Here we are,  times we have celebrated Valentine’s Day. How far we have come and how deeply we have learned to love. When I say love, I mean the kind of love that endures storms and deserts and valleys. We have learned to love by giving instead of taking. This didn’t come naturally to us, but I think we are finally getting it.
It’s not easy, loving a person even through their most trying moments. We were basically strangers when we exchanged our vows but isn’t everyone? It takes years to break past the walls and really see a person for who they are. In ways, I feel like I am just lately really getting to know you. I can safely say, I love you for who you are, and who you will one day be.
Not long ago, you gave me a card dear husband. Inside you wrote a quote by Mother Theresa that said:
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
It’s true, isn’t it? To love past the hurt brings amazing depths of love. I am glad we have found this secret. Thank you for deciding that no matter what, we were going to figure this thing out. I appreciate your determination. I can’t express how much it causes me to admire you. It takes a real man to stand and fight for something that he can’t fully see. To fight for what might be, rather than what is.
C.S. Lewis pretty much summed it up:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
It is tempting to hold tightly to our own hearts and not let anyone touch them for fear of them getting split to pieces. But that is a selfish and lonely path. I want to be vulnerable with you because that is where the miracles take place. Stepping out in faith, and falling right off the edge together. It feels scary at times, but at least I am falling with and for you.
Sure, we have had some dark times my dear husband. But we have had beautiful times too. The best part of this journey with you is seeing the changes take place. The sparks of hope keep us going. You suddenly are more patient, and I am more thoughtful. Imagine THAT. We find ourselves feeling just plain happy, and we know that we have rounded another bend.
That is the best thing about true love — it’s God ordained. And God is never content for us to stay the same. He brings us forward. He uses difficulty and turmoil and weaknesses and he changes us. We look back and we see His hand and we realize that things are different because of His tender mercy. We can rest knowing that He won’t let us stay the same. During the dry spells, this keeps us going. We know the rain will come again.
I am glad I bumped into you so long ago. I am glad we didn’t listen when they said we were too young. I am glad we didn’t listen when they said we didn’t need so many kids. I am glad we didn’t listen when they said we were too broken to fix things. In the middle of the chaos and confusion, one voice rang true, and that is the voice of our Lord, bringing — sometimes dragging — us through to the other side.
And now, my dear husband after all of these years, we have decided to put enough things aside to become good friends. I’m glad we caught on because I have a blast with you when we are able to just relax. We do still enjoy each other! We are still people, not just parents! Phew.
Thank you for being brave with me and chasing true love. Hollywood can keep their version. I want our love, the kind that is wrapped in the Gospel and keeps giving long after we are no longer in the mood to do so. I love the journey of us. And I can’t wait to walk all of the rest of my steps with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day…