I’ve never really believed in soul mates. Don’t get me wrong, I love a sappy rom com as much as the next girl. I just had a hard time believing that out of seven billion people there was just ONE that was the right one for me. The problem with the idea of soul mates is inevitably, when things get tough, you start to wonder if you chose correctly, you start to wonder if the right one is still out there waiting for you. It makes it all too easy to walk away. “It’s not me, it’s you. You’re just not right for me.”
Our 17th wedding anniversary was in July. Seventeen years of marriage feels like a long time, but it also feels like a drop in the bucket. It’s funny when things feel simultaneously like it happened yesterday but also forever ago.
In that time, we have fought for this marriage. There have been many wonderful days when things were good and we were “in love.” It’s easy to act loving when you feel loving, but the work begins when the feelings fade. And despite what the movies show, people don’t always feel in love.
So we have fought and cried and prayed for this marriage. It has not been easy; it has been a literal battle. That’s what happens when two imperfect and broken people attempt to become one. There have been times we wanted to quit, but by grace, we’re still here.
We’ve learned that love is so much more than a fleeting feeling, it’s a verb; the choice to put someone else first, to stand when you feel like you have nothing more to give, to ask for help to save what’s worth saving. It’s patience and kindness and forgiveness and hope.
He’s not my soul mate. He’s not the one person out of billions who fits my heart like a perfect puzzle piece. But we love each other. It’s a choice we make every day. He’s not the one perfect person made just for me, but he’s an amazing father and partner and my best friend, and I choose him. I choose us. There’s no one I’d rather navigate this grace-filled life with. Here’s to the first 17 of many years side by side.
Thanks to Micheile Henderson for sharing their work on Unsplash.