My Favorite Love Story [Five Years]
As a writer there is nothing I love more than a good romance, but out of the hundreds of stories I've read over the years nothing comes close to the real-deal.
On Sunday, Jonathan and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary! After having been together for 8 years, 5 of those as his Bride, I can honestly say that real-life is so much better than any fairytale. For when you let the author of the universe write your love story, how could it be anything less than magical?
I like to say that our story began at Virginia Tech, but really it began long before then. It began before the creation of the world, when God in his infinite wisdom laid out the pages of our lives. Writing the very moment when two of his children, born on opposite sides of the country, one in California and one in North Carolina, would cross miles and state-lines to come together at just the right moment in a small college town in Southwest VA.
We were just babies when we started dating, I was 18 and he 19. I knew nothing of love, I just knew that he was ridiculously attractive, loved Jesus, and could make me laugh like no one I'd ever met. He shared my affinity for Mexican food, bought me books, and surprised me with flowers for no reason at all. He was old-fashioned, asking my father for permission to date me and not giving up when I made him wait two more weeks before I said yes.
The next few years were idyllic, filled with football games and Panera study dates, long walks around the duck pond and late-night phone calls during long summers apart. Our love grew like the sweet potato vine, slowly, and then overnight. To college students marriage seemed a long way off and we were in no rush.
Then tragedy struck. We lost friends. Attended funerals. Priorities shifted.
Jonathan began talking of going to the mission field and I balked. This was not what I had signed up for. I wanted a cushy life, a comfortable one where we had 2.5 kids, a dog and the white picket fence, preferably some land and chickens to go with it. We were at a crossroads and I had to decide what I wanted more: what I thought was my ideal life, or to follow Jonathan as he followed the Lord?
Praise God that I chose Jonathan. This man who pushes me beyond myself and makes my life more than I ever imagined it would be.
On a snowy January eve, in the same spot he first asked me out, with twinkly lights aglow and the sun setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains Jonathan first told me he loved me, then asked me to marry him. I said yes.
We've had five wonderful years of kissing goodnight and waking up together. Five years of cooking dinner and folding laundry. Five years of coffee dates, and breakfast dates, and late-night Target dates. Five years of trips and adventures and lazy afternoons reading on the couch. Five years of laughter and love and tears. Five years of serving and learning and grace, so much grace.
We didn't end up on the mission field in India or some other far-off place. Instead we're ministering to college students right here in this small-town where we first fell in love...and continue to fall in love in the midst of the everyday ordinary of this wild and lovely life we've created together.
Five years. Here's to 1,000 more.