I spent decades desperately searching for love. I’ve always been a passionate soul, and I ached for this ever-elusive knight in shining armor to find me. I journeyed through my tumultuous teens and my careless twenties, in search of The One.
I thought I found it in a grappling handful of hopeful men. I came to believe that love was unpredictable or at best, quite fleeting. I dove deeply into passion, only to reveal its darker side of torment and trepidation. I fought hard for love. And as I embarked on my quest, I thought I found The One many times.
I discovered over and over again-
That what I thought was True Love…
Wasn’t love at all.
On February 17th, 1999, I met him. I had no idea he was going to be The One, until I began a new journey into discovering True Love. I had not experienced this kind of love until him. I honestly didn’t have the means to understand it, or to find it, much less hold on to it. My perspective was distorted, my understanding limited, and my view skewed.
I wonder if there are other women out there that believe love is something it’s not.
Much like I did.
I always thought love felt like a tidal wave out of control, with unpredictable tsunamis that tore my world apart leaving the wreckage of brokenness. I thought love screamed and begged and battled for attention, for a voice to be heard. I believed love was about waiting and wondering and wanting. I understood love to be careless and quite reckless, like a wildfire of emotional turmoil set ablaze…
I thought this was love.
I’m so glad I was wrong.
I’ve been taught differently, since I found The One. It’s been a slow training program of 16 years that’s been marked with endurance, faith, and time.
I’m slowly defining this True Love as my marriage continues to transform my heart, and my life. I have been blessed with the greatest gift on earth. Lucky me. I chose the right one.
This is what I’ve learned:
True love doesn’t lose control, it holds on. The world may release relentless waves, but True Love is unwavering.
True love doesn’t leave you broken, it helps you heal. We are all broken, True Love mends.
True love doesn’t wait, or wonder or want; it’s truthful, honoring, and forthright.
True love doesn’t scream; it whispers. There is no need to scream, when your voice is always heard. True Love listens.
True Love doesn’t beg; it delivers. There is no need to beg, when love knows what you need and faithfully gives it.
True Love isn’t careless or reckless; it’s intentional and committed.
True Love isn’t bound in expectations; rather it’s boundless in forgiveness and respect.
True Love doesn’t abandon or reject or punish; it leans in, digs deep, holds on.
True Love doesn’t break in conflict or difference; it gives into understanding and bends in acceptance.
True Love doesn’t starve or dismiss or neglect; rather it feeds and nourishes and tends to the needs of the other.
True Love is not selfish and conditional; it is serving and sacrificial.
True Love doesn’t hinder your growth and success; it lifts and gives flight to your dreams.
Oh this love is rare in the world.
I am aware.
And as February comes in, once again to remind me of True Love, through Valentine’s Day and our Wedding Anniversary, I reflect on every year we have discovered the definition of True Love.
And I celebrate.
Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me.
The lovely folks over at Personal Creations gave me this beautiful gift to celebrate my True Love, and it serves to remind me of our love’s timeline and cherished years together.
This site has an incredible assortment of gorgeous items that you can personalize to celebrate YOUR True Love. Head over and find your gifts in time for Valentine’s Day! Seriously, I love this site.
This is going to be my next purchase:
And for those who celebrate True Love…
Embrace it. Celebrate it. Cherish it. Treasure it.
You are lucky, lucky too.
Janine Huldie says
Chris, I feel blessed here to say that I, too, grab led with the notion of true love until finally meeting Kevin to find my absolute and perfect true love, too. I was reading along and very much nodding my head and thanking God for this more then you know.
Janine, I just absolutely LOVE that you have your True Love. It shows, my friend. Your love shows… <3 Lucky lucky us. 🙂
Just beautiful, and absolutely true on all of those juxtapositions. I hope somehow to be worthy of this, and able to offer it. I know I have work to do there 🙂
I am constantly working on all of this! I think it’s like an ongoing progression…learning curve… cause, ya know- love has no expectations, but rather full forgiveness. Whew! Thank goodness for that! 😉
Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary. This post is beautiful.
Thanks so much Kristi!! 🙂
You are such a remarkable person! And this list…left me breathless. Just beautiful, Chris. Like you. 🙂
Oh Crystal!! You are SO sweet. Your comment made me smile and tear up at the same time. Thank you for your beautiful words of encouragement, my friend!! <3
You are so very lucky indeed. To not only find that love but to discover that love isn’t easy but it also doesn’t hurt. Happy anniversary!
Love ISN’T easy at all… it’s hard work, isn’t it? But I have been so blessed to figure how love gives… and lives. <3
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says
Beautiful Chris! I feel so incredibly blessed to have found my “The One” early in my life. I love your list!
Oh Lisa, I am SO glad you found your True Love early in life too!! I had to go through one heck of a journey to find mine!! 😉
Loved reading this! It’s very sincere and I’m almost at lost for words. It’s so beautiful and you captured everything I’m thinking what true love really is. Wishing you guys more and more years of wonderful marriage!
AW! Thank you so much for your beautiful encouragement, Rea! 🙂
I am happy you have this love in your life!
Aw! You are so so kind, Sarah. Thank you so much sweetie!!
Crystal R. Cook says
This is so lovely . . . happy almost Anniversary!
Thanks so much, my friend!! <3
Ah, you are so lucky! So is he.
I used to think love was breathless and anticipatory and on the edge of your seat and like the movies.
I’m so glad I was wrong! I mean, it’s nice to have that every now and then, though.
It’s the sturdier, more unconditional kind that’s here to stay.
