When my husband and I first got married 8 years ago, we had the mentality that most newly married couples did: that our love was perfect and that we could totally take on the world together, nothing could stop us. But then a few months into our marriage, we realized something pretty shocking.
We were both broken people. Our love wasn't perfect. And we each had cracks in our souls that the other couldn't fix with our "take on the world" love. We needed something more.
It all blew up in our faces one day while we were driving to my-in law's farm in Nebraska. We ended up getting stuck in the middle of a snow storm and finally, the fit hit the shan. The honeymoon stage was over, and it was time for us to make our choice. So after we both let our anger out, we took a deep breath, wiped away the tears, and chose. And in this choice we found the greatest gift we could find in starting our lives together and growing our family.
We chose to love. Even when we didn't feel like it.
After driving down the road in silence, I reached over and grabbed his hand. "I'm sorry. But I'm still angry," I whispered.
"I know, I'm sorry, too. But we've gotta talk about this. And we need to do it now," he said. So we drove through the snow storm and talked through the storm of our marriage. And while it wasn't all solved by the time we reached our destination, we had at least taken a step in the right direction.
We decided that it was better to fight fair in love rather than harbor anger in bitterness. So often, it's easy for us as couples to have these pivotal arguments and take our own sides, turning our backs on one another. But when we choose to love in spite of the anger, it turns us toward one another. The love becomes a choice of action, not just a fairy tale feeling.
And by making our choice on the side of the highway in the snowstorm that January afternoon, we chose something that took our ordinary little family to one of extraordinary purpose. It was something greater than just the two of us. It was something profound. It was something holy.
And today it's this kind of love that we so desperately desire to pass onto our children; to teach them that the choice to love takes humility and grace. We want to show them that when you choose this love during seasons of sacrifice, that you do it with out expecting anything in return. It's more than a fleeting feeling, it's an act of joy. And more than anything we want to teach them that the choice to love changes everything.
In the good.
In the bad.
In the beautiful.
In the messy.
In the comfortable.
In the painful.
And in the times that they find themselves falling facedown on the floor, we hope and we pray that when they fall and hit rock bottom they will land on something solid. Something built by choice and on purpose. Something extraordinary.
Something that the rest of the world will see and be changed by.
This is us choosing something more so that we can become something greater. And when we choose to love in the lowest valleys, those often become the beginning of our greatest triumphs. And by choosing well on the side of the highway that January, we chose something that took our family from ordinary to extraordinary. All because we chose to love.