I saw it today for the first time in years. The light in her eyes finally escaped its sullen shadow. And it’s because of you, but you wouldn’t take the credit.

She joked with me today, and I saw a girl I only spotted in glimpses months before.

I joked back, and she didn’t get defensive. Because you don’t make her feel like she’s under attack.

She smiles just to smile. Because she’s happy. Because she wants to. Not to hide her pain or to convince me she’s OK.

She is slowly but surely becoming unbroken. And it’s because of you.

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You are showing her how to trust again. You are showing her she is enough.

You are cleaning up the mess he made, little by little.

You are the man after the monster.

It’s not a title you asked for. It’s not recognition you need, it’s the raw truth.

You are not her savior, and you don’t claim to be. But she chose you, and you draw her out of herself. Away from her past, away from her pain.

And every day you choose her.

Over the hard. Over the messy.

Out of love.

Because you see something she can’t yet. You know someday she’ll be whole again.

You didn’t ask for this job, to live in his shadow. Sometimes she shies away from you because she forgets to turn on the light. After a while of living in the darkness, all the shadows look the same and she gets scared.

But you’re showing her how to turn on the light.

And when she finds it, all the fear, all the insecurities, all the broken pieces melt away.

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Then she comes back to you.

And she always will.

Because you’re her safe place.

You’re the man after the monster.

Amber Watson

I am a foster and adoptive mother from the sunny state of Florida. I am married and have two children and two dogs. I am a preschool teacher for a teen parent program at a high school and I love what I do. I am a lover of the creative arts and find myself most at peace among the work of our Creator.