I want that for my kids. I want them to grow up and fall really and truly in love - whether it be with a spouse or a vocation or both. I want my daughters to grow up and get knocked off their feet by some fine, young man whose life's goal is to be a partner to her, and help her and their children get to heaven. I want them to be swept off their feet. I don't want them to settle for anything less.
I know I have told the story about how Doug and I fell in love, and I know my children know it, but I don't know if they have any idea what was truly in my heart at the time, or now. When Doug and I first met, we were a broken hearted pair. We had both been betrayed in a fairly heartless manner, him more so than me; but God had bigger and better plans for both of our hearts. I just know that everything happens for a reason, according to His plan...
....for instance, when I was married the first time, there was no time to be married in the Church. This was God's providence. He knew this was not the man for me, and so the sacrament was not received.
When Douglas got married the first time, it was in A church, but not the Catholic Church, and with the agreement that should things ever get messy, they would just get divorced before it got ugly (which automatically invalidates a marriage in the Catholic Church). Not his idea, but he went along with it, thinking it was a strange thing to say before getting married. Probably should have been a red flag, but he was very young, and honestly, didn't want to heed any red flags, though they were numerous.
We both went on to have daughters, they were born just 7 months apart, in fact. And we were both separated by the time our daughters were 2 years old, or there abouts. This gave the two of us something in common - other than these life experiences we really didn't have anything in common, and might never have crossed paths if not for those little girls. God is very mysterious in His planning, indeed.
When we did meet, it was not quite love at first sight, more like extreme interest. By the second time we met, we had been talking non-stop on the phone for a while...one of those conversations was probably the moment I started falling for him, big time. He was sewing Elizabeth's pants...he knew they needed sewing and just did it...I found that to be amazing, after the non interested, wanted to give my daughter up for adoption fiasco of an ex-husband.
When we did fall in love, it was an all-consuming, mind bending, heart full, walking on clouds kind of love. I swear, honestly and truly, I felt like the only person on earth who had ever felt this way. I couldn't imagine other people in love just going about their day as if nothing was different, so they must not really be in love, they just thought they were. So after running around, grinning like idiots for a few months, and running up enormous phone bills (we were long distance at the time), we got engaged. And then a few months after that, married.
We have had so many ups, and some pretty serious downs. Some babies with health issues, the losses of 6 of our sweet babies, and the struggles that come with being a blended family, but all of these things simply brought us closer. We are the very best of friends. We are lovers in every sense of the word. When something happens, he is the first thought in my head. He is the first thought in my head when nothing happens. He was the only person who could reach me through my grief when we lost our little twins, and he is the person who made me see that God was there with me all along...he insisted that I see Him, that I know God was there. I want this kind of love for all of my kids. I don't want them to settle. I want them to find that one person who God has planned for them. I really hope they can be patient and not have too much heartbreak in order to find that person. I hope they have learned from us how to love a husband or wife without ceasing, how to stick it out through think and thin, and how to just be so comfortable with that person that the absence of him or her makes you uncomfortable.
I wish all of these things for you, my children. And even with all of that, I wish for you the wisdom of knowing that as much as you love your husband or wife, they can never be that fairy tale love...that all consuming love for which so many people search. The only place that all consuming, completely unconditional love can be found is in the arms of our Lord. Don't expect a husband or wife to have the capacity to love like that, the way we humans seem to crave. Only Christ can love like that...so have big expectations, and fall in love - hard. But please, fall in love with someone who wants to help you get to heaven, so you can rest together in the love of the Lord someday.