Love Grows In The Messy Places

Love is not safe. So if you are looking for a “safe bet”, then perhaps you’d better look elsewhere. To be in love is to be vulnerable and to open yourself up for disappointment and profound lessons God has for us in the classroom of life…

Jim and I lived in Denver at the time, both working and living life at a breakneck pace. We were also reeling from the added pressures of being new parents. We desperately needed a romantic Valentine getaway to reconnect. Jim found the perfect solution. He bid on a romantic weekend in Vail at a charity event and won! When February rolled around he called the contact name on the certificate and made all the arrangements. The stage was set and we were both thrilled with anticipation. Jim envisioned lifting me over the threshold of our weekend love nest and then christening the weekend with a bottle of champagne he’d tucked in his suitcase. He even went to the trouble to pull together a little picnic lunch for the 3.5 hour drive. As for me, I had slipped into my bag a slinky little surprise for him which I’d imagined puddled on the floor within seconds after the big reveal!

Well, things didn’t go as either of us had imagined. When we arrived, the people at the front desk informed us that the person who issued the certificate had been fired and had no authority to offer such prize. No matter how my husband worked to make them see it our way, the hotel would not honor the certificate. In fact, they couldn’t. There was a big skiing competition in town and Vail, Colorado was on the world stage. Every room in town was booked. After several hours, it was clear our romantic adventure was over before it started. Jim was angry, I cried and we tucked our tails and headed back down the mountain. I’d love to tell you we handled it well but we didn’t. We fought, accused, blamed, pushed the event aside and then pressed back into life again.

Looking into the rearview mirror now after a few more years of botched up weekends and dates and eventually landing on the threshold of divorce I discovered something very important about love. I found that if you’re waiting to give your love only in perfect circumstances like dates and romantic getaways, then you’ll miss all the messy “in between” places where love actually happens.

Now don’t get me wrong; I crave romance as much the next girl. But disappointing circumstances have taught me to give grace to my husband, move towards him, and never to withdraw my love, rather lavish your love in those disappointing moments. This does more to inspire love in his heart than any amount of pouting, anger or sulking could ever do.

So if you truly desire love to grow in your marriage then reach for togetherness always… even if your Valentine Day date gets botched today.


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