Love is a Choice

 

“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

Dear Boyfriend,

I can still see your sparkle on that rainy April night in 1991, all fancy in your tux, waiting at the front of the church for Mama to walk me down the aisle. 

We vowed our love before God and 250 of our favorite folks, never more certain that we had marriage…and each other…all figured out.

We didn’t have a clue, did we?

I mean, just a year earlier, I had vowed I’d never get married and you swore you were dialing my phone number for the last time (after an eight year pursuit, God love ya).

Four months after our first date, we were engaged and preparing to spend forever together!

Did I mention we had no clue?

Nevertheless, we declared our I Do’s, heart eyes and all, and dove right in.

How come nobody told us that married life was going to be so…challenging?

Not that we would have listened.

After all, we each had our own ideas of what marriage should look like.

Mine was filled with made-from-scratch cakes and non-stop conversations about us, us, and us.

Yours was filled with consuming those made-from-scratch cakes and sneaking in some solitude called ESPN after a long day on the road.

What could possibly go wrong???

I guess our first few years of marriage could be described with one tired word:

Struggled.

We struggled to understand why your Dad died so unexpectedly. We struggled to make ends meet when you lost your job. We struggled to communicate or compromise, preferring short tempers and long nights. We struggled to build a marriage without God being at the center or anywhere, except in our desperate prayers, really.

Oh yeah, we struggled.

But we never gave up.

Not once.

Instead, we grew stronger in our relationship with God and each other.

Sure, we could have thrown in the towel tons of times.

Love is a choice, isn’t it?

We chose each other.

We chose each other through tears and fears and failures and fun.

We chose each other through joys and sorrows and for better and for worse.

We chose each other when others thought we wouldn’t.

We chose each other with fierce commitment and tender loving care.

I’m so grateful that we did.

I’m so thankful that we still do.

In the process, we learned so much more about God’s love and ours.

We grew up and grew together.

Priorities shifted and perspectives changed.

Selfish gave way for selfless.

Love became more patient, more kind, more trusting.

Trust blossomed into more trust.

We became more honest, more transparent, more real with each other.

Not because we had to, but because we wanted to.

The little things in life became the important things.

Love turned out to be way more than a pretty word in a Hallmark card or a whisper before we went to sleep.

Love became one and so did we.

So, as our 30th anniversary approaches, sentimental is seeping out of those same heart eyes

and into this note.

Thank you, Boyfriend

for valuing me

for never disrespecting me, in public or in private

for making me laugh like nobody else ever

for being authentically you

for words and actions that match up

for always taking the time to listen without distractions

for instincts that tell you “get her some fries and a shake”

for two-way streets

for seeing me

for beach walks and shell buckets

for saying I’m beautiful and meaning it

for not being afraid to show your emotions

for igniting confidence in me

for donut days on the deck

for helping me crush fear

for sharing your socks (okay, so maybe I steal ’em)

for believing with me and in me

for dancing together in the living room

for staying beside me nonstop in Mama’s hospice room

for never giving up on us

for loving me like you do

for being a Jesus guy

for being my encourager and best friend

for so much more than I can put into words (even though I could…)

Most of all,

thank you for being you

and

for being mine.

Happy 30th anniversary, Gibby!

I’d still choose you.

I love you with all my heart. XOXO

Tina

“Will we look back down on 99 years of a wonderful life?

Where we laughed till we cried and our love grew stronger with every fight

There’ll be a thousand moments for you to say ‘I told you’

And a million more for us to say “I love you”

So let’s look forward to you and I looking back

At 99 years like that.”

99 Years/Josh Groban & Jennifer Nettles

Spread your joy,

tina

6 Comments

  1. I’ve been fortunate to witness your love for each other and your beautiful wedding. Happy anniversary and God’s blessings for many more. Love to both of you. ❤️

    1. Having the Greene family in our lives is a beautiful blessing. SO grateful. We love you guys very much! xoxo❤️

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