Exactly, Tamara! That is a perfect explanation! 🙂
What a beautiful and well written post about true love!!!
Like you, I went through many things that I thought were love – they weren’t even close!!!
Glad you found your true love!
I think lots of us women have been through quite a journey in finding our True Love, ya know? I’m so glad YOU have found yours, Kim.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Aww, this is so sweet! There’s so much love in the air!
God has been so good to you Chris and your words show it.
Blessings to you my friend.
I have always said that Derek was my first miracle in my life. My kids run a close second and third! 🙂
Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says
I love this and I completely agree. And we have that saying in the last photo on our bookshelf…with a photo of books behind the words. So cool!
AH!! I love that you have that saying!! I want one, and this site? It has the coolest stuff. I’m thinkin’ you have True Love too. <3 I do hope so, because you absolutely deserve this kind of love, Lisa!!
Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says
I got it on a card…if I can remember what store and stumble upon it again, I will send it to you.
Oh lucky lucky you indeed! And I know that your husband is lucky to have such a wonderful and inspiring wife!
AW! You’re sooo sweet to say that Jhanis!! He gets a lot of the ‘crabby, tired, whiny, frustrated, depleted,’ me too- and STILL LOVES ME!! Lucky lucky me. 🙂
Hi Chris! I think most of us kissed a lot of frogs before we found our True Love. Your photos at the top of the post are so cute! You look so happy. Yay!
The different ways you described what love is, and what it isn’t had me nodding my head in agreement. Love just ‘does’. That’s my husband to a tee these days.
Lucky, lucky me.
Ah, Ceil! You and me both, girl! Thank GOD our hubs dive in to care for us… lucky lucky us.
Janelle@The Peaceful Haven says
Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing LOVE!
Thanks Janelle! I’m a lucky girl, and I hope and pray everyone can truly understand this kind of love, and live it.
You’re both lucky, as are your children. I think of all the children who are not surrounded by love, and I want to fix that for all of them.
You were married 32 years and one day after my parents. <3
That is INCREDIBLE!!! 32 years… now they really truly deeply know love! Wish your parents a beautiful anniversary for me! And yes, I want to fix that for all children too… Sigh.
Susanne/The Dusty Parachute says
What a beautiful post. Happy Anniversary!
Thanks so much for coming by to read it, Susanne! And thanks for the encouragement and well wishes. <3
another jennifer says
Ah, true love. I have a very different perspective of love these days. I hope to write about it soon. This is beautiful, Chris. So happy you have your true love!
I cannot WAIT to read your post on true love, Jennifer!! I’m absolutely sure it will be powerful. 🙂
I completely agree with your definitions of true love, my friend. I was always confused about it in my younger years too. My husband has helped a great deal in my reevaluating what true love really is. We met the same year you met your hubby :)! I LOVE your timeline from Personal Creations. I’ll definitely have to check them out.
I always say that Derek taught me how to love… I didn’t really know what ‘healthy love’ was all about, until him. <3 I love that your husband has done the same for you!! And same year you both met? YAY! 🙂
Jennie Goutet says
Beautiful, TRUE words! And you met your HIM almost exactly one year after my eyes were opened to my HIM. 🙂 (I had met him 3 years earlier, but we barely exchanged hello until February 1998 when we went out for the first time.
I am so, so lucky – it sounds like my path was much like yours.
AW!!! I love that Jennie!! I love that we journeyed similar paths toward our HIMs. 🙂
Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes says
You are so blessed! Happy Anniversary!!!
Thank you so much Stephanie!! This guy- I call him my first miracle. <3 Cass and Cade? 2 and 3. 🙂
Joy DeKok says
I’m so glad love found a way!
Me too, Joy! Me too… <3 Lucky me.
Beautifully said and couldn’t agree more. So glad you found true love, and it took a while, but I found mine:) Valuable lessons about what true love is and isn’t… I hope my kids willbe able to discern the difference without too much heartbreak….
I’m so glad you found yours too, Leah!! And Oh, do I wish the same for my kids too. <3
You know I rather thought it was funny that when we are young we have the storybook fairy tales — that everyone tells you as you grow into adulthood — are not true. They are unrealistic.
And then I think of how unwavering many storybook loves were in their pursuit of one another. How they always sought the happy ending and had faith it would come. That a true love kiss had healing properties… and you can be a Princess that saves herself — but it’s also rather great to get the Prince that will fight evil Queen, step mothers and dragons! just to get to your side. Story book loves ALWAYS find one another; because their hearts – souls, are always seeking the other.
so um, yeah. I’ll stick with the stories that first stirred my heart because that’s how I got the handsome Prince. (and he did kinda ride in on a white steed… it just had POLICE written on the side. LOL)
LOL!!! LOVE it, Leslie!! You definitely got your police prince! 😉
So much truth here, Chris. It is such a blessing to love and be loved in such a way.
And congratulations to the two of you.
Love blessings all around,
Chrissy is my true love.
Aw!! You are such a love… <3 You're MY True Love.
Elaine A. says
You are blessed. Both of you. <3
Oh gosh, Elaine. THANK YOU. So so much. <3 (I haven't stopped thinking about you and praying for you, my friend.)
Happiest Anniversary!! So true! So blessed! Your story reminds me of mine ao much! What a beautiful marriage you have been given by God who was navigating behind the scenes!!
Thank you so so much Kathy!! I love that we have similar stories! God, oh He is so so good to me. I’m forever blessed. <3
Sybil Brun says
This is absolutely beautiful! I hope you and your true love have a wonderful weekend together!!
Aw! Thanks so much Sybil!! WE DID!! 🙂