This accidental recording made its way onto my phone almost exactly a year ago, and I’m so glad it did.
We had met four days prior. He was hurting deeply, and I happened to stumble into him in the midst of it. The night this was recorded, we sat on the hardwood floors in the middle of the house he was moving out of. It was completely empty with no electricity, and we sang together in the pitch black on the middle of a rainy, late, Southern summer night.
This was the first time I’d sung in front of a person in years. I was taught to be ashamed of my voice for so long, so I became silent, only engaging in song when I knew no one else could hear.
I don’t know how he did it, but he got me to sing. He was so persistent. The day before, the third time I ever saw him, he sat down on the sidewalk in the middle of the city and demanded that I promise to sing with him when we got home. I promised, thinking I’d be able to get out of it. I obviously didn’t.
And I was terrified and timid, but he consistently assured me that a person’s singing voice isn’t just made up of the sounds one can produce, but it’s a glimpse into a person’s heart. This man taught me to passionately pour out my soul in a way I’d never known how, paying no attention to the expectations that have always crippled me.
I hardly knew the first song, so I hardly sang. He opened me up with the little bit he wrote right after. My heart melted at his words, especially because I knew some of where he’d been, what he was in the middle of. And then he decided to play a song I knew a little bit better. I slowly let go.
We sat in silence, soaked up everything that we were feeling. I still remember what that silence felt like. It was the most beautiful thing.
And the dialogue at the end, my goodness. We stumbled for words and I’m terribly awkward, but the truth in the way our story has unfolded since brings tears to my eyes every time I hear the words he spoke.
So on that night, June 1st, 2013, I let my guard down in front of a man for the first time in my entire life. I let him into my heart, and he let me into his, through song. I attempted to sing melodies I hardly knew because it made me feel close to him, because some part of me knew it was okay to allow him to disassemble the massive walls I’d been building around my heart for so long.
And this morning, I sat in bed writing my vows to marry this man while listening to this recording and absolutely bawling. There is so much overwhelming joy, so much inexplicable thankfulness. Most days I have no idea how to handle how simply beautiful this gift of a love story we’ve been given is.
I know most might not listen to this because it’s rather long, but it truly does mean the world to me. It wasn’t supposed to be recorded, but once I realized it was, I listened to it while falling asleep for months, his voice comforting me, the reality that this happened somehow reminding me that there is potential for complete vulnerability between two individual people.