I just read somewhere that the most searched phrase on Google in 2011 was “what is love”.
I have no idea if this is true or not. However, it did spark something within me to write about love. What is true love? I think we are very confused as to what love truly is, and most of us realize it is NOT what Hollywood portrays. There’s a voice within us that tells us love is so much more… but what?
Well, instead of me lecturing or preaching to you on what love is I’ll simply tell you my story about love. After all, it is my opinion that you cannot theorize about love, you cannot explain it… you have to experience it. And since I’ve experienced love in my life I’ll share my story with you.
It all started 11 years ago… in the year 2000. I was nineteen years old and had just finished living in Fullerton, California for a year. During my time there I met a gorgeous girl that I quickly became infatuated with. I remember the feelings like it was yesterday… the feeling of euphoria keeping me up all night thinking about her. Every minute of the day fantasizing about being with her (I’m sure you have experienced something similar, right?).
So I naturally related my feelings of infatuation with love… I was totally “in love”.
Or was I?
I became addicted to the “feeling” of infatuation and not reality itself. I substituted feelings for love.
How quickly those feelings faded as reality set in. It turned out she was not everything I imagined her to be. My infatuation was based on my imagination. But, oh how hard it was to break away from the feeling of infatuation! And this is where my story gets interesting…
I’ve always had a strong faith in God. My prayer to God during these times was, “God please give me the perfect woman to be my wife and show me what love truly is”.
Ask and you will receive.
God answered my prayer but it was NOT easy.
I went on a trip to Europe with the girl I was infatuated with… I honestly thought I was going to marry her one day (yeah, I know what you’re thinking… I was way too young to be thinking about marriage. But I was different than most guys, I was not interested in “playing” around with girls… I was looking for the right one).
It was on this trip that I had a nice dose of reality. It was probably one of my worst trips I’ve ever taken. For months before the trip I fantasized what it was going to be like only to be seriously disappointed. The girl I had dreamed up in my mind was really not the same girl on the trip. It was NOTHING like I imagined. So I went home after a month of being in Europe really confused, lost, and wondering what I was going to do.
Remember, my experience of “love” up until this point was completely feeling based. I wonder how many of you reading this have made the same mistake I made early on associating my feelings with love? In fact, I wonder if some of you even believe if it is possible that love is more than feelings?
God is in me. And I somehow knew that love is so much more than my feelings. So instead of pursuing my feelings (finding another girl to be infatuated with) I told God that whatever it took I wanted real love in my life. Of course, I had experienced real love in other relationships with my Dad, Mom, and my siblings but I wanted to know an even deeper love that is expressed between a man and woman.
Any guys reading this probably think I’m a total suck. Hey, I can’t help what’s in my heart. Of course I wanted sex… what guy doesn’t fanticize about sex his entire life? But, I knew I would never be fulfilled with anything other than true love. I wanted sex within love.
Anyway, my story continues when I got home from my trip to Europe. Waiting at home for me was a nice, beautiful girl that I really never thought anything of other than a good friend. During the two years I had gotten to know her, I was busy being infatuated with this other girl, so I really didn’t have any “feelings” of infatuation towards her. But, I do remember that while I was in Europe I kept thinking, “why can’t this girl be more like Jenn” (Jenn being the friend I had at home).
Guess what happened?
A few months later I was engaged to Jenn.
Yep, totally weird.
It was NOT based on any feelings of infatuation or euphoria. I simply came to realize that Jenn was the kind of woman I wanted to marry and so even though she only felt like a friend, I took a leap of faith and asked her to marry me.
Of course I was attracted to her… but nothing compared to how attracted I am to her today (you’ll see…)
For some strange reason Jenn actually said “Yes”. She informed me that the first day she met me she knew I’d be the man she’d marry. Well, good thing somebody was confident because I was totally unsure of EVERYTHING!
I ended up breaking my engagement off not once but twice!
I put Jenn through hell.
I went through hell.
I was so unsure… my whole world was upside down. I was dropping out of university to get married to a girl who I had never dreamed of marrying and I still couldn’t shake the feelings of infatuation I had for this other girl. Meanwhile, the church I had gone to my entire life started crumbling because the head pastor turned out to be a deceiver.
Basically, the only thing I had was faith…
My marriage was totally based on faith. I knew my God would never let me down. I was facing the red sea with the army of Egypt bearing down on me and either God would part the waters or I’d be left to drown in a sea full of misery and mistakes.
Faith is not a doctrine. It is real… it is when you face the unkown and yet trust in an invisible God that you know will direct your paths.
So did I experience love with Jenn right away?
I experienced the torment of doubt as I wrestled with my feelings. Even though Jenn was the exact kind of girl I wanted to marry, I couldn’t shake the fact that I didn’t have the same feeling of infatuation towards her as I did the other girl. How could I marry someone without those feelings?
Well, I did. I married Jenn on faith. I trusted God that He was in control and that if Jenn was the right one for me then it would happen.
I never stopped believing God even though my feelings sent me on a roller coaster ride. I didn’t get to experience the blissful honeymoon full of euphoria and infatuation. It was tough but I always knew that God would give me true love.
I knew God is love. I knew God would fill me with love like I’ve never experienced for Jenn. Every day I kept praying in my darkest hours of doubt that God would fill me with a love like I’ve never experienced for Jenn.
And it happened…
Slowly but surely love grew in my heart. It started with the seed of faith and out of that tiny seed love began to grow. My feelings didn’t change overnight. But, over time I began to experience true love.
What do I mean by true love?
True love changes everything. Love is powerful. Love changes your perspective. Love opens eyes that you never knew you had. Love shows you things you never knew existed. Love IS.
Love is not a choice… I laugh when people talk about love like it’s some decision or choice. Love is a reality. It IS.
Love cannot be bought, it can’t be manufactured, it cannot be willed into existence.
Love is a miracle.
And love only comes from the source of Love.
Today, I love Jenn more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. Every day my love grows for her. She is the most perfect, beautiful, wonderful woman in the world. I’m the luckiest man alive to have her as my soul mate.
Do we fight?
We are human. What makes love so amazing is that it IS within our humanity. Love happens even in our fights. Love is there in our moments of doubt, in our times of exhaustion, and in our fits of rage.