My blogger friend, Hippie, has this cool collaborative blogging exercise going on as part of her Algonquin Experiment. It involves Hippie posing a question and people responding on their own blogs.
So this is the question she posed: What do you love more than love?
I thought of a thousand answers. God. But that one’s sort of obvious. Cycling. Obvious squared. Ice cream. Sadly, also very apparent. Writing. Same. My friends. But everyone loves their friends. My little ones. But I’ve written about them ad nauseam as of late. My husband. (A fact I should probably mention to him more often.) All of my answers were so generic.
The thing I love more than love is being on the other side of it.
Sure love is great when it’s new and shiny, when your beloved can do no wrong. And after a few years when the sheen wears off a little bit and you settle into the day to day acts of love, mmmm, that comfortable love is good, too.
But sometimes love unravels, frays at the edges and begins to fall apart in the very hands that made it.
I’ve been in this stage of love, too. When love was painful work, when it was all we could do to hang onto each other and pray. A lot. This isn’t the kind of glass slipper love that fairy tales are made of. It’s not pretty. It is devastatingly hard, so much so that for me, heartache was actually physically painful.
But we chose to press into God, to hold onto the frayed pieces. We chose to love when it wasn’t the easy choice. And that’s what I mean by the other side of love.
So the thing I love more than love is love that has been worn thin. Love that has broken into shards. Love that has taken on water fast and is listing badly. You might be thinking that’s a bit of a metaphor overload. If so, to you I say count your blessings. Others know with painful precision what I’m talking about. You, dear ones, know that it’s possible to be frayed, shattered, and sinking all at once.
I can only hope that you also know about the love that comes out on the other side of all that pain. This love is scarred. And fierce. And secure. And more wonderful than anything I could have ever imagined. This is the love I have in my life. I thank God for it every single day.
You know, I wish fairy tales did talk about this kind of love because I can say with assurance that this is the kind of love that creates a happily ever after.