I will never forget the day that I met Love. I saw it in movies, and my parents had it; someone even pretended to love me once or twice. I ignorantly had never personally met Love until the day I learned your name, looked in your gorgeous blue eyes and tasted your beautiful smile. Suddenly, it all made sense. The magic colliding with my reality every time your hand reaches for mine. You carefully lace my fingers between yours, and you intentionally pour your heart into my hands. You show up every day. Even my bad days are good with you. You remind me that you’re in this with me, you remind me that we deserve this, and you remind me that you’re not leaving when times get rough.
This is a first. And it’s also what scares me. As domestic violence survivors, we are always taught to choose self-love, to flee abuse, to know the signs next time. They never tell you how to love when being loved correctly. It seems like a simple concept. However, it is complicated, emotionally messy, and probably the most worthwhile thing we will ever do. There are days where I’m lost in the past and can’t see clearly. There are times you reach out to hug me and I flinch at the sign of any sudden motion to touch me. There are days that I don’t think I deserve you. There have even been days where my heart and my mind battled each other in the name of self-sabotage, trying to steal me away from you.
Before I met you, my heart was burned to ashes because I tried to create love in a heart where there was no room for me. I begged and pleaded. I stayed, even when it was time for me to go. I justified physical, emotional, and sexual abuse because I thought love meant suffering through anything to be together. So, like many girls, I did everything I could to hold on to something that was never meant for me. When it all fell apart and there was a shell of a woman standing where I once stood, I cursed love. I stopped believing. I told everyone who would listen that it wasn’t real. I shouted for those close to me not to believe the hype. I grew to hate men. I’d see couples and laugh because I knew the truth and they just didn’t. I spent a few years building myself up to appear as a strong, independent woman who didn’t need a single man for anything. As a matter of fact, my extreme independence led me to believe that I didn’t need anyone.
I had a chip on my shoulder and a story to tell, and no one was going to get the opportunity to come messing up my perfect world. I was safe and secure.
And along you came, so gentle but so intentional. So strong but so kind to me. You just kept coming around and I just kept letting you. You led the way, and for some reason, my walls crumbled as I followed. You spoke and I believed you. I felt as though I looked into your eyes and simultaneously found the depths of the ocean and the very shade of blue that God reserved for the sky on perfect days.
You know, you understand and you still challenge me to grow beyond the past. You encourage me to walk forward, and you’re never far behind guiding me back to the soft heart God handpicked for me. My guard is down. As easily as I am shaken, I am also at peace with your role in my life. You made a believer out of me.
The day I fell in love with you, the entire earth shook. The universe turned upside down and galaxies crossed each other. Diverse varieties of shooting stars sprinkled through the skies like mere glitter, and then there was you. I finally understood the power behind the light at the end of the tunnel. It was standing there wrapped in the most beautiful and radiant being that I have ever laid my eyes on. I melt at the sight of you, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.
So hello, Love, it’s nice to finally meet you. You’re the answer to my momma’s prayers. You’re the forever I had only heard about. You are the happily ever after I believed in as a child. Be still my heart forever.