You know those times when you suddenly feel as though you’ve grown up a little? You can’t necessarily pinpoint what made it happen, but you feel as though you understand things a little better and can move forward with a little more wisdom and rest.
This is a story of one of those moments.
Recently, when I thought about married life I imagined it would be made up of many moments of what, for the sake of this essay, I will call ‘honeymoon love’. I expected that in those perfect fleeting moments we would understand what it meant to love each other the most. That the distraction less, painless, dreamlike, and most exciting times would be the ones that would deepen our bond and our hearts together.
But I was wrong.
Honeymoon love is a powerful thing, it is the spark, the initial attraction, the realization of deeper feelings, the exciting conversations, the big moments, and the amazing presence of joy. It is the kind of love you feel when all of the factors have combined into one beautiful, flawless moment. They are the moments that are blissful and striking and they are essential experiences in a healthy relationship that should always be appreciated, but what they are not…is enduring, nor the truest form of love.
True love, the kind of love that ties minds and hearts together, is the kind of love you admit to and cling to in the hardest, and even most dramatic, moments. The times when the circumstances combine into an instant that isn’t perfect, poetic, or easy. It’s the moment you look into your partner’s eyes and feel afraid and confused, but you know you have to trust them even if every part of you is aching to be able to understand and succeed on your own. It’s the moment you finally admit to yourself that you are holding back because you are afraid to let someone else hold you up even for a moment. When you choose to finally ignore every negative voice in your mind that whisper he is only there because you somehow forced him or bothered him enough. The voices that pretend to be trying to save you, but are only concocting lies that frighten you into feeling like you have to save yourself. It’s in those broken moments when you, for the first time know what it really means to trust someone else without complicating emotions and voices tagging along, sense the pureness of true love.
And by silencing the voices and releasing the fear of losing control it quietly becomes such a true moment that it takes your breath away and with less clarity and awareness than ever before, you somehow understand better then you ever have in your life.
True love is a trusting love. A love that is the most frightening because you must lose all your guards to know it. It must leave you in a vulnerable state that accepts confrontation, refuses to hold grudges, and opens your heart to responding to another with the most hopeful intentions. It’s the kind of love that truly breaks a heart when it is lost or wounded, but one that is too worthy and too exceptionally able to forgive and recover to be forever lost.
And so, true love is known and suddenly it makes better sense how it can continue to grow stronger and deeper in the midst of a life that is so imperfect and difficult and that doesn’t give nearly as many moments of honeymoon love to sustain a relationship.
To my truest love, and greatest picture on earth of Christ’s deep love for me, Justin, I am finding I love you with a love I am only just beginning to understand and I wouldn’t want it any other way.