We express our love for our teams here almost more than we do for our families. We loved our football team all the way to another championship game! And, after a tough loss, our love left us somewhat dazed, confused, and disappointed.
Sound a bit like marriage? We buy into The Love that Will Last Forever, that will encapsulate us in security and be the thing that changes our lives. And when one thing goes wrong, that love becomes like everything else: an option.
Like a fire, love must be stoked, shored up with some good kindling and hot coals under the wood to make it burn through the night, and to help it endure through the cold parts of life.
We don’t have a sexy statue here in Tuscaloosa, but we do have thousands of couples, many married with children, defying the odds that love will see them through. And we have plenty of singles, yearning for that perfect someone to make them more than themselves.
Love can be exciting, daring, and amazingly confusing. It can also be safe, secure, and sometimes mundane. But it’s the one thing that God intended as the greatest of all things. It’s worth holding on to.
The journal my grandmother left about her first year of marriage is both surreal and refreshing, as she loved everything about the man with whom she was “housekeeping” – even though they were in somewhat of an arranged marriage. I still believe you can’t choose who you love, but you can choose to love.
When the “grown” kids were home over Christmas, I was overwhelmed with that love. As they bustled about, I pulled out old boxes of pictures and letters.
The love that poured from the words in cards and letters I found from my entire lifetime reminded me that words of love are the greatest gift. A precious 2004 letter from Clara, whom I have written about before, is a favorite. She poured out her wisdom on the pages, just before my marriage to Chad.
This year, I plan to write those who have meant something to me. When I see old friends, I bring up old times. Most say, “How do you remember that?” I am touched by moments that made me who I am. Maybe they were good, maybe not so wise. But they are all part of the story that brought me here.
What events shaped your story? Who influenced you to make a decision that changed your life? Who inspired you? This month, in the spirit of writing Valentines, grab a pen and paper and fill the hearts of others with the memories that made a difference in your life.
Share the love. That is my goal for you this February.
Blessings and love,