My husband and I were friends for several years before we started dating. Dom had always been someone that I admired. He made me laugh more than anyone I had ever met. Over a long period of friendship, our mutual admiration for one another grew into something more. We both realized that we simply couldn't see our lives without the other in it. I mean, what’s not to like about the guy? He’s handsome, hilarious, talented, in love with God (swoon), in love with me (swoon again), a great dancer, a great cook, has great taste in music, incredibly well spoken. Not to mention he's made me feel like a princess from day one. There were days back when we were dating when I would get zero work done because I literally couldn't stop thinking about him. It was like a romantic comedy on overdrive.
But what would happen if that's all that I knew of love? Just how Dom makes me "feel"? What happens if, one day, I don't have that feeling anymore? I think a lot of us these days fall into a trap of thinking that love is like what we see in a Nicholas Sparks movie. Spoiler alert: it's not.
There's a lyric in an Audrey Assad song that says, "Love planted deeply becomes what it ought to be." I've always loved that line. You see, love isn’t about a feeling. Let's face it, feelings come and go with the wind. Our feelings are going to change and grow as we change and grow over time. It's not something to be fearful of. Rather, it's something that reminds us that our emotions can’t be counted on. When love is rooted in Christ, everything is different. When you love who God is making a person to be rather than how a person makes you feel, that's when love can truly grow into all that God has planned for it.
Dom is someone who challenges me to become the best version of myself. He champions me and pushes me on because he knows that God has great plans for my life, even when I forget or don’t see it. He inspires me. He leads me to Jesus every single day because he understands that the Lord is the only one that can complete my heart. He affirms me for who I am, accepts me for who I am, LOVES me for who I am.
All that being said, just because we are in love doesn't mean that we have a fairytale relationship. Relationships take a lot of effort, even the good ones. We disagree sometimes (shocking!). It can be really frustrating when we challenge each other to become better. It's never fun to be called out and it certainly doesn't "feel" good. In the short year and 4 months that we've been married, I've had to learn the hard way that I don't know everything, my way is not the only way, I'm not perfect, and that even though I love Dom deeply, he will fail me sometimes because he is also not perfect. The truth is we're just two imperfect people trying to become as holy as we can this side of heaven, and the Lord has blessed us with one another as a team on that journey.
Love is so much more than a feeling. It's transforming. True love is sanctifying. True love leads us to humility. True love leads us closer to Jesus, not further away. True love sacrifices for the good of your heart, it doesn't send you into the confession line. True love brings peace and joy, not anxiety and fear. True love makes you come alive and helps you to become the person God created you to be. True love means the cross. And in the end, that is the only thing that matters. How much did we love, how open were we to Love, and how we share His love with others.
I pray that wherever you are and whatever season of life you're in that you will know you are worth it. You are worth this kind of selfless love. No matter how long you have to wait for it. Don't give up hope.
I Choose You
When love is a dream
And it's all as it should be
I will choose you
When love is a storm
Through the fire or the flood
Still, I choose you
I choose you
(C 2015 Sarah Kroger and Sarah Hart)