Sometimes, it’s wave after wave of circumstance that chokes out romance or the feeling part of love, laying bare just the faithfulness.
Sometimes, it feels like work—like the conscious choosing, over and over again—yes, I choose you, even though it doesn’t feel particularly good at this moment, I still choose you.
Sometimes it feels crowded—with children and family, with work and stress, with others—so that even the choosing feels far off.
All this is true. And it’s all worth mentioning because, God forbid, you’re in a season like this with your love and you feel alone. Don’t ever believe the lie that it’s always supposed to feel good, that these aren’t all real and necessary seasons of lifelong love. They just are. And if you haven’t hit one yet, just hold on and you will, then keep holding on through it.
Sometimes it feels like four nights away in a too-big-for-us bed with white-sugar sand and the Gulf of Mexico just out our window. Like roaming around an unfamiliar island, following behind him on a borrowed bike, not caring where we end up. Sometimes it’s wandering through a bookstore, for myself, but losing him in the stacks and then being shocked at the books he chose for himself. It’s reveling in a surprise, twelve years in. It’s talking and dreaming across the table, along the beach, across the covers, and then his familiar hand on my thigh from the lounge chair beside me and, “Does it get any better than this, my love?” Sometimes it's peaceful silence.
It’s convincing him to come to a yoga class and, when asked by the retired ladies beside us if we had just gotten married, realizing that, as a matter of fact yes, we had. Just ten years ago, almost eleven. Sometimes it really is these things, then returning to our house of giddy children, anxious to scoop them up and squeeze them, to kiss their cheeks and memorize their faces, just as they are, right this minute. It’s a red tablecloth and paper-heart Valentines in little, dollar-store mailboxes on our breakfast table.
I will throw my arms wide with gratitude to receive this season, knowing we will need these gifts to sustain us when leaner, harder times inevitably come. Whatever season you find yourself in today, I hope you find rest in the knowledge that you are loved.