The gift of self, to me, has essentially three parts: The spiritual gift (which can only be given and received in the state of grace), the mental/emotional gift, and the physical gift. I find, that as a society here in the West, we tend to focus in on the physical (with even more focus on the genital) with some attention to the mental/emotional. Hardly do we find any commentary on the spiritual connection between the spouses, or attention on the fact that we gift ourselves to the other in Marriage and that the gift is forever!
In order to give the complete self to another one must make an act of trust. To one who has been abused on all levels of being as I have, means that act of trust has even more weight. To me, that is in essence what true vulnerability is: to give the complete self to my spouse and trust completely that she will not crap, stamp, crush, tear apart, etc. that gift.
And that, my friends, is where Lucille excels! It takes a tender and gentle heart to sense and realize how to earn the trust of one with a history such as I. The honesty and mutual vulnerability that I see in Lucille, as well as that very special look she gives me every once in a while are all very important to me. But most especially, it is the way that she has treated me right from the start: with mutual respect and dignity. She has fostered the love that began to grow between us with such grace. I realized fairly early in our relationship that she was indeed a daughter of the Father! What a special grace! :*D
Truly I am blessed to have Lucille as my wife. And, truly I have been blessed by the Lord to have received the healing and strength from Him to be the person I needed to be when Lucille and I first met.
She was and is worth all of the struggles and pain in the healing process. She is indeed my best friend for the way she treats me is like no other human alive or dead has ever treated me!
Lucille, thank you and I love you! ;)