tells me I have to take care of myself, not just cater to everyone else. Now, like with any relationship, he has left a few emotional bruises. But for the most part, he strives to protect me and build me up.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Bailey makes me feel spiritually safe. Let me preface this paragraph with I wholeheartedly understand that my relationship with God rests on my shoulders. I have no expectations for Bailey to carry that weight. But, it is a blessing to know I have a husband that prays for me, that fights spiritual battles along with me, that listens when I need to sort through biblical questions. It is an honor to love someone who recognizes that love is the basis of our faith. It is an joy to be with someone who gently reminds me that putting God first is always the right decision. I love knowing that church on Sunday isn’t an option, it’s a given. It is a relief to know that we will seek God’s will before making any decisions.

So, my dear Kalyn, there is my better answer. Bailey makes me feel safe, and I am so thankful.

Before I close this post, I want to talk for just a minute to anyone out there who needs to hear this: If the person you are with does not make you feel safe, leave. The person you choose to spend your life with needs to be your biggest support in your walk with God. You need to know they are a soft spot to land when you are emotionally drained. You should be confident they will recognize that your body is the vessel where your soul dwells and should be cherished for how special and unique it is.

Trust me, I know what it is to date, and even think you love, someone who doesn’t protect you in one (or all) of those ways. You might be tempted to settle. DO NOT. I promise, there is someone out there who can meet these important needs. It may feel like you are looking for a unicorn, but how much better will it be when you finally have one?

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