Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Love and Other Questions I Should Probably Ask...(Part One)

So lately it seems everyone I know is falling in love. Well, almost everyone I know. I'm not in love. I don't think my nephew is in love unless you count a borderline obsessive compulsion over Power Rangers "in love".
( Don't worry, we're getting him help...)

But what does that mean..."in love"?

I realized this week that I have no idea.

Its weird to think that I have somehow made it 29 years avoiding the "big L", but there it is. Not that I haven't tried, but if you recall from last weeks blog, guys weren't exactly banging down my door. I have a long history of some pretty hilarious blind dates, which I'll save for another blog. Let's just say they involved monster truck rallies, ice cream facials, arson attempts and sword fighting. No lie.

But still, nothing. 29 years and not even a blip on the radar. Well...maybe tiny blips here and there, but probably more infatuation than love. This is all quite ironic since I was determined that I was going to be married and have 5 kids by now. Heck, I would have probably gotten married at 8 if someone had let me.

As little girls, we have a tendency to view romantic love through the lens of a heroic prince coming to rescue us from whatever Disney movie was in fashion then. To my 8- year- old mind, falling in love was a sweeping and dramatic display of a romance between a  woebegone maiden, desperate for a savior and a valiant prince on a white steed, fighting heaven and hell to rescue his love. Sound like anyone we know? Hindsight man...hindsight.

Once I got past the "my husband is my saviour" perception of marriage and love, it still left the questions "What does is mean to be in love?" and "How do you know when you're in it?"

I asked these questions to some women in my life this week. Their answers were similar but each from a different perspective. My mother, who's been married to my father for almost 34 years, said "You know you're in love when you can't imagine your life without it would physically hurt to be apart from them."

This is actually something she knows all too well about. She and my father seperated for over a year when I was in high school. It was amazing, though, to watch my dad during that time. He would come over and mow our grass, buy us groceries and help pay our rent, all while he live in his brother's creepy basement. I saw Jesus move through that man and he had absolutely no idea. I remember when they got back together, I asked my mom why. She said "Because I finally saw him."

Arian has been married for 8 years now and has 3 adorable little boys. (p.s. she's also an amazing artist! check out her Etsy shop here ). To her, the terms "in love" and "love" have 2 different meanings.

"In love seems like it has more to do with positive effects the other person has on you (i.e. excited, pursued, giddy, etc.) But then there is love that's a choice. Its unconditional. When couples divorce because they "fell out of love", its because they were looking at the relationship from a self serving point of view, not a "how can I love and serve you"  point of view. That's why my husband and I say, "I love you and I'm in love with you." They're not the same thing."

Then you have my newly married friend, Christine. And by newly married, I mean really the ink isn't even dry on their marriage license. She and her husband deeply love the Lord, probably more than most I have seen. She responded, "The One who is love defines the relationship. You desire for your hurts to be healed for the sake of loving yourself and someone else to the fullest. When you're in love, you start to see your relationship with the Father in a more tangible way."

Tragically, not every love story has a happy ending. Being in love doesn't always secure everlasting bliss. Sometimes it lasts for a moment and then something will cause it to fade away. Deborah, one of my dearest friends, told me a story about a man she was once in love with.

"I remember I saw him and the thought came to me, "You're gonna fall in love with this guy." Within a week or two, I found myself utterly enamored. It was like finding your long-lost best friend. I knew him and he knew me. I was so attracted to his heart. I could tell him anything,anything at all, and he would never reject me. There was something so safe and beautiful about that. "

Their love story wasn't meant to be. Several years after their parting of ways, the man died in a hit and run accident.


So where does all that leave me? Good question. Boy do I have a great answer. I have no idea. 

Someday I will tell you about my blind dates. Someday I'll tell you about my almost love stories. Some day I will tell you about my journey in the world of online dating. Someday. But maybe not today.

I'm not sure when and if I will ever fall in love. Im still not sure if I even fully understand what it means. I guess its probably on of those "you don't know till you're in it" kind of things. I can, however, promise you that if I ever do, it will most assuredly be comical...mostly because the group of women who have their cell phone alarms set to remind them to pray for my husband every day at noon (their idea...not mine.) will rejoice in the fact that they can finally enjoy their lunches in peace.

 I also hope it will be inspiring. You know, the kind of story that makes you cry and laugh and amazed at the power of God. I hope... I hope... I hope.

I hope.

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