Favorites are funny. No rhyme or reason, sometimes fickle and flimsy, but they remain favorites all the same. And, love stories? Well, we all love a good love story. Our favorites keep us filled with the hope that good wins in the end. I bought a sort of frame once that said, “Our love story is my favorite” and I stuck that old picture you see above on it. The phrase captivated me for reasons unknown, since the truth is, our own love story has more than its fair share of less than lovely parts. Yet, it is my favorite. Maybe because it’s ours? Or maybe because, through it, I have seen a real and true Love Story bright as the sun’s own shine…
See, our very own love story isn’t the fairy tale. Our love story shouldn’t have lasted. Our love story is full of fighting back, often with screams and wounding words and obstinate looks, but also with faith. Our love story is messy. Our love story is out of order and anything but traditional. Our love story started in a nightclub. On a dance floor. Our love story is filled with moments of heartbreak, lies, and loneliness. Our love story is also filled with fun. And it’s pretty dang funny. Our love story can be selfish. It can give too little and take too much. Our love story makes me so angry at times, too. Our love story can shout, “Please do not do what we do!” in one moment and “Love so hard it hurts!” in the next. Our love story often speaks words better left unsaid. Says words just to be heard. And sometimes voices no words at all. Our love story has been all things broken, or just because we ought to, or left barely breathing. Our love story should be both embarrassing to tell and always shared. Our love story has seen better days, beautiful days, blurry-eyed tearful days, bored to death days, and sees the best days as yet to come. Our love story has simultaneously built up two sons in strength, wisdom, and talent while tearing them down in ways better left unseen and unspoken, and sadly still in ways unknown. Our love story is the farthest thing from perfect, yet perfectly full of every bit of us.
And, our love story has died a thousand little deaths only to be re-birthed by The One True Love Story, and it’s still unfolding with chapters yet to be written on pages only known by that One Truest Love.
See, love stories can look a million different ways, share a million little things, and whisper another million barely audible statements. Love stories are rarely those sweet, delectably sentimental happenings wrapped in pretty packages with beautifully tied up ribbons. More likely, true love’s stories are full of gritty, real, raw, tender, and exposed moments of forgiveness and mess and hope and disagreement and surrender and truth…. Moments of choosing and re-choosing to give and receive broken and incomplete love over and over in the face of someone else’s broken and incomplete love, because in the end, Love is all that remains.
Yes. When it’s all said and done, a true love story will be all that remains.
A true love story that is fighting back at all the dark right this very moment to be all you ever need in this broken down, blackened and bruised up world you might be hell bent and determined – but, all torn up and trying your best – to simply navigate. A love story so determined to have you be a part, that death cannot dare stop it from being told. A love story with a True Love that never gives up, never breaks down, and never dies – not ever – so you can live forever in His Arms. A love story begun in Heaven, told on the earth, inscribed with blood, nailed to a tree, forsaken and buried, yet risen again to be proclaimed for all eternity. A love story waiting for your exact name and face and heart. A love story that has no ending and is all and only about The One and Truest Love your soul has been longing to find for what may seem like forever.
Can you hear this Love? He’s whispering your name in the silence that scares you or the busy that burdens you or the deeds that deafen you… and in all the simple moments that are making you in between. I promise that your very name is written on His very Hands at this very minute because you are among His very favorites. I can also promise that your life will never be the same once you’ve given up your heart to your One Truest Love. So, go on… surrender to The Most Favorite and hold on tight because THIS True Love’s Story was written with you in mind.