more than a feeling


We walk hand in hand down the sidewalk in my hometown. We’ve been dating a couple of months.

He turns toward me when we get to the corner, pulls me close and dances with me. Right there on that sidewalk under starlight.

And then he pauses, plants his feet, looks me in the eyes and says three words I’ve longed to hear him say–longed to say myself–for so many weeks now.

“I love you.”

And in that moment the world seems to stop, time seems to slow. My heart leaps inside my chest. My breath catches. My eyes well with tears.

“I love you.”

I truly cannot put into words that which would adequately describe this moment. But if you’ve been there yourself, if you can remember that moment, I’m sure you can catch a glimpse of just what I am talking about… that feeling.

And yet, over the years, three years ago today to be exact, I have seen played out what I knew before, and that’s this: love is more than a feeling.



I awake this morning, jet lag finally fading away. I turn to my right where he lays so peacefully.

Moments later his alarm sounds. I reach over and touch his arm gently. My love.

I haven’t yet remembered that today is the day, until I look at my calendar that is.

And on this day I reflect over the last 1,095 days since that first day he told me he loved me. Since that first day I told him the same.

We’ve been through a lot since then. Quite a lot. More than most likely have in their first three years together.

I’ve battled chronic pain and associated depression. It’s been a long and dark journey at times. And this man, this man who I love, has picked me up–literally–off the cold ground of the bathroom floor countless times as I crumbled into his arms in broken sobs.

I think back to that day, to those two young{er} versions of ourselves, and I think about how I never imagined our story would include such darkness. For it was–and is–such a story of light and hope and redemption.

But it did. And it does. And I can’t change that. I can only be ever so grateful that by God’s grace I chose a man who chose me, who continues to choose me, and whom I’m certain will always choose me. No matter what.

In fact, those three words are the very words we chose to include as the final statement of our wedding vows just over two years ago.


I Choose You.

People often believe the lie that you fall in love.

I have seen, witnessed and experienced, however, the truth that we choose love.

It doesn’t sound as romantic–“choosing love.” “Falling in love” sounds so much more romantic, so much more like a fairy tale. And yet I have seen just how romantic it really is.

In our engagement video Clay said, “For me, that’s where the romance is.” He was talking about choosing love, choosing that person, even when they drive you crazy, even when it’s hard.

This man, this man after God’s own heart, knows a thing or two about love.

But I can’t give him all the credit. He knows how to love so well because he knows the love of the Father–a Father that chose us when we didn’t deserve it, when we could never earn it. A Father who demonstrates His love by choosing us always.

Feelings fade; choosing lasts.

In his dating Bible–er, I mean book–The Sacred Search, Gary Thomas says, “I’m not talking it down; ‘connecting’ with someone on that level is a wonderful thing. Enjoy it, revel in it, even write a song about it if you want, but don’t bet your life on it.‘” {p. 27}

The beginning of my relationship with Clay was filled with such wonderful emotions–such intense feelings. I did write songs about it! And poems. And pages and pages in my journal. But that “heart feeling” was coupled with a “head wisdom” of knowing the character of this man’s heart, his integrity, his serious life pursuit of living in accordance with God’s will and righteousness.

On this day three years later I no longer get that fluttery heart-jumping-out-of-my-chest feeling each time he says “I love you.” And yet my love has only grown deeper for this man. My husband. My one true love. The man who not only loves me but who chooses me.

Clay, thank you for choosing me. Then. Now and always. Forever and a day. I love you. And I choose you.

As I sit here and type this today, as I reflect on our journey thus far and as I think to that which may lie ahead, I am so overwhelmingly grateful love–true love, Christ-centered love, Scripture-founded love–is more than a feeling.

So. Much. More.

We never know just what the future holds. We can’t choose much of what may unfold in our story. And yet we can choose with whom we walk it all.

My advice to you if you are single and longing to “fall in love”? Wait, and choose wisely.

As Gary says, “It’s not selfish to choose wisely in marriage; it’s being a good steward of the one life God has given you” {The Sacred Search, p. 51}.

. . .

*you can watch our engagement video here + our wedding video here!

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