I used to think that loving someone was a feeling.

That feeling that makes you feel secure.

Or happy.

You just can’t get enough time with that person. You think about them. You love their touch.

I’m so glad for those emotions, but the older that I get the more I am privileged to see long term love in action, and I’ve noticed something.

Real love shows up when feelings fail to arrive. 

Yesterday I sat in two hospital rooms. One where young love welcomed their first child. Another where old love received hard news.

Both of these life events will impact these couples.


That beautiful little baby will turn his parents’ home upside down with joy and diapers and late night feedings.

For the next 18 years plus, they’ll juggle their love for each other with the needs of this child. They don’t know it yet but there will be times that tempers will be short because sleep is nowhere in sight.

That’s when love is no longer a feeling.

Real love shows up at 2 a.m. when you’re rocking that child and he’s colicky.

Real love shows up as one parent sacrifices to give the other an extra hour of rest.

Real love shows up when you kiss each other gently and take time to talk, when all you really want is 10 minutes of solitude.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”drUJ0″ via=”yes” ]Real love shows up when feelings fail to arrive. https://ctt.ec/drUJ0+ #livefree @suzanneeller[/ctt]

And then there’s the couple that received hard news. 

They’ve been married for over half a century. He calls her “Ma” and she doesn’t mind it. They’ve forged a life together tangled in hard work, lots of lovin’, and a sprawling family that crowds the house at Christmas.

Real love shows up when the doctor gives you three options and none of them are what you want to hear.

Real love shows up as you answer your husband’s question for the 10th time in 10 minutes, and you’re patient because you know he can’t help it.

Real love shows up as you pull a sweater over his head and put shoes on the feet of the man who once was your strong tower.

Real love shows up when feelings fail to arrive. 

What does this teach us?

My feelings don’t get to tell us when or how to love those closest.

Instead, we’ll love first and let the feelings catch up.



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