The other night, I tried to slip silently into bed next to my sleeping husband, and in the process knocked over a phone and a water bottle, mostly because I am klutzy me. I heard the abrupt stop of breath that signaled his waking, and tried to quickly lay myself down flat so as not to further disturb his few hours of peace. This essentially meant that I caught my feet on the covers, missed my pillow and had to realign myself, and generally flounced about like some sort of wild animal attacking the bed.
But then I felt his body next to mine, his head snuggled on my chest, his arm around my whole body. And I kissed my favorite spot on the top of his head – the one that always smells just like him, and took a huge deep breath into comfort.
A great many people think that love looks like a fireworks show.
This, I remember thinking that recent night, is what love looks like.
There are relatively few 34-going-on-35-pretty-soon-year-olds that I know who are celebrating thirteen years of marriage. Mostly because it’s rather rare to get married at 21 these days.
I like to think that we were old souls who had a chance meeting on my freshman move-in day.
Richard Bach said this about love: A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
A friend recently asked me how I knew that Tim was the one. My answer to that question is always the same:
I just did.
Some things in life are matters of knowing as much as they are matters of faith.
I knew he was my partner. I had faith that it would work.
Marriage can be hard. It takes sacrifice, selflessness, and a lot of humor. If you do it right, it will cause your heart to ache with joy and limitless love just looking at the person sleeping next to you. And it is worth every ounce of struggle.
I have never had to be anyone but myself in my marriage. It is the greatest gift of our union.
We have the right locks. We have the right keys.
And so we are here, teenagers in marriage - a lucky thirteen.