Forty years ago today he said confident words to me. Something about seeds of love being planted and I was thinking skip the poetry just say it. He did, the exact words I don’t recall, but he asked this 19-year old girl to marry him and I said yes. It was a scared yes but I carried scars from my parents divorce. Did I really know what love was?
I said yes, if.
We’d been two months when he proposed. TWO! So my yes, if was if we could wait to announce our engagement. We weren’t strangers. We’d known each other from church, there’d been some flirting and me eyeing his shirtless body mowing the lawn at the church. But still….two months!
He said yes if, if we’d marry later that year.
We married eight months later. Our first child was born 13 months after that and our second 19 months after that. We found the breaks to slow this thing down to a manageable pace and settled ourselves in our small home. We planted roots in our church and with friends. We grew together in faith and relationships.
I learned what love is, or more what it isn’t.
Love isn’t always tender and sweet and romantic. It’s not scripted. It’s not cliche. Love isn’t easy.
Love is often duty and obligation. It’s getting children where they need to be and saying no more than yes some days. It’s putting nutritious food in front of them even if started it a box.
Love is saying I’m sorry and my fault and taking the blame at times it’s not yours to take. Love is reminding yourself of your faults every time you think of one of his.
Our love has taken us to a direction I once thought sounded old and tired: comfort. Maybe it is old and tired because I often feel that way. But this period of our comfortable love is more from knowing the other well. Knowing that he’s best early in the morning and has little left in the evening. Knowing when I’m muttering to myself or expecting him to answer. (This one still brings laughs) Knowing he’s a gentle soul and I need to be more gentle with my words.
Maybe it’s not so much a comfortable love than a knowing love. A love that knows we are there for each other. In the loud times and quiet. We know the moods, the seasons, the heart.
My scared yes was prompted by God. I know that. God provided for me what I didn’t know I needed. A man who could love me when I don’t much like myself. One who doesn’t turn away from my tears but pulls me closer and lets them fall on him. Before I knew, God knew. He always does.
Linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart