I wrote this “blog post” as a kind of anniversary card for my husband. Thoughts I could not articulate out loud, I was somehow able to communicate by writing in the style I use for blogs . After I read it to him, he gave me permission to post it here.
(Written on June 16, 2015)
Today marks my 14th wedding anniversary—YAY Us! This morning, as I jotted down a quick “Happy Anniversary!” note on my way out the door for work, I ended it the way I always end notes, emails, and texts sent while he’s away on business-NFA. All of my emails and notes from him end the same way- NFA. It is shorthand for a song that we adopted somewhere along the way- NFA stands for “Not Fade Away.” Written by Buddy Holly, covered by The Grateful Dead and others, Not Fade Away is a little diddy about a perseverant and dedicated kind of love. Buddy reminds us that, ‘A love to last more than one day, a love that’s love- not fade away.” A love that’s ‘love’ lasts, it doesn’t fade away. Wow. I am not even sure we knew much more than this was a catchy tune about someone loving someone else when we started using NFA as our sign off, but we both probably assumed that our love was real and because of this, it would not fade away.
Love is real…not fade away. But what if it does? Does that mean it’s not real?
Although my husband and I are happily married to each other, we have had to learn a lot about what love is REALLY and what it means when, well, it’s faded and worn. I know, it’s a shocking thing to say that sometimes real love, unlike Love Boats, is not always shiny and new. But it’s the truth. Love, real love, is not only about those feelings that my husband and I had at the beginning of our marriage. That love sometimes fades away, especially after I’ve been up all night with a cold, our schedules are busy and we don’t get to see each other every day, when we’re not getting along, or countless other reasons that we might be able cite as to why we aren’t ‘feeling it’ day in and day out.
But there is a love, a real love, that doesn’t fade away, and that is the love that we are clinging to in this journey called marriage. This love is the love we choose, not the love we ‘feel’. I have chosen to love my husband, not because he is intelligent, or handsome, or witty. (Yes, he is all these things.) I do not love him because, I love him period. This love does not fade. I know it doesn’t because though all the times in our marriage so far when my feelings of love have been damaged by the realities of us being two imperfect people in an imperfect world, my choice to love him remains.
Yesterday, on the eve of this anniversary, we had a small argument. If we had only been concerned with keeping the feeling of love between us unfaded, we would have avoided it. He wouldn’t say anything that might hurt my feelings and I wouldn’t speak up if I they were. But we chose to love each other enough to push through the emotions that we know are temporary, like frustration and hurt feelings, knowing that there might be a temporary ‘fading feeling’- no one ever has ‘that lovin’ feelin’ when they’re arguing, after all! We let the negative feelings come and go and the good feelings fade because we both value the love that doesn’t.
Our choice to love each other doesn’t fade, but we know it’s a decision that we make because of God’s grace. God chose to love us so He sent His Son. Jesus made the choice to love all mankind enough to push through the temporary feelings so that we could experience God’s love. It is THIS Love that is real—NOT (EVER) FADE AWAY.