Today’s guest post comes from Amy at Forever Beloved.
Find the original post here!
I am no stranger to storybook romance. Marrying at twenty to the sweetest man, I am blessed to be familiar with 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.
I am also no stranger to going against the grain and doing life differently than others. 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.
Falling in love is the most blissful feeling. With each new discovery in your relationship, you feel yourself falling more and more in love. You just know, in your heart of hearts, that you’ve found the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Your days are filled with dreams of getting married, writing their last name after your first name, having a family and sitting on the porch swing holding hands while watching your grandkids play in the yard. You are certain these feelings will last forever. But they didn’t.
Eventually the laundry piles up, the kids are hanging on your leg screaming, you’re both sleep deprived from the new baby, the house looks like a tornado went through and the bills are more than your income. In that moment you feel your happily ever after wearing off.
You begin to wonder if you even married the right person. It seems everything he does gets on your nerves, from the way he leaves his socks on the stairs to the way he chews his food. The person you are married to isn’t the same person you fell in love with. You begin to doubt your choice. You look at other couples around you, so happily in love, and you wonder why you don’t have that. You feel life isn’t fair, at least yours isn’t. Before long, you can feel your heart slowly drifting away from his.
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 and the bills are mounting. It is something different.
Love is more of a choice than a feeling.
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.
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. As life goes on we all change, we grow, we mature, and life changes us. 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 over me. You choose to love who they are at each point in life, not only who they used to be.
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 I am flooded with displays of love right in front of me. Love is the endless miles he’s driven me to doctor appointments. Love is the hug, kiss and butt slap I get when he walks in the door. Love is the laundry he does. Love is his understanding that somehow 8 backyard chickens suddenly became 50. Love is his support of all my crazy Pinterest ideas. It’s in these ways and thousands of others that 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.