Sometimes love comes at first sight. It comes fast and furious on a moments notice,  with bright shiny fireworks, banging cymbals, drums, and tornadic hearts and arrows. The exciting love that always seems to end up more like a hurricane came through.  Then there is a love like ours when love shows up in the midst of a long-term friendship.  Love is similar to a tree in an apple orchard. See, a dwarf sprout (apple tree) grown from root-stock becomes a small, bearing tree in 3 or 4 years.  In the 3-4 year period, it takes an apple tree to bear the sweet fruit, that makes pies, cakes, jellies, jams, and other sweet gooey goodness. It undergoes a lot of work. An apple tree has to be watered, fertilized {with stinky manure}, pruned, and protected from insects, frost, heavy winds and any other weather that would threaten the trees ability to grow and bear fruit. The roots of the tree have to grow deep into the fertilized soil to ensure it can withstand any heavy winds and storms that come its way.  It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of time energy and effort to get to where it seems like your investment has paid off. It can be discouraging to the farmer, especially if insects or weather has affected the growth of its tree. However, with the time and effort invested makes the harvest so much sweeter, and definitely worth the wait.

See one of the things that made me fall in love with my husband was, the apple tree. Yes, the apple tree. He pursued me for three years. He knew my history of relationships and marriage. He knew I was in a healing phase of my life, Therefore, he displayed the patience of a rock and he lovingly waited.  Not one time did he waver in cultivating our friendship through the wait.  He waited in the background, making himself available to me anytime day or night, without hesitation. He was a shoulder to cry on, a prayer warrior when needed when I needed one, he was a bible study partner, an Encourager; knowing exactly what to say at the perfect time. I think he would agree with me, the time invested in cultivating our friendship was worth what we share now.
Is our love perfect? No! Do we live a perfect life free of arguments? No! Are our children perfect? No! Do we have perfect jobs, money, cars, and home? Uh, no, no, no and no!! What we do have is a love like I’ve not ever had before. A love I pray all my children will find. A steady, constant, partner in crime, best friend, dependable, laugh till you pee your pants, rub my achy feet, stay-up-late work it out, never-go-to-bed-angry, Spouse comes first after Christ kind of love. The kind of love you see in the movies only better. I give my husband 100% of the credit for this kind of love. It was he who saw past my hurt, anger, and resentment. It was he who invested in me, spent years cultivating the foundation of our friendship that bloomed into what we have now.
I wasn’t in search of someone when God placed my husband in my path. I wasn’t prepared for what God had in store for me. But, I will tell you this… I could not have designed a more perfect for me personally in this universe. He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect {not even close} but somehow with prayer, friendship and love we fit perfectly together.
So, today on the one-year anniversary of our friendship flipped to dating I am so thankful for the rain, the pain and the heartache that led me to my husband. For without the past I would not know how to appreciate the kindness, gentleness, humility, and grace God has given me in him.
Ryan, I love you, and I am thankful for the love God has shown me through you. I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone other than you.
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