I never thought I would fall in love.
I dreamed about it a lot. In junior high this looked like me and Orlando Bloom driving romantically into the sunset, but that’s what I thought love was at the time.
I would put myself into the role of my favorite heroine and pretend to be Buttercup ending up with a (slightly battered) Wesley or Anne of Green Gables finally getting her Gilbert.
I could picture a beautiful wedding, a perfect honeymoon, and a dreamy life together with prince charming.
But in the back of my mind, I knew it wouldn’t happen. My closest friends knew that my ultimate goal was to be a sixty-year-old lady surrounded by a big garden and lots and lots of cats. I thought maybe, maybe, I’d find my true love when I was old and wrinkled and we could have a few good years together before being tragically separated by death, but didn’t have high hopes.
You can imagine my surprise when I fell in love at the age of nineteen and almost immediately knew that this guy was The One! Almost four years later and I still can’t believe that I was given this man at such a young age. I have friends of various ages who are single- some happy with it, other’s not so much. I imagined myself growing old alone and am constantly overwhelmed by having this amazing man and best friend by my side.
But, in all those years of dreaming and imagining the most lovely of romances, I didn’t anticipate a few things.
The movies I watched growing up never showed the the almost-heart-bursting beams that enter your life when you fall in love. I don’t have children yet and can only imagine what it feels like to look at your own baby and feel your heart thumping with love and pride. However, I now know what it’s like to look at the face of my love and feel adrenaline burst through my body as I count the almost-invisible freckles on his nose and the various sports-related scars on his knees. I look down at our clasped hands and can’t believe that HE is holding MY hand, knuckles overlapping, palms squeezed together.
On the most regular of days, in between oatmeal and brushing teeth, I get little butterflies in my stomach when I think of his handsome face and laughing eyes that light up when I’m being silly. No novel or TV show prepared me for the way I would feel warm inside, flooded by love, by this one person.
Hand in hand with the giggles and goosebumps, along came a this teeny little fear that quickly grew into a small giant that likes to whisper its grumblings into my ear. With so much love in my heart for this man, what happens if I lose him?
A simple car accident, being in the wrong place at the right time, a painful disease, one of life’s cruel jokes… In less than a second, we could lose all that we have. When that thought comes into my mind (thank you, small giant) I become frozen. Why should I love if it could all go away? Why be vulnerable and open, sharing the deepest, darkest parts of my soul, if this might end sooner rather than later?
While my trust in Tyler is complete and whole, we don’t know what the world will throw at us. My love and admiration for this man can bring me to tears as I imagine the worst. Wanting to live brave and bold, traveling, following our passions, truly living, can also bring terror and fear.
I’m so in awe of this beautiful man that God has entrusted into my care that I’m sometimes at a loss of words, wishing there were words bigger and better than “love” or “boyfriend” or “future husband.” I can’t find any words that truly explain how I feel about him or how we feel about each other and how amazed we are that we are together.
Life can be so beautiful and yet so delicate. You can live big and also lose those you love. It is easy (so easy!) to let fear dictate how I react and how I love. But when I look at this man in my life and know that God has him with me for wonderful reasons, then I know that I am meant to love him without holding back, without letting terror weave its tentacles around my heart.
At the end of the day, doesn’t the fact that we can’t guarantee those we love will always be around us make that love greater? Love is not meant to be safe or calm. Love is a force to be reckoned with that can tear down walls and rebuild passion.
Have you experienced these feelings? Do you love someone so much that when you think of the possibility of losing them that you find you suddenly can’t breathe? I’d love to know how you move forward in those moments!