Unconditional. In sickness and in health. For better or for worse.

March 28, 2015, I married Kevin Tyler Powell and celebrated the hope and assurance of all of these things as I said, “I do.” I had no idea what our lives would bring us but we were 400% sure of our love and devotion to one another. And still are.

July 12, 2015, Mom was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer, and he wiped every tear, eased every fear, and stood by me in absolutely every rise and fall we faced through her healing.

July 12, 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage II Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the left parotid gland. And the same is even truer somehow.

Since July, I have faced days where I have felt absolutely helpless. The days following surgery I couldn’t even bathe myself, but K.T. carried me to the shower and told me how beautiful I was as he sponged me off, rinsed the shampoo from my head, and washed the fear away from my eyes. I have faced days where I didn’t know what tomorrow might bring and he has given me hope from the Lord, strength through his promise to always and forever be by my side, and comfort by his steadiness. I have faced days where I felt utterly miserable to the point of not knowing what else to do but cry, and he has kissed those tears off my face and shown me what all of those things he vowed to me 2.5 years ago truly mean. And I’ve face some days where there’s still joy in my eyes and we can share a few giggles and a good dance off in the kitchen like normal.

I’m not sure if I can say I knew what unconditional looked like or felt like when we stood face to face with this journey for the first time. Unconditional is something I’ve struggled with even in my faith, worrying whether I was praying enough or spending enough time reading my bible and if I wasn’t did that mean my blessings would be less or delayed because of it, but I know deep down that the Lord’s love wasn’t dependent on those things. And now I know more than ever that K.T.’s isn’t either.

As I’ve shared in several posts so far, I’ve felt like I’ve been absolutely rotten to deal with on many occasions. Nothing has stayed the same long enough for us to get used to it before something else takes over next. The tears are not my norm, my tone doesn’t always come across sweet and polite, I’ve definitely looked more like a halloween costume over the last 6 weeks than I’ve looked like my normal self, and Lord knows I haven’t done even half of my normal chores and responsibilities around the house leaving it all up to…you guessed it…K.T. And he hasn’t once complained that he had to take on more, or dry another tear, or observe his wife in a different state than she’s always been.

I don’t write all this to make anyone feel any certain way. But I refuse to go through all of this and tell you all about it and just let K.T. stand in the wings and not get any honor for literally keeping me going most days. So as you read these words, I hope you will help me honor the impeccable man of love, grace, and true character that the Lord led me to marry. He doesn’t like the fuss so this won’t be his favorite post of the journey, but he deserves so much more than he gives himself credit for.

There are many blessings in this life, but he’s forever my favorite.