Its amazing how the things you were told to do when you were younger without being given any reason for them can come back and haunt you years later...only with reason that was never revealed to you by parents who love you.
I remember getting into countless fights with my sister. We'd scream at eachother, kick, bite, tear eachother's hair out...ok, never that bad - mom usually got in the middle before it reached such heights! But we didn't get along that well. We still don't. Every time we'd get into a fight, mom would make us go and tell eachother we were sorry and that we loved the other.
I remember gawking at mom - "I have to tell her I love her?!?! WHY?!?!?!"
In my mind, if I didn't feel like it, I shouldn't say it - I thought I'd be lying. My mother's response? "You WILL tell her and you WILL mean it."
I remember years later how it felt to feel a thousand miles away from God - I felt like he wasn't anywhere near me. My head told me he was, my heart said he wasn't. I knew that the right thing to do was to continue in my discipline of being his child even though I didn't feel much like his child. Read my bible, make good decisions, think on good things.
It dawned on me yesterday in a way that hadn't really occurred to me before - I'm giving my life to one man for the rest of eternity. I'm promising to love him through thick and thin. What makes me think I'm capable of that when I can't seem to remain civil with my siblings for more than a few hours at a time? And our relationship is going to be MUCH more intimate than that of me and my siblings. Sure, I get to choose my husband whereas I had very little option in siblings, but after this decision of "I do", I no longer have a choice. He is my HUSBAND.
And the lessons taught me by my mother while having to tell my sister I loved her even when I didn't feel like it washed over me.
There will be moments when love is no longer a feeling. There will be moments when I will detest him and want to scream at him and tear his hair out. There will be moments when I don't want to have anything to do with him.
But through ALL of that, one thing will always be true - I WILL love him and I WILL mean it...because that's what I'm promising him, that's what I'm promising God, that's what I'm promising our family and friends, that's what I'm promising our children.
And in those moments when the entire world feels like its caving in on me, that's when the strength of my love for him will be on full display. Not when its easy, not when everything is beautiful...but when I don't "feel" it.