Posted in Faith, Valentine's Day

Love Defined

It’s funny how our concept of love evolves.  Prior to our marriage my husband, Steve, and I thought we had loved other people.  We sacrificed a lot to save the relationships we thought were true love.  By the time we met we were hurt people who had given up on the whimsical notion of love.

God has a sense of humor.  To prove that fact, He took the two of us, polar opposites, and gave us a unique, powerful attraction and deep comprehension of one another that defies logic. Not having experienced such before it terrified us both.

Even the common ground we shared was unequal.  Steve was a devoted
Christian, a great man of God, revered for his commitment to family and someone to be admired and highly esteemed.  I was a baby Christian, previous bar fly, with a mouth that sent a sailor to confessional and determined to do life without the intervention of a man.   Our common ground?  Jesus.

We fought ourselves because the emotions made no sense.  We argued with each other just to release the tension.  We despised others because they conspired to bring us down.  And we wrestled angels because we feared the powerful arc that lept between us.

We had people who were genuinely concerned for our April-December romance.  Yet, there were others who for selfish gain sought to pull us apart.  There were also those who wholeheartedly supported us.  It was confusing at best.  We knew only one way to combat it and that was through prayer.  And prayer led us to open, honest communication with each other.  That brutal honesty laid bare our previous failures and forced us to see ourselves and each other in raw, nonromantic ways.

Stripped of our safety nets, failures exposed and fears sliced into, it was easy to see God’s plan.  When we made our commitment to God and each other we joyfully discovered that years of planning could not have made our wedding day any more perfect.  It was as if God had dispatched angels to tend to every detail.

There was nothing typical about our courtship, wedding or even our marriage now.  I know that people often define their spouses as the love of their life.  And I applaud that.  It makes me smile just thinking of it.  In no way would I seek to lessen those sentiments because they are rare in today’s marriages.

But for me, I just can’t seem to find the words to define or explain this man I’m married to, the life we live or the relationship we share.  I have tried and I have pondered.  Each time I circle back to the fact that I just don’t think words have yet been invented to adequately describe this love I have.  Just as I couldn’t settle for relationship descriptions back then I can’t settle for love defined now.  We define our love with every moment of every day that we face together.



Joan Graves is a freelance writer and columnist for the Winchester Sun and Jessamine Journal. She previously worked as a Community Correspondent for one of Kentucky's largest newspapers, the Lexington Herald-Leader. From there, she moved onto the national stage as an online content provider for Associated Content and Yahoo. Her work was featured in America Life League magazine, Celebrate Life. Selected from a field of 23,000 Joan won honorable mention in the prestigious Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition. She and her husband, Steve, are parents to five boys, two of whom have special needs. Together they founded P3- Support Group for families impacted by special needs kids. Joan co-founded Stand Up Clark County, a highly successful grassroots citizens group bringing awareness and change to the local school system. Joan is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Linkedin. For more information on her life, writing process and current projects visit her website, or subscribe to her YouTube channel of the same name.

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