The Greatest Love Story
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”-St. Augustine
I did not meet my husband until I was 30. So, I had 30 years of daydreaming about what being in love and married life looked like. I had the usual thoughts, that it would be a mix of every romantic movie I had ever seen, plus babies. And when I met Walther, he did not disappoint. He was (and IS) a very romantic man. He sings to me, takes care of me, is thoughtful, and patient…so, so, patient. We courted for 9 months before he proposed, on a beautiful vineyard after a horse drawn carriage ride. See? SO romantic.
And then we were blessed with a son, and then a second son, and now, pregnant with our 3rd child, the romance is there, but has changed. Now, when he loads the dishwasher, I see hearts. When he takes the boys to the park so I can watch my shows, I swoon. And when he lets me sleep in on the weekends, I literally cannot love him more. Romance changes. Marriage, I am finding, is hard work. Not for lack of love, but because we can’t just go to a vineyard for the day anymore. We are not able to spend the day at the park sharing our favorite sweets and staring deeply into each other’s eyes. Kids are demanding, they are little and so dependent and don’t know any other way. We have to work hard at our marriage and make it a priority.
I am learning that Walther is not the greatest love of my life. He is my husband, and I love him more than I ever imagined possible, but he does not fulfill every part of me. He is human, and flawed, as am I, and we just are not going to be able to be everything for one another. There is only ONE romance in my life that has changed literally EVERYTHING in my life in a thousand ways. That one romance, is long, and deep, intimate, and without reserve. That romance, is with Jesus Christ.
I encountered the Lord when I was in high school, and He remained. When I stopped going to mass, He remained. When I sinned again and again, He remained. He never has failed me, loves me at my worst, and reminds me daily of His goodness.
I think as a single woman I used to believe that my life was going to BEGIN as soon as my vocation began. What I am realizing, slowly, is that when we love God and are in right relationship with him, everything else will follow. Our lives are filled with all the love and joy we will ever need or want, NOW. Not when our spouse goes on that retreat, or when our kids start behaving better, or at the very least wiping their own butts. No, the cause of our Joy is Christ and Christ alone. If we are looking or waiting on someone else to fulfill that need, we are always going to be disappointed.
Recently a dear friend, first time mom texted me anxiously because she had left her newborn baby for the very first time to go to Adoration, and she was feeling bad about it. “I am not a bad mom if I just left my baby to go to the chapel? I feel really bad but I reallyyyyy need to go?” I wanted to hug her! I affirmed her. Not only was she not a bad mom for going to spend time with our Lord, but she is actually an AMAZING mom, for prioritizing time with the Lord. She recognized she needed to spend time at the feet of Jesus, and went. She is way ahead of me in that regard! How often do we give excuses, or just forget to make time to spend with the Lover of our Soul!? Our children are only ours because He has bestowed them on us, and we (and I mostly mean me) use those very same children as a reason to not pray, or to give God extra time throughout our days or weeks.
We cannot expect to love our families well if we never seek Him who IS LOVE first. This Valentine’s day, I encourage you to not look to our loved ones to experience love to the fullest, but to seek the Lord daily, and this week in a special way to spend TIME with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, if at all possible.
Yes, my husband and children are a wonderful source of love and joy for me, but the TRUE GIVER of Love and Joy is Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
May your week be truly blessed and you feel His loving presence with you every day!
Happy Valentine’s Day!