That year our school held a Valentine fundraiser. We could buy roses and have them delivered anonymously to lockers. My silly, naive girlfriends convinced me that I should buy a rose for this guy. And put a handwritten poem in his locker to boot.
This boy got a lot of roses that Valentine's Day. But only one love note.
Someone leaked that I was the author of that lame note. He thought it was hilarious and read it out loud to EVERYONE in our science class. Hysterical laughter followed (my girlfriends included). I cried so hard. My face turned as red as those cinnamon Valentine hearts. I went home sick the rest of the week.
Even though my heart broke into pieces that day, I learned a valuable lesson on what true love isn't.
This week, I celebrate another year of marriage with the most perfect for me, kick butt hubby a girl could ever pray for.
He would never laugh if I bought a rose and stuck it in his locker. Or if I wrote him a silly little love note (which I do often).
We've hit a few bumps in our marriage. At times they've felt more like craters. We've stood face to face with our selfishness and pride. Our hearts have been stretched to their limit through our recent infertility journey.
I wouldn't trade our years together for anything.
Through all the sorrow and the bumps and the heart bruises, there has been more joy than I could ever imagine. I love this man to the moon and back. And then beyond a dozen or so times.
When things have been at their worst, I've cried out to Jesus:
"Lord, teach me to love."
And He does.
Our Lord is so faithful.
Christ has been refining two imperfect sinners over the years. He has shown us redemption, forgiveness, joy in the middle of trials, and how to love another human who hasn't done a single thing to earn it or deserve it.
Jesus has taught us how to love and respect, how to submit and to lead. He has shown us how to care and to pray. And to love and be loved, just like Jesus loves.
The vows we exchanged many years ago are still commitments I'm trying to keep today. To love, honor and obey. In the good times and the bad times.
I mess up a lot. But there is grace. Lots and lots of grace. From the hubby and from Jesus.
And there is love. Oh there is so much love.
If there was one thing I could do differently, it would be to go back to the day we said 'I do.' And follow that commitment with five words that have been inscribed deep within my heart. They are five profound, but simple, words that have radically changed me.
"Lord, teach me to love."