The Hard Truth About Love

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

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{all photo credits: mrayphotography.com}

Just three short months ago, I buttoned up the delicate buttons of your satin dress, wrestled your boots onto your feet and drove you to one of many days that would alter and determine the course of  the rest of your life forever.

Perhaps this day, more than most others.

I wondered if you could really understand that now.

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{personal iPhone shot}

I remember the quiet moment alone in the car with you as we drove the five mile stretch to our childhood homeplace where you would give your heart away to another. I marveled at your young beauty, wanting to capture the radiance and joy I saw on your face that day.

You will go back to that day in your mind many times along your marriage journey and wonder why love doesn't feel that easy anymore.

I whispered a fleeting prayer not that that your own love story would be perfect, but that it would be written all the way to the intended end, and not before. And that you both would remain strong enough to weather the hard, bitter storms of life that are sure to come when the memories and joy of this happy day have faded. They will be the kind of storms that no one can save you from, not even your older sister.

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There was so much I wanted you to know. All of the countless things I wish I had known in my own early days of wedded bliss, before the realities of adult life had set in. But then again, you would need to discover so much of it for yourself. Just as I did. 

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I wanted you to know that real, deep love; the kind that lasts forever - isn't found in the fairytale books we read as little girls.

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That somedays you will wonder where on earth was your good, common sense when you promised all of yourself to another. And why I didn't stop you!

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Marriage will teach you that it's so much easier (and prettier) to vow a vow, than to keep it.

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And although many stood witness to the perfect, beginning bliss of your love story....

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There will surely come the ordinary days of life in which you will wonder why you feel so alone.

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It is in those times to come, that you will need to learn to lean into, and not away from, the one to whom you pledged your heart on that day. On the days when it would be easier to just give up and go your separate ways, I want you to know that sometimes you just have to press tightly into each together letting your tears mingle together, fight through the pain and refuse to let go.

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But with every storm you weather together, even the very ones that threaten to undo the ties that bind you - the deep love to be found even in the of darkest places can be so passionately wonderful, alive and sweet! This kind of love is worth every second of the fight.

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While it true that the kind of love the whole world dreams of is full of fun and passion! The very greatest kind of love is deep and rich and timeless. Not because it is perfect, but because it refused to give up.

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The love story that your dreams are made of is there to be had.

But not every heart that vowed a vow to another will ever find it. On no, it is reserved only for two hearts willing to be selfless, to forgive much, to give grace and to hold on the very tightest when the storms come and stay a while.

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Every love story is unique in so many ways. But there is only one road to happily ever after.

I want you to know that the key to the forever kind of love isn't found in the happy moment you said vows and pledged your heart to another. Any two can do that.

Rather forever love is built as you travel the journey together.

It is found when the moments aren't happy, when we don't feel in love... and still we choose to stay.

When we choose to be selfless and serve the other when it least deserved.

It is found when no one else is around to celebrate your love or rescue you from wreckage - and it's just the two of you and tears and closed doors.

It is found in the bitter places of the darkest nights as you both choose to lock arms together, strengthening the ties that bind you as the winds howl fiercely around you. Because two are better than one.

Forever is found every time you give grace freely.

Forever is found when you keep what you could have thrown away.

Forever is found in the times when two hearts refuse to give up on each other in the very moments when it feels most like we should.

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We watched our grandparents who have been married for over 50 years dance the night away on that magical November night.

And I know that imperfect, rich, enduring love between a man and a woman exists not because I watched you marry your sweetheart that day, but because I saw it in the eyes of our grandmother as she danced with the man she had vowed her love to so many years ago and in the tenderness of our grandfather's arms as he held her aging body close to his.

We don't quite yet, but fifty years from now, I'd really love for us to know what that kind of love feels like.

That kind of love alone is the stuff of real life fairytales, but few are written about. It is worth writing about.

But love like that never comes easy.

This is the real, hard truth about love.

Don't let the glass slipper, fairytale marriage you have in your head keep you from having the love story that isn't always found in books. And it won't likely come today or tomorrow. But someday. And it will take work. Lots and lots of ordinary days filled with working at it.

But it's worth it.

Love, 

Your Big Sister

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Rachel Rowell  @ saltedgrace.com

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