I Thought I Knew What Love Was

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When I was 17, I thought I knew what love was. It came as a flood of excited palpitations that wouldn’t go away. Of blushing red cheeks and a heart that thought it would burst at the mere sight of Love’s name on the screen of my phone.

It came as a night sky of fireworks and wandering hands that wandered further than the maps I was willing to chart. And when Love grew weary of my terrain, it slipped quietly out through the back door when it found something new to play with.

When I was 19, I thought I knew what Love was. It came as secret whispers on slips of paper, hidden in the pages of my textbooks, and unsigned poetry arriving surreptitiously in my letter box. It teemed with wavering uncertainty, and bruised easily at the softest touch. This version of Love followed like a shadow that haunted the edge of my consciousness — a spectre that was always almost there, yet never quite solid enough to grasp.

When I was 22, I no longer cared if it looked like Love. And so it came as a parody of intimacy, and burned like wildfire that could not be controlled. This hurricane of not-quite-Love left a wake of destruction wherever it went, and all that was good withered and died in its hands.

When I was 24, Love found me. It came when I wasn’t looking and found it’s way into my heart when I thought I no longer knew how to love Love. Love made me want to become a better person and the best version of me. It did not ask of me what I could not give, did not take of me what it could not get. What it took, it gave more in return. It was gentle, patient and kind.

Love danced around the battleground of my stone walled heart with the kind of hopeful optimism I never thought I’d feel again. It chiseled relentlessly at 7 hardened years of broken promises till it found tenderness I’d forgotten had once existed.

Love broke me and unbroke me. Love made me remember that before I learned to build walls, I had once built dreams. Love showed me that vulnerability could be beautiful and that I did not have to be someone else’s version of me to be loveable.

So today I take this step of faith with the two greatest loves of my life — to walk this journey with Jesus in the center, and to choose you, Colin Tan, and only you, again and again, everyday, through all the adventures that the Lord has for us in this life.

A Cozy Marraige

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