I am no stranger to storybook romance. Marrying at twenty to the sweetest man, I am blessed to be familiar with this form of love - love as a falling and a pursuit and a passion. We were introduced for the first time on a cold February evening, bundled up as we stood outside while snow gently fell around us. We stood there with our cherry-red noses, enamored with each other.
One month later we were engaged. We were married three months after that, with vows breathed in the little country church I was born into.
We both entered marriage in love with being in love. I adored the romance, comfort and support a spouse offered. I loved waking up beside him each morning and laying down beside him each night. I loved that he was my best friend and knew me better than anyone. We had our own unwritten language and could share a look or a word that no one else would understand but WE knew what it meant. I loved how he could make me laugh more than anyone else.
Throughout the years, I've collected every card and love letter my husband has written me. I have them all safely tucked away but on occasion will pull an old one out and pour over the words. It's in that moment, between the lines, I can see this love of ours has, without a doubt, changed over time.
It isn’t because it's any less. It isn't because we're walking through a valley. It isn't because the laundry is piled sky high. It is something different.
Throughout the past twenty-one years we've made a conscious choice to daily say that we still do, even now, especially now.
He has continued to choose me, even on days I wear sweat pants and a messy bun. He has continued to choose me, throughout every sickness and surgery. He has continued to choose me, even when I'm undeserving.
And I've chosen him. This is daily love.
Daily love is strung together choices. The feelings, undoubtedly, will rise and fall. Being in love with love will fade as the toughness of life becomes a reality. But marriage is not meant to be a lifetime commitment to fairy tale love alone. Marriage is designed to be a repetitive I do
, a daily commitment of choosing us
Marriage was designed specifically by God to mirror the relationship between Christ and His church. In marriage, we are acting out a living parable to help our children and others around us grasp what God is like in a more concrete way.
Over the years God has softened and shaped my heart. He has shown me that I need to love my husband without unreal, fairy tale expectations. He has shown me that marriage means intentionally looking for love. It's in those moments, when I pause and reflect, I am flooded with displays of love right in front of me:
- It’s in the endless miles he's driven me to appointments.
- It’s in the washing, drying and folding of laundry he does.
- It’s in the hug and kiss I get when he walks in the door.
- It’s in the time we spend together, from grocery shopping to shooting guns.
- It’s in his understanding when somehow 8 backyard chickens suddenly become 43.
- It’s in his support of all my crazy ideas.
In these ways and thousands of others, he shows me, he tells me, he loves me.
I am so thankful our love story has so many chapters left to be written in it. As your love story is written by the ultimate Author of love, you might just be surprised at the romance you find. And just how much your husband does, in fact, resemble prince charming. No matter what the situation, or what mess it may hold, he's still my hero and I’m still his girl.