So, this is love.

I recall the moment like it was 2 minutes ago. It plays over and over in my mind and heart like a song you love and hate at the same time.

Two or three days before we moved across the country. It had been about 2 weeks since I had been with Nathan. Over then 20 days since our children had physically been with their father. My to-do list was never ending.

The kids were being entertained by a classic Disney film. I was going about my endless last-minute pre-move tasks and my mind was in a million places. I stepped into the laundry room to switch a load. Then my ears perked to a familiar tune. I’m sure any girl raised on Disney flicks can recognize it.

So this is love, Mmmmmm
So this is love
So this is what makes life divine
I’m all aglow, Mmmmmm

Hot tears welled up in my eyes and began streaming down my cheeks. The lyrics sank deep into my heart. But not like they had before when I was a little girl. All at once I felt a mix of anger, sorrow, and longing.

Anger because I felt lied to. The world has it’s message of what love looks like. Cinderella goes to a glamorous ball in a dreamy gown meets Prince Charming and not minutes later she makes the statement while slow dancing and staring into his eyes “this is love.”

It made me angry to know that once I bought into the worlds view of love and kind of let it live side by side with my relationship with Jesus, and Nathan. But the worlds view of love and the gospel and His purpose for marriage cannot coexist. Chick flicks, sitcoms, even fairy tales often have a subtle common theme: “this is the way love looks and feels. And if it doesn’t feel or look this way, it’s not love and you can go look for it in someone or something else.”

So this is love.

It made me angry to know that my children were being lied to. And while they are too young to discuss all the in and outs of the lie, I know the war for their hearts has only begun.

So this is love.

It made me angry and sorrowful to know that too many people live in a Cinderella world of love. After almost a decade of marriage, I’ve learned about sacrifice, commitment, and that marriage can be so fulfilling and so much more then the world makes it out to be. Not because Nathan & I are so prefect for one another, or we don’t argue or anything like that…but because at the center of our marriage and hearts is Christ. I long for others to know love and marriage like that.

So this is love.

The Lord spoke to my heart in my laundry room, surrounded by clothes, boxes, and mixed emotions. “You know what love is.”

As I stood in that laundry room crying, I felt comfort from the Lord. I do know what love is. I love Nathan with a love that words cannot describe. No, it’s not the starry-eyed glamorous infatuation anymore that Cinderella sings of. It is so much more. Something I don’t think you can feel for a spouse unless you stick it out for the long haul. There’s been tears, angry words, silence, joy, grief, sweat, work, thrill, long nights, adventure, change, challenge, and commitment. I always knew we would make it to 9 years…I just couldn’t picture what it would look like. It makes me look forward to more. We are still selfish. We still argue. We still forgive.

So this is love.

I felt even more comfort when I thought of the other side of love. God loved us so much that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8) What He has done for us was the greatest act of love, and I fall short of realizing the gravity of His sacrifice and true love.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

In the story of the crucifixion in my kids Jesus Storybook Bible, the crowd is yelling at Jesus on the cross “If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!” The author goes on to say…and this gets me everytime…”And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually He could have said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people. But Jesus stayed. You see, they didn’t understand. It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.”

So this is love.

We hope and pray to have a marriage that reflects the love, grace, sacrifice, and forgiveness of Christ. It is through no effort of our own that our marriage has lasted 9 years as of today. It’s the power of Christ in us. He compels us to love sacrificially. He motivates us to give grace. He forgave much, so we forgive one another.

Cinderella can keep her “love”. I’ll take Christs love, grace and forgiveness and ask for His help to pour it out onto my husband. Our marriage is no fabulous Hollywood style romance. Sometimes it’s mundane. Sometimes it’s exciting. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s easy. But, it is always worth it.

Happy 9 year anniversary to the one who my soul loves…Nathan.

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Press on!

Jaimi S.

5 thoughts on “So, this is love.

  1. Happy Anniversary!!!! Wow, so much has happened in your lives in 9 years! May you stay close to Jesus always!

    1. Thank you Edie! And thanks for raising a wonderful man of integrity and for being the best in-laws 🙂

  2. Wow! Aaron and I were just talking about this very thing on the way home from our camping trip yesterday! I just read the book Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss for the first time (I highly recommend it, if you haven’t read it!) It is a fictional book of a young Christian girl’s journal, starting when she is 16 and very immature and going all the way up to her second child turning 18. You get to see her spiritual growth through the book and it is awesome (written in the 1800’s by the author of the hymn More Love to Thee). Anyways, she too has bought into the worlds view of love, so when she gets married and nothing looks the way the world says it should she is in a little shock but she learns how much better The Lord’s version of love is as time goes on! I can relate I had Cinderella’s view in my mind when we got married and I was really shocked by reality, but now I wouldn’t trade that reality! I don’t think we truly know what it is to love someone until we’ve seen all their junk and been able to forgive, give them grace, and love them despite it. All of which we need the Holy Spirit working in us to be able to do! And it is so awesome to have our husband’s love us this way too! I was telling Aaron I want to make sure we teach our kids what Love and marriage really look like despite what the movies and romance stories have to say about it. Great post! Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

    1. Thank you Trisha! You are Aaron are excellent example of a Godly marriage and your kids are already benefiting from watching you two. Thanks for reading my stuff…totally honoring and humbling! Miss you guys!

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