Today the Love Wins series is back after a few months of silence and I'm thrilled to have my dear friend Katie from A Beautiful Little Adventure here telling her story.
Katie was an easy ask. Her love story series on her blog was the first series I've read that wasn't an was happily ever after. The devastation in her tale is real and heart-breaking (even for me as an outsider), but the redemptive nature of love is evident beyond all things. So, enjoy her here. Then go there and read more of her story.
As a young girl I was a love fanatic. I was addicted to falling in love. The rush, the butterflies, the anticipation – it all made me feel so alive. I crushed and dated many boys, searching for the “real deal” I finally found him at my small liberal arts college. We dated for three years before he asked me to be his wife. I put all my faith into our love and into our future.
One year after that proposal, I erased the word love from my vocabulary.
At that point, I perceived love as a fairytale told to wide-eyed and sensitive little girls. I was a cold, bitter, shell of a young woman. The words, “I don’t love you anymore” had shattered my heart. My fiancé uttered those irreversible words to me over the phone while I was vacationing with my family. We were in the middle of planning our wedding, and our future, together.
My faith in love was stomped on and crushed until it was nothing more than dust. My anger and tears blew that dust away and I was alone. Life as I knew it was over and I had no idea who I was anymore. The girl who was obsessed with love no longer existed.
I locked myself up in a dark and cold room. The door was heavy and only I had the key. I was determined to not let anything that sounded or resembled love near me. It felt like my life was heading nowhere. I had no purpose and no confidence that I’d find one again. So, I kept that door sealed tight.
Yet, love didn’t give up. Every now and then, love would come around and tap gently at my door. Love’s taps were answered with my screaming rage. My heart yelled out, “How dare you disturb me with your lies, this is who I am now, I don’t need you.”
It was so much easier to hate than to love.
I didn’t want to listen to what love had to say. I was too busy preserving my door. I found comfort with friends and partying. I continued to date the wrong kind of men, because I didn’t believe I deserved any better. I was stuck in a prison I created for myself. But, of course I didn’t see it like that. This was my life now.
Over time love kept calling. My family supported me how loving families do, with kindness and patience. I accepted a new job that I loved and was able to use my creativity daily. I started to gain back some of that confidence. I was beginning to recognize bits and pieces of my old self as I introduced myself to new friends. And then the next day they’d be gone. I was healing but every step was painful and most times it was easier to simply stay put.
At least, I no longer screamed in rage when love came knocking at my door. Now, I stood quietly behind the door, hoping that it would never open up.
I was scared. I didn’t want love to see what was on the other side. I didn’t want love to see me so desperately lost.
After two years, I got curious. Love’s knocks were coming more often. Who did love think it was, being so persistent, nosing it’s way into my thoughts, disrupting my new life? Didn’t it hear? I didn’t need it anymore!
Pretty soon my curiosity started to build my confidence.
And then one day, with hesitation, I opened my long sealed door. The light was sobright that I had to close my eyes. Love came close and whispered very softly into my ear, “Yes, it’s you! I want you. I love you.”
I wasn’t sure I had heard love right. What did it mean by “Yes, it’s you!” and “I love you”. I didn’t need love to love me, I needed a man out there to save me. I needed someone to make me feel again. I pushed open the door the rest of the way with the anticipation that my love, my savoir would be on the other side. My love, to take me away, to save me, to fully heal me, to love me.
I opened my eyes. The world was a busy place. So many people going in so many directions. My eyes stung a bit as I took in the bright sun. It was so bright that day. It felt so warm, so comforting on my skin. For the first time I saw how the sun was shining for me. Not just for everyone else. The trees, the grass, the weeds, and all the people. I was part of them. For the first time in a long time, I belonged.
Love didn’t leave my side. Love held my hand as I found my footing in this new world I opened my eyes too. Gradually I began to feel like that girl I had given up hope on. I wanted to read those silly fairy tales again, to discover what I used to find so enchanting about them.
Love was my friend. Love was fun. Love was not letting go and I didn’t want it to. I found confidence in my work and in my life. I was finding a purpose again. I made plans for the future.
One day I woke up in my new apartment and realized I was fully healed. I was ready. I was ready to give myself a chance. I was ready to meet someone new to let someone love me.
Even though it was broken, I was going to shine up the pieces of my broken heart and serve it on a platter to someone. Even though it was broken, it was beautiful. Even more beautiful than it had been years ago.
I found that someone almost immediately. We exchanged our equally broken hearts and they fit together as good as any two hearts can. My soul smiled. We committed to helping each other be the best we could both be. Together.
I turned to face love, who had not left my side. I wanted to thank love for helping me find my partner and some day husband. I wanted to thank love for giving me faith.
As my eyes met the eyes of love I took a startled step back. There was love, standing in all her glory smiling at me. I gasped. Love wins.
She was a reflection of myself.