Friday, February 25, 2011

Strength (and an on-going love story)

24 years ago, a shy and pink cheeked 10 pound baby boy was born into a poor family. He never knew he would have to become the man of the house in middle school, when boys are more like boys than ever. While things were difficult at home, he somehow managed to rise above the bullying. Countless times these boys would call him names, each one cruelly pointing out his struggle with weight. At first, he'd only confide in his mom during these difficult times. Yes, though these boys would probably make fun of him for crying to his mother at home, he didn't care.

But one day, he stopped crying and got angry. He channeled this anger in productive ways, though. Unlike most boys who turn to alcohol, drugs, or even violence, he looked to the future. He prayed, though his faith was often shaken. He decided that he would become a man well before his voice caught up with his strong spirit ;).

Instead of walking toward his goal slowly, he sprinted with a purpose. In fact, he ran so much that he lost 80 pounds in just a few short months. The boys stopped talking, not just because he transferred to a different school with a better curriculum (because he had big plans for the future), but because they knew he had something they didn't. Despite not having the same academic background as his classmates, he still managed to graduate at the top of his class, exceeding everyone's expectations; going against the statistics, even.

This young, strong, poor hispanic boy wanted to go to college. And so he did. He graduated Suma Cum Laude, and was later accepted to one of the top universities in the world for graduate school. While that was impressive, it was really his heart that attracted his future wife to him the most.

You see, she loved everything she saw, and even the parts he couldn't see. She loved that he was bold. He wasn't about games. He saw what he wanted and, with more effort and prayer than most are willing to put forth, he always won. For instance, he came across a rather odd girl on Facebook who started a group called "I Love Dorks". For reasons she doesn't quite understand (even to this day :), he was somehow intrigued by her profile. So, without hesitating, he sent her a rather bold message. He claimed that he would be happy to be her suitor (among other things). He'd never even met her before. He sounded just like Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, but he was much more of a gentleman and didn't have the pride issue. She was instantly attracted to his confidence. Then she fell even more in love with him after reading his blog, where he'd already mentioned that he wanted to marry her (even though she still hadn't met him). It wasn't this bold statement that attracted her to him, though...

Today, she loves him even more than she did then, though he is missing one thing that he had when they first met. Her heart is still his, and his heart is still very much hers...but his kidney belongs to someone else now. He was willing to risk his own life for another. That was the definition of love. If he could love others this way, she reasoned that he would be able to love her the same. And she was right. This is why they became husband and wife.

But that's not the happy ending. Because life is constantly offering new challenges, these challenges also need their own happy endings. They've been together in sickness and health; when the days of illness were heavy with sadness and surgery day eventually came, he stood by her side and loved her even more. They've been together in good times and bad; because there's no such thing as the perfect marriage, they're learning how to become better people together and love each other all the while. They've loved each other for poorer, but certainly not for richer; they've learned how to trust that God will provide, and he has. They've become a family, and their journey together is still only beginning,

Every day offers a new opportunity for growth. Though she knows her heart has grown with more love for him throughout the years, she also knows for certain that his heart has done the same. He still takes the same approach to life--school is still a priority, but family is a greater one. She wants him to know she respects him so much for this. Though she sometimes fears he might have been able to accomplish more without these extra responsibilities, he has told her otherwise. He says that his main responsibility, his family, gives him the kind of strength and confidence that he never had before, so he is able to perform better in every area of life.

Still, she doesn't want to hold him back. But he insists that after class on rainy Friday afternoons, while others might be making arrangements to spend a long evening studying, or planning their life as successful bachelors, or getting ready for a night out with friends, his happiness rests in this: He has a family that accepts him for who he is. He has love. But what she wants him to know is that this home and family he loves is his greatest success yet.

God gave him wisdom to overcome his life's former challenges so that he could bring him to this place of love and acceptance, and transform him into a real man of genuine strength.


The Librarian said...

Whenever I read a rendition of your guys' love story, I always smile with happiness. I am so happy that this young, poor, bold man (because he is a man now) was bold enough to find you, powerful and lovely woman.

Anonymous said...


and that is the only word that will suffice.

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