Grateful in Love
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
"I'm sorry you have to love me." These words have fallen from both mine and my spouse's lips more than once. Nothing makes you feel more challenged and more inadequate than taking on the responsibility of jumping into a lifelong commitment with someone. I never saw life coming when we fell for each other. It all looked like bliss. But Disney lied, y'all! Being in love is hard, and I have yet to meet my fairy godmother or get my animals to talk back to me.
Feeling love is simple but living that love is a lesson in humility, compassion, patience, and growth. I knew the moment I saw that super cute dude with the guitar at campus worship that I needed to kiss his face. What I didn't realize is being in love means letting God into a whole new part of your life. Yes, God is there guiding you in dating — but love is a living thing. In addition to your personal relationship with Christ, you invite God into the bond of your relationship. The Holy Spirit has been living in you and now it reaches out and links with the heart of this new person.
It's kind of terrifying. I know some of you probably have these sunny and stress free relationships. That's awesome! I do not. We've seen the darkest parts of each other. and we've felt the brightest of light from our years together. God is the only one who knows me better. It's been rough — but, in complete honesty and with great certainty, I am grateful.
How do we understand love? What makes it real? For me, it's sacrifice. My husband was the man making me, in my ER bed, laugh between the tears when we lost our first baby. We lost our unborn child, but we had each other. He was the one who sat beside me during all of the assessment meetings when we realized our son wasn't going to experience life like other kids. It seems like he has always been there. There were days that broke our hearts, but I never felt closer to him than when I was hurting most. I am thankful things have been so incredibly imperfect. I feel so blessed that I've had someone by my side in the trenches of life. It is because of our struggles I know we are doing life right.
Just like our relationship with Christ, our marriages should grow through trials. We should seek and draw closer to each other as we face what life throws our way. Making it through it all together is the best accomplisment, and I wouldn't take any of it back.
Relationships have their own share of subpar moments, but isn't it awesome to be stuck in those moments with your best friend, your beloved?
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.