one of our first dates back together - the county fair!
-the boy had a realization of clarity and beautiful truth that taught him undeniably that love is always anxious work and that love is an active choice.
-i was tremendously broken and it took an incredible amount of energy and faith to repair and rewire my mind and heart. real, abiding love, aided by the power of god (truly!) enabled me to put in that energy and faith. even now, my psychological reflexes borne out of heartbreak cause real challenges, and i am still healing. but i am healing - and it is amazing and miraculous and awesome.
-the boy left something - usually a flower and a treat and a note - on my doorstep every single morning and every single afternoon for several weeks. he sent me a letter in the mail nearly every day. often, i'd come out to my car in the parking lot at school (thirty minutes away from where he lives and works), and there would be something waiting on my windshield. eventually, when i let him in a bit more, he came to my house every early morning and read scriptures and prayed with me. he stayed up until the wee hours grading math packets for me when i was so overwhelmed with the demands of teaching (see picture!). he brought me meals and snuggled me after exhausting, frustrating days and took walks with me and ran
-i had a string of hallowed, certain, divine spiritual experiences that gifted me the trust and courage that i needed to let the boy back into my life.
-it was on the beach at half moon bay, near the place where we shared our first kiss a year and a half earlier, that i finally (after weeks of his patient and persistent perusal) was able to say to the boy again: "i love you back."
-before i told anyone really what was happening when he started coming back, i asked the boy to meet with my parents in utah. i'm sure that was an experience that none of the three of them will ever forget :) i was in southern california with my brother's family when that meeting happened, and i remember talking to the boy on the phone for hours that night (after talking to my brother and sister-in-law for hours, too!)
-one defining night, we sat in a beautiful, blooming garden at twilight and listened to these songs: gone, gone, gone / magic (later we listened to these ones, too: real love / true companion / then) and i could feel in my bones that we actually were each other's.
-i think in my heart, i always knew.
here's one of the first pictures we took together - nearly two years ago. we could have never imagined the wild path ahead. but - and this is so huge for me to say considering everything - i truly wouldn't have it any other way. i want love that is difficult and challenging and requires miracles and sacrifices and so so so much faith. because tough love is just that - tough. tough enough to endure anything.