Marriage Letters: On the Names I Call You

Dear James,

Lorelei was coloring on the sidewalk, rainbows bridging the edging and widening gaps in the pavement. I laughed to see her jump back and forth.

We’ve done that long now, haven’t we?

We’ve grabbed hands and jumped over the fracture, love interweaving the broken shards. We come from brokenness, you and I. It’s the haunt that wakes me in the night, it’s the legacy of family, it’s the emptiness that fills the room of houses that aren’t homes anymore,  it’s where bitterness and saddness crouch in corners. It claws at me, this loss, and you know it. And you call me loved. Beloved.

In the beginning, I called you every name in the book. I called you too-good-to-be-true. I called you delusional. I called you stupid; stupid to love me, stupid to love the mess I was in; just dumb. I’d always failed at everything. I called you you’re-just-going-to-leave-me-one-day when you realize just how broken I am. When you realized the legacy I had lived. Love had always left me. Love had always put conditional contracts on me. Most of the time, I broke those contracts.  All it lead to was more loss; a vicious cycle unbroken until you strong-armed the chains away.

But there were other names, names I couldn’t even dare to hope. To believe. I pushed you away so hard, dearest, and I swear, you just purposed to love me back in kind, measure for measure.

You call me beloved and I’m finally beginning to believe it.

I call you the harbor-in-the-storm. The father of six beautiful children, who bear the fruit of your faithful tending. I call you the prophet who speaks beauty into being where there used to be nothing but scattered weeds. You tell me I am whole, and I believe you. I call you kind. Compassionate. Grace and mercy walk with you. I call you a man of integrity- solid truth. Faithful. I call you hilarious, with your dry humor that you have to listen just-so-close to catch. I call you wise. I trust your lead on this journey.

I call you beloved, man among men.

Ana Dodi,



Linking with SethJoyScott, and Amber as we hold our marriages up to the light. Call your marriage what it really is. Every Monday in April we’re writing letters because we believe that when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriages of others.


3 responses to “Marriage Letters: On the Names I Call You”

  1. This brings me to tears. It hits close to home.

  2. We all need someone to do this for us:

    Someone to tell us we are whole…. someone who says it in such a convincing way that we can’t help but believe it. I’m glad you have a someone like that. I do, too.

    Your writing, as usual, is exquisite. I so enjoy your words.

  3. Oh, sweet sweet sweet. These thoughts, these interactions, we’ve played them out as well. Having a husband say, “No, I won’t abandon you,” and mean it is a PRECIOUS thing, isn’t it?

    Thanks for posting. 🙂


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