This Love

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They are young and in love and full of hope and wonder and passion. The sun rises and my camera snaps and I remember the  feelings of romance and giddiness and mystery– although it doesn’t seem that we could have been so very young.

They know, in their heads, that the life ahead of them holds hardships and sorrow. They will pledge “for better or for worse” and know that the worse will come, but their hearts deny it. They will vow “in sickness and in health” but they will not believe that sickness will ever touch them.

And the years will pass.

And they will find themselves looking on these pictures in wonder at their youth and hopefulness.

We were like they are once. Full of joy and amazement and love and denial about the reality of the life ahead. Those were good days– each day unwrapping a little more the gift of each other. Memorizing the look of one another’s face, the feel of hands intertwined, the sound of a loving voice.

And now, we have seen the better and the worse. We have rejoiced as our children joined our family, and we have grieved as one of them passed from us untouched, unseen. We have seen our checking account dwindle, our faces gain new lines, our life grow more chaotic.

And always, always, we have seen God’s faithfulness.

So that tonight, as we sneak in a kiss during the bedtime routine, or as we say “I love you” before drifting off into much-needed sleep, we are so sure of this love.

This love is not new and full of mystery and excitement anymore. It is familiar and comfortable and a little worn around the edges. Yet somehow, it is never old, never boring, never drab or dull.

We laugh, and we hold hands, and we share our days and our nights and our lives.

It’s different now, this love. It has grown with us. We have grown with it.

Others look at us now, and they don’t think they’re so young.

But if they look close enough, through the children and the laundry and the jobs and the bills and the dishes in the sink, they will see this love.

It is a gift from God. And it sustains me.

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