Our Love Story

8:39 AMHeather

Here we are.  January 7, 2014.  In case you were not in the loop, this is my 19th wedding anniversary.  Yep.  THIS happened, 19 years ago today.

Wow.  Till death do us part.  I had no qualms about making that covenant vow.  Because of our love story.

I love our love story, but then again--I'm a bit partial.  It reads a little like a fairy tale.  If you know it, watched it, or have heard it before--pretend you haven't.  

I was a damsel in distress.  Oh, yes.  Exactly like a Disney movie.  Only I can't sing worth a lick.  And there were no spontaneous choreographed dances involved.  But, I was stuck.  Deep in a pit of despair.  Grief crashing over me.  Having just lost my dad.  And for reasons I won't bother discussing, I was feeling abandoned and alone in the world.  So much had shifted in my personal and family relationships when my dad died.  

Three months later, I went back to Baylor, having no idea how I was going to pay for it.  To say I was depressed might be the biggest understatement of all time.  I was a mess.  Feeling completely unlovable.  Bless them, to my friends and roommates, I was an anomaly.  I didn't think anyone knew quite what to do with me.  It was not pretty, folks.  Behind that smile I plastered on except when the tears couldn't be choked back.

And there he was.  My knight in shining armor.  The most gregarious, friendliest, charismatic guy I'd ever met.  Everyone knew him.  I mean, everyone.  Apparently, I was the only one at Baylor University who had not known him our entire freshmen year.  If you know my man, you know he never meets a stranger.  He was cute, too.  And kind.  Humble.  Genuinely humble.  And caring.  

And I realized he kinda dug me.  In fact, we quickly began to spend every waking moment together that we could.  And, miracle of all miracles, he was the only person in that season who was not scared of my mess.  He, in fact, seemed more than happy to help carry my brokenness.  I swear--I cried through most of our first date.  Because it was a Wayne Watson concert for his album Home Free.  C'mon--you children of the 80's who listened to contemporary Christian music.  You know the one.  The album inspired by a close friend who had died after a battle with cancer.  Stab. Me. In. The. Heart. 

Yet, the guy asked me out again.  And again.  He stuck around through upteen eye infections, stomach infections, a four day hospital visit after he had to drive me to the ER, and shingles.  I was physically falling apart as much as I was emotionally.

And he wouldn't budge by my side.  He hasn't since then either.  That was 23 years go.  He has seen me through more ridiculous illnesses and such than I care to remember. Migraines.  A freaky sinus infection that ate through the skin.  That botox migraine injection thing.  And most recently, my little back surgery.  I seem to cover the "in sickness" part while he upholds the "in health" part.  

In the hard moments and the good ones, he is steadfast.  He serves and loves and protects and partners with me.  For reasons I have yet to figure out, he seems to adore me.  And I just can't express how I love him for that.  Have you ever felt loved beyond comprehension when you feel the very most unlovable?  It is overwhelming.

19 years of marriage.  3 kids.  2 apartments.  2 houses.  2 jobs for him.  2 jobs for me.  3 church homes during our marriage.  We are kinda steady eddy.  And we like it that way.  We love how we've built roots in this community.  Our kids have friends they've known since kindergarten.  We have friends we've known since college.  It's quite a life God has blessed us with here, in our little household.  

Oh, we've had rocky times.  We've had disagreements.  We've mourned through various losses.  We've struggled through our share of tough seasons.  Our love has grown from that butterfly in the stomach thing to a deep abiding love that brings security and comfort.  It's my rock.  It's not always easy.  But, it is my choice and my covenant and my promise.  And it's his, too.  

When I think about how I've been loved by this man who made me his wife, I cannot even put words to it.  It's beyond any scene of The Notebook or any happy ending to a Disney film.  Because it's real.  It's messy and hard and wonderful and challenging and rewarding and steadfast.

These are all the thoughts that raced through my head when I saw THIS quote.
Mind blown.  I'm praying to understand and rest in God's love more this year.  I hope that if you're looking for me, you'll find me resting at the feet of Jesus.

And I'm thankful for the lifetime I'm enjoying with the one person who loves me best.

Happy Anniversary, Chris!  I'm going to love you forever, forever and ever, A-men.

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