“I love you.”
The words hung over the phone line as the strong arm of silence gripped me. In that moment, I could not utter the same. For three perfect weeks, I had been dancing through life on the wings of an idyllic song. I knew not whether I was here nor there. Was I even earthbound? I nearly felt as though I was drifting in the space between heaven and dirt, scarcely aware of life outside of him. I knew only that the loveliest sort of person had walked into my space and things were every sort of different than before. But… “I love you?” Why must he say this thing so soon? I had heard such a profession before, yet found only disappointment in the frailty of it. Perhaps this euphoric season was all but lost in an illusion of a similar fate.
Love. A frightening thought at times. A word so easily tossed, often stripped of authenticity and riddled with ulterior motives. For some love can symbolize pain of the ugliest kind. Love is often hastily defined by the world in which we live.
What is love? A dozen red roses, Hallmark greetings, and a romantic dinner? Or perhaps expensive chocolate and diamonds? Reckless promises and foolhardy words?
I have since learned that love is not feelings, gifts, and conditions. And without it? You can do all kinds of angelic things, but without love, God is not impressed. Love is so much more than a swoon at the wedding altar or the off-handed comment made to end a phone call to your mother. (“Love you. Bye.”)
Love is the character of God living within us and exhibited through every move we make. Put simply, love is a verb signifying action. It is His nature. When we choose to align our lives to His grand design, this supernatural love-nature affects our behavior in the greatest way. And because it His very essence to love… You are chosen to love and be loved. Yes, you.
And how blessed am I?
To be loved by God. And loved by the man who also chose me for his bride. I see the God-nature in him. He mirrors the love of God to me as he leads our home and covers me with prayer.
Love protects. Love endures. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Because in the end, I was able to reciprocate his robust profession. “I love you, too.”
Because we are better together.
Because we are blissfully bound by a covenant before God.
And Because we said so.
And I still do.
Happy Anniversary, Love. You are the one my heart calls home. 16 years and counting.
“Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away…”
Song of Songs 8:6-7b