The best stories contain both impeccable moments as well as moments of complete disaster. First there must be a hook, something that draws you in and makes you want to stick around to see what is to come. Then the disaster hits only for redemption to rise up in a glorious finale. This is the kind of story I have been given. We love to love a love story, particularly the beginning and the end. The initial excitement that draws two people together is intoxicating. Then life flits by until we see the amazing beauty of an elderly couple holding onto one another while letting life itself slip away.
Those are the bookends of the best love stories, but what occurs between the bookends is more significant. Love cannot be proven authentic until it fills years that turn into decades.
I am blessed and honored by a love that if written, would capture the heart of all who see it.
First, the hook: two adults, in their young twenties, from opposite ends of rural America. One day, the girl is stopped in her tracks by love at first sight. Like every great couple, despite the power of the initial moment, there is struggle. A realignment must occur and at one point the couple isn’t sure whether or not such a significant alignment could or should occur. In a flurry of emotion, one day they push through the past and are in an instant bound together with a singular purpose.
As soon as they are married, the wife is injured in a car wreck that nearly takes her life. The couple must rise through the fear and trauma to heal and bond and learn that love and marriage is more than simple choices.
They travel the world simply for the purpose of coming home smarter and well fed. They leave family and friends for the sake of adventure, more than once. They create three beauties as reminders that action is an integral part of loving. They see dreams come true. They endured severe sickness. They see the best in each other and become better because of how they are seen.
They serve one another to the point of exhaustion. They see the wonders of the Earth. They live in trust, peace, and love. And no matter what has occurred in the day, they hold one another in the night.
This is what happens between the bookends of a love story. These moments hold the substance. A beginning and end are meaningless without hundreds of thousands of choices in between.
A relationship with God is structured the same way, your final day is not as significant as everyday before. In relationship with God, the treasure of life is not found in the bookends but in the unraveling story that is formed. Each day, each moment, can be filled to overflowing with the love and provision of God, despite circumstances of heartache and struggle. This is the key to truly amazing love.
Thank you, My Love, the gift of my life. I am eternally grateful for all that you are to me. Happy Valentine’s, dear.