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Monday, August 22, 2011

Love like a tree.

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Love is having roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from our branches we find that we are one tree and not two."
-St. Augustine

I have only ever been ‘in love’ once. Okay, okay...Perhaps I should be clearer—I’ve only ever convinced myself that I was ‘in love’ once. He was the kind of guy that was ‘perfect’ on paper. Well known and well liked. Exactly what I thought I needed and wanted. He was the first man that I could imagine compromising my dreams for, the first man that I envisioned settling down with…the first man I thought might actually see me the way God saw me. In my head, I planned a home with him, and was content on living out this, stable, sensible, very un-Katey like dream with him. And I was happy with this. I thought.

It is often said that God laughs at our plans, and I have to say that when He laughs—He laughs until He has fallen over in tears.  At least that’s how I imagined it when the man I believed to be my future husband broke my heart leaving me devastated by my very first gulp of romantic rejection.

And there it was. That feeling that you see in the movies when all the famous, drop-dead gorgeous actresses try to make themselves look disgusting as they sit on the couch in sweats with a tub of ice cream yelling at the chick flick they are so appropriately watching after a bad break up. Come on, you know that feeling! The one when where you can’t really breathe because there seems to be a hole in your chest?

And with that feeling came the torrents of prayers. I prayed for our Lord to keep me from falling deeper into desolation, to ignite a hope in me that I had lost long before this young man had ever left me. I prayed to fall in love all over again with God, my savior. Rosary after rosary, mass after mass, I couldn’t imagine any more tears left in my body and yet whenever I began to pray the tears seemed to stream down my face just as you’d see in a cartoon.

Until finally, St. Augustine shook me out of my depression.

I am infatuated with the idea of love. This idea that one day I will understand what it means to look into someone else's eyes and feel completely and simultaneously…at peace and joy-filled.

I have been praying for my husband since I was five years old. I have daydreamed about him, thought about him, questioned his very existence and even written him e-mails (uh, we’ll get into that in another reflection). Twenty-one years old and you would think I was an old maid the way that I worry for him!

But here I was ready to settle for a man that did not see my value. A man that could not offer me the love that God knows I need and has imparted specifically to my future spouse. I did not trust our Lord to know what I needed, but even when I did not trust—God knew better than to allow our hearts to become entwined as St. Augustine’s trees.

Because, you see, ‘all the pretty blossom’ did fall away, and to him...I wasn’t the one. But that’s perfectly okay. Because, now that I’m far enough away from the situation, he wasn’t it for me either. Here I am a beautiful child of God, a devout Catholic and Christian who knows what she wants…and I know, especially after dating him, that I want a friendship and marriage with a foundation in Christ.


Let’s be a willow, darling.

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