Faith and Love

I should preface this by saying that my boyfriend and I didn’t use the word “love” between us for over a year. Instead, we said something else: “I have faith.”

This morning one of my friends from high school asked me where our saying came from, what it means, and why we do it. I spent about 40 minutes writing back to her and really liked the response I gave, so I decided to paste it here so I’d be able to share it with the world.

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Last year, when Davis and I first started going out, I was talking with my friend Dara about boyfriends and whatnot (since I hadn’t had one before him). We got to talking about saying “I love you” and I told her that I was afraid of just throwing those words around without actually meaning them. Because really, after you say that, there’s not anything you can say that means more than that, and it’s not something that you can easily take back if you make a mistake. And at that point I wanted to take precautions since he was (and still is) my first boyfriend, and I didn’t want to rush into saying things we didn’t mean. I also didn’t want to be left completely devastated if it didn’t work out between us right off the bat.

She offered her suggestion, because she felt the same way with her boyfriend. She said that they say “I have faith” to each other instead. (I’ll get to the meaning of it in a minute) I really liked it, not only because it was something sweet that we could say to each other that was similar to “I love you,” but also because it was uniquely us. I talked it over with Davis and expressed my concerns about telling him that I loved him prematurely (obviously at that point we hadn’t said it at all). He was feeling the same thing and really liked the idea, so we started saying “I have faith” and decided not to say “I love you” until we were both ready to.

So as to what it means… When we say “I have faith” to each other, it means that we have faith that everything will work out between us. We have faith in the relationship and faith in each other. We have faith that we’re meant to be together, because we really both feel that we are. For about a year it meant that we had faith that the right day would come when we could finally tell each other that we loved each other. Because believe me, it got REALLY hard not to tell him. That day did come, and it was really amazing to be able to say it. We waited until it was just right, until we were absolutely sure that it was true. We’d put a lot of emphasis on that word (“love”), and to finally say it and mean everything that it meant to us was really wonderful.

But I think what I like the most about it is this: while we do say “I love you” now, we still say “I have faith,” because both of us still do have faith. It still means so much to us. To us, the whole thing – the progression from saying “I have faith” to “I love you” – really felt right, and that’s why we did it.

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Thank you, Stephanie. You really brightened my day!

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Fixer

He promised me.

Long before we were dating, perhaps even before we had given it any thought, he made me a promise.

We were sitting in my kitchen, humming along with Coldplay (which was playing softly in the background), talking about whatever came to mind. Then “Fix You” came on and we both went quiet. I remember having a thousand thoughts race across my mind and I was lost in my own little world for a minute, completely out of reach.

Then his voice pulled me back.

“‘Tears streaming down your face…'” he said. He looked at me, his blue-green eyes gazing into my soul. “I promise that if you ever feel this way, I will fix you.”

My brain stopped spinning entirely. No one had ever said anything like that to me before. I mean, sure, I got hugs from friends when I was upset, with pats on the back and “There, there, it’s all right”s, but it had never been anything that blatant, that honest. Here was someone who was really willing to help me when I was crumbling, even though we’d met only a few weeks before.

I can’t say I remember what I replied with. We were just getting to know each other, and I’m pretty sure I said I’d fix him too. But I do remember how his words made me feel and how much they’ve stuck with me.

But what gets me even more is how true he’s been to the promise he made that girl living next door to him last year. He could have forgotten about it entirely and just left me to deal with my own problems, as I feel many guys would do.

Not him. No, every time I have an emotional meltdown, he comes over and takes me in his arms. He holds me until it’s all out, until the last teardrop has been shed and I can cry no more. He passes me the roll of toilet paper I’ve stolen from our bathroom and helps me dry my eyes. He listens through the sniffles to my problems, my fears, my frustrations and tells me it’ll be alright. Nevermind that he has homework to do. Nevermind that his shirt’s now covered in his girlfriend’s tears and snot. Nevermind that he wasn’t the cause of it, that he shouldn’t be the one on the receiving end of my meltdown. He just pulls me closer and rubs my back, always patient, always kind. And once I’m done he tilts my chin up until I can see into his wonderful ocean eyes with my puffy red ones. He smiles and once again looks into my soul and tells me he loves me, making the world bright again.

He fixes me.

Never once has he wavered from his promise, and for that I am so incredibly grateful.

Sometimes it flat-out baffles me that I have come to find someone so wonderful in the world. I have been so lucky and so blessed by God to be able to call him my best friend and my boyfriend. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve him, but all I can hope is that I can give him everything he’s given me.