I was listening to the radio one morning on my drive to the lakeshore to visit my parents. This is a rare occurrence because I despise having my musical mind-retreat interrupted by a woman trying to sell me an electrolysis service she has probably never had. I jumped into the middle of a discussion between a male and female DJ... the first thing I hear out of the female DJ’s mouth is “So many young people THINK they are in love because they are trusting the wrong thing. The heart can not physically tell the difference between love and fear. These kids think they are in love at first sight because their heart is racing and their breathing hard, but what they are really experiencing is fear. They mistake it for love and begin a relationship they had no business being in.” I can’t recount where the conversation went from there because I was lost in my own thoughts. Falling in love with my husband of eight months, partner of almost four years, father of my first and last sons (blended family ironies haha) consisted of one magnetic moment that still catches my breath when I think about it.
“Love at first sight” may or may not exist. Soul mates could be something like a unicorn or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich… mystical or foundational. No matter how you look at it, life wouldn’t be the same without either one of them now would it? I am not here to negate or discount whatever you may believe… but perhaps stretch the possibilities of your imagination and play on the heartstrings of the romantics in the room for a moment.
Science tells us that love is chemical. Our brain produces hormones that are specific to situations of desire. Our bodies respond to that beautiful human being smiling back at us, smelling like a warm sunset on the lake in the summer, making every hair on your body stand on end, filling your face with fire and sending your heart into a rhythm similar to that of a merengue track… these are all responses that are completely out of our control. Suddenly science brings our intense Romantic Drama to a screeching halt with the confession that these physical responses are NOT specific to situations of love, but that we have almost identical physical reactions to fear, hate and rage. So… the question then presents itself… can we trust Us?
As a firm believer in all things romantic and in the omnipresent, infinite powers of the Holy Spirit, I must admit that this is one topic in which God’s sense of humor and deity couldn’t be more clear to me.
I don’t remember much about what I was thinking the night I met my husband. I was a single mom who focused far too much on her career and didn’t make much time for her friends. I remember not really wanting to be at the grand opening of the newest “club” in our small city. I remember ordering drinks with my head down, politely dismissing gentlemen that desperately tried to strike up conversations with me. I remember hiding in a booth with my married friend who had come into town with her husband and insisted I come out with them. She was successfully spotting every unclaimed attractive male that passed by our table. I was desperately trying to be social and wishing I was home in my sweats with no makeup on my face, eating pizza and drinking beer with only the company of my television. I may not have been willing to acknowledge the magnetism that happened that night right away… but today I can tell you with certainty that the ONLY thing that drew my eyes to the doorway when he entered the room was the destiny of our connected souls. We spent weeks chatting via text before we made plans to meet. I can’t even say I was excited to go on our first date.
We spent the first hour talking about our careers. He is a barber… I am a hair stylist. I kept thinking that maybe this was the beautiful beginning of the perfect professional partnership. The rain forced us into the bar, the noise level of the bar forced us outside and before I even knew what was happening we were walking towards my apartment, discussing life and kids… and then… my life changed forever… we held hands. (That’s right ladies… no steamy “pinned up against a wall discovering my body with his hands and gripping my heart with his mouth”). We held hands and the moment our fingers laced together everything I thought I felt about him changed. It felt like getting hit by lightning, there was this surge of electric fire in every nerve of my body and our future together became a 15-second screenplay in my mind, but it was so real I could swear that it had actually happened. And when it was over… I was in love. I didn’t tell him for several months after… but I can so vividly recall this moment. The moment that shaped my future and gave me the patience to withstand the amount of time it took him to come to the same conclusion (almost a year later I might add).
Throughout my life, I have had conversations with spiritually sensitive women who recount similar experiences with finding the soul they were meant to spend their earthly lives with. It is a phenomenon outside the chemical or physical understanding of our human minds. It is a bonding and fusing that can only be explained by God and his beautiful, boundless, incomprehensible magic… but it is REAL… and it is both rewarding and challenging.
No good thing in life comes without sacrifice. I’m not here to tell you that because I was so in tune with myself and aware of the instant I fell in love with my husband, that it has been some type of fairy tale existence of a relationship. We have had more than our share of difficult situations. Death, financial hardship, blended family controversies, cultural differences, workaholism, and bad habits are among the few… but the mystery of spiritual intertwining that happens when two people that are chosen for one another are joined is beyond description. Frankly, I think I could withstand fire, natural disaster, persecution, you name it… and I would still be standing here professing my unending devotion to the man I was born to be with. True love is funny that way. That leaves me begging the question... Do YOU believe in love at first sight?