I know that every teenager and young twenty-something firmly believes that they understand the meaning of love, and I will never be a person to judge whether they do or not … but I thought I understood love.
When I met and dated Russ, I just KNEW that I was in love with him after 6 months. I could not imagine my life without him. He was the chocolate to my milk, the pinesol to my mop, the butterflies that made my heart flutter. Little did I know that after 10 years together, 6 years of marriage, one miscarriage after two years of marriage, and now life with our son – I would just now begin to see and understand the real definition and depth of love. Our love is not ‘for a moment,’ but ‘for a lifetime.’
I never thought love was a feeling, but of course, he makes my heart flutter.
I never thought love was just for a moment, but little did I know how love strengthens and deepens over time.
I never understood the depth of my love for him, and I look forward to continue on this journey of letting it unravel.
Love is a verb, an action, a lifelong journey. Love is forgiveness. In a world where it seems that one fight ends with the “divorce” word being thrown around, I promise to always fight for love. Love is not easy. I have heard so many people say that, “your relationship seems so perfect” to couples all around them. No relationship is perfect. Every couple goes through a roller coaster journey – times where you are holding on for dear life and times when you can’t help but giggle like a giddy schoolgirl on the way to the ice-cream shop.
Russ challenges me. Russ loves me when I am moody, stubborn, and difficult. He loves me without makeup and while I’m lounging in sweatpants, eating a slice (or three) of pizza. When I look at the man who I get to spend the rest of my life with, my heart flutters. God has blessed me immensely. Why am I saying all of this? With time, love grows stronger, just as our relationship with Christ strengthens over time. Successful relationships are not based merely on feeling, but the time and energy you are willing to put in it.
You may be a teenager or young adult dealing with a difficult heartbreak or perhaps you are waiting for your Prince Charming. You may currently be young and married, dealing with a difficult situation that is causing chaos in your marriage. We faced financial difficulties, the hardships of working, being in college, being married before we were twenty, and the heartache of pain from within our marriage and our own individual battles. The journey may be difficult, but it IS worth it. We will continue to face obstacles in life.
Here are 3 quick “to do’s:”
1. Thrive in the moment.
If you are married, single, dating, or engaged – realize the beauty of a moment. Treasure moments with Christ, with your spouse, with your friends. When you begin to treasure moments, this will help you in marriage and dating relationships. Enjoy sitting on the back porch watching the stars, take a long walk on the beach, go hiking, play your guitar in a rainforest (I have no idea why this sounds so amazing right now!). Embrace moments and create wonderful memories! Beautiful moments are things we must hold on to during the hardships of life.
2. Realize that no relationship is PERFECT.
If you are married or dating, don’t get discouraged when you see couples posting their cute hand-holding or kissy-kissy pictures that say #PRINCECHARMING or #PERFECTCOUPLE. Couples don’t broadcast to the world if they are in a possibly life-altering fight with their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. Couples don’t ramble about all of their fights on social media (well, I guess some do).
Relationships are not about attaining perfection, they are about embracing and learning from moments and spending time with the person you love. It’s about overcoming challenges together.
Marriage is about creating a God-centered home that is built on love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and hope. If you are single, don’t paint a picture of perfection in a significant other that you might never find. At the same time, don’t settle. You must set standards but realize that no human being is PERFECT. IE: men do pass gas, tend to leave dirty laundry on the floor, and often leave toothpaste on the sink. Sorry, ladies!
3. Make every day count! Live every day to the fullest.
Whether you are married or single, live with the mindset of making today count rather than spending your entire day planning for the future. I have missed so many moments because I became consumed with trying to make things better for the future.
Focus on today. Tell your spouse you love them TODAY. Kiss your spouse goodnight, whether you are frustrated with them or not. Send a sweet text message to your husband. Make moments count NOW rather than being consumed with everything else around you. This is how life passes us by.
This thing called love is absolutely breath-taking and life-changing. It is not easy. It is a rare gem.
Treasure the time you have with the people you love.
If you are young and married, know that you will face hardships and obstacles, but in the end, they can strengthen and deepen your love for one another.
Don’t give up when things get tough. Love is not built on a feeling. Love is a commitment.
Love is a gift that should not be exchanged or discarded. Hold on to that beautiful gift and work hard at making your relationship work.
Perfection is not fun or realistic – fun is when you can giggle, disagree and makeup, eat pizza in your sweatpants and slow dance in the kitchen while you cook dinner together.
Beautiful Chaos is about finding joy, hope and healing – no matter what phase of life you are in.