He found me when I was like a brittle bone — strong on the outside but likely to shatter with one wrong move.
Like a person does with a brittle bone, I kept it wrapped and protected. I was hungry for love, yet didn’t know how to say it. My previous relationship was defined by hurt and deceit, so in response to my man’s pursuit, I lashed out when he came near and set boundaries around myself he was not allowed to cross. My expectations and actions fought with one another pulling me in opposite directions and trapping him in a whirlwind of confusion and feelings of inadequacy. “Love me, but don’t come too close.”
But he still chose me, nurtured me, and embraced me with protection. He worked hard at holding my broken pieces together until they were healed, and he found his way to my heart. His determination and loyalty outweighed my doubts and failures, so I willingly gave in to his chase.
As we grew in love, I watched him grow from a boy to a man. Sure, he was 27 when we met and of a man’s age, but his heart was broken when he found me in ways he hadn’t realized. He had a journey of healing ahead of him–a journey that almost broke him at times but instead drew us closer together to be a pillar of relentless strength.
Our first few years of marriage formed a shaky foundation; we knew we were meant to be together, but our personalities were often in conflict. The only thing I knew to do was to step outside of myself and see this man before me from a perspective outside of my broken and selfish lens.
What I saw still makes me catch my breath today…
I saw a servant. He gave until he had nothing left. And then he found ways to give more.
I saw curiosity. Figuring out how everything worked and discovering practical ways for improvement always put a smile on his face. He sees the world much differently than me, but he makes the world better through his curiosity.
I saw loyalty. No matter what obstacle we faced, he wanted to grow and find the bridge that would take us to the other side of our struggles. Never pushing me ahead or dragging me behind, but remaining fixed by my side–steady and strong. He was invested in the character of our relationship over our image.
I saw joy. Through the hard times, he would carry a smile on his face and continually loosened me up with his humor. Experiencing his joy is like sitting in complete freedom. It’s vibrant, loud, and replaces all my negative emotions.
Our love story wasn’t the fairytale I had imagined as a young girl–a story of instant love, heroic rescue, and eternal happiness. Our story was one that was built through commitment, insecurity, tears, and laughter. The childhood fairytale was replaced by a story full of challenges that made the love that much better to find.
We could have settled for a life of obstacles and clashing personalities, but we didn’t want to merely coexist. Instead, we wanted roots that kept us standing when the storms came and love we could continue to feed for a lifetime.
Heading into a week long vacation with this man without our kids, work, and any other distractions, I am over the moon excited to get to know him even more and to look back on the last five years knowing we fought hard building our love.
Love is based on more than feelings that fluctuate and can’t always be trusted; it’s a commitment that’s bigger than taking the easy way out, and it’s one that will last a lifetime because that’s what we have chosen.
I wrote this because it’s important to know that your marriage doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. Your story is your own and the way you choose to write your story is up to you. We want to challenge you through our journey to fight for love and accept your love story for exactly what it is.
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