The first love of my life was my own Daddy. He was tall and capable, handsome and fun, and he made me feel so special. Plus, my greatest role model (Mommy) thought he was the best person in the world. My father helped me feel safe, valuable and precious.
As I grew, my first love introduced me to my next. It was Jesus himself. I eagerly accepted unconditional love since it was modeled to me in my own home. I began a truly intimate relationship with Christ that continues to this day. Yes, there have been seasons of closeness and even distance, but I have learned to believe He is always for me and working on my behalf. He is good.
From these models I learned to trust and to see the best in people. In high school my first romantic love was my best boy friend. He was kind and fun. He made me feel like the most important person in the room and he shared my faith. Ours was a deep friendship and I am thankful that I learned what it felt like to be adored - no regrets.
Then I met the man I would marry. I felt passion for the first time - to desire and be desired. It was a new feeling and my romantic nature, along with all the novels I read, primed to be swept away. I projected onto this man all that I hoped and wanted in love and my heart was swiftly his. We did things the 'right' way, waiting until after college to marry, after marriage to consumate and several anniversaries later before we expanded our family. But it would seem that neither of us really knew the other and I am surprised to find myself divorced. I do not regret the way I loved and it still saddens me that ours was not the triumph over struggle I envisioned.
Yet love is always victorious. From that unrequited hope came the next male who would forever have my heart. He was born after a season of loss which made his arrival even more precious. My firstborn will forever be have my heart and the devotion of my love. I will be his greatest fan! Two other little loves came soon after and I thought my heart would burst from the joy.
And this love sustained me through times of extreme pain and loss. The love of my father, my sons and daughter and a family who lifted me from depths of dispair, faith and Savior who would not let me fall into bitterness - these things allowed me to survive intact. These things are my constants. They do not change when all else is swirling, and they provide precision perspective when I lose my way.
And one day I met a stranger for lunch who became my Mr. Wonderful. I don't know how our story will end, though I treasure hopes in my heart (and Pinterest dreams). My first and second loves have faithfully proven that I can yet trust, hope and move forward in faith. I am confident that my love is reciprocated and pray daily for the ways in which I can love him well. I am most amazed by the ways he gives. I'm older, more experienced in life, know myself better than I thought possible and have more responsibilities that any one person should shoulder alone. But I have never felt more like a 17-year old girl with a world of open possibility and just a glimpse of what a real-life fairytale might look like.
I'm solidly in midlife. I've been loved and betrayed and then loved even more. There are choices I wish I'd made differently, yet those very choices have given me depth and perspective I may not have gained otherwise. I still believe in love - family, friends, faith - that survives even alongside doubt, and even in romance. The wonder of connecting with another human and all that opens up when we try is a gift.
I'm linking up with others for Perspectives on Life & Love with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy. I started reading her blog because I loved the title and I kept reading because I love her style.