Hearts that are Puzzled

Life Gives Us a Fairytale

Ever wonder why it sometimes seems that romance is only a fairy-tale?  Maybe it’s because we forget that in those Cinderella stories, the characters have to overcome obstacles before they arrive at their “happily ever after”.

Real life.  Real stories.

Two imperfect people are brought together from two different worlds, and we somehow think that “life will always be beautiful with you by my side.”

I know I’m starting to sound negative, but stay with me and you’ll see where I’m going with this.  There are no perfect marriages, because when two imperfect people start a life together as husband and wife, they come together with only a few pieces of the puzzle that will eventually make the beautiful portrait we call LOVE.

In real life, real love, we laugh and we cry.  We struggle to survive, and we revel in the moments that bring us joy.  We work through the difficulties that life brings–that just having two different personalities can bring–and we love each other more because of them.

My husband and I were both 21 when we married, and clueless! While we dated we really hadn’t struggled much, and our love was naive to say the least.  We thought that once we finally said, “I do”, our two worlds would come together and we would become

a beautiful picture of what love could be.

Moving to a new state, starting grad school and new jobs, being financially strapped and far away from everything familiar, we struggled to work out all of the “kinks”.  I just knew that I could never be the kind of woman he was expecting, and I’m sure he was firmly convinced that his world had been completely flipped upside down.  He had come from a family with four boys, and had just spent 4 years at a Christian college in a dorm room full of testosterone!  I had been independent, often working more than one job, and had the freedom to go and the freedom to spend.  Even though we had dated for four long years, these two mismatched pieces certainly had a hard time connecting.

And the first year was the hardest!

Several years of poverty and learning to enjoy each other despite the struggles taught us to depend even more on God and on each other.  We were totally committed to the Lord and to our marriage.







Every difficulty brought victory.

As we worked through our differences, we learned to appreciate the gift that marriage is. In our weaknesses we learned to go to our Creator, the very author of love, and depend on Him for direction, wisdom and perseverance.

In a culture that has depreciated the value of traditional marriage, we need to be reminded of the truth from God’s Word: God instituted marriage, and God knew that we needed each other.  It is when we put Him first in our marriage and allow Him to take two hearts and put the pieces together that we become the picture of love that the world is looking for.

A sweet young friend made this for me because she knew of my love for puzzles… (see https://wateringcanblog.com/2012/07/12/lifes-a-puzzle/)


Don’t you see?

The world’s definition of  love is lacking.

When our hearts are united–not as two, but three–the pieces of the puzzle FIT!  He designed us for relationship with Him and with others.  He demonstrated love for us on the cross. (Romans 5:8)  When you come to know and understand that kind of sacrificial love, you will see that it’s this kind of love that holds a marriage together.

Sacrificial love.

I still don’t have a perfect marriage.  You know why?  Because we are imperfect people. And yes, we still will have disagreements, but the underlying theme of commitment to the Lord and to each other provides the foundation we need for building a strong marriage.  If you want to read some of the things we do to keep our marriage strong, read:


In this season of focusing on love, let’s make sure that our hearts keep the right perspective on romance.

Real-life romance is a puzzle

–and the pieces don’t always look like we quite expected them to on our wedding day.  After over three decades of marriage, I can honestly say that I love my husband more than ever, and even though we are still busy trying to figure out where all the pieces go, we are enjoying the process.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, and as you do, your love for Him and your spouse will grow.

Pink tulip watercolor

Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?

  13 comments for “Hearts that are Puzzled

  1. February 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Reblogged this on wateringcanblog and commented:

    Because I am a romantic, I will be posting on love everyday this week! You might have missed this one from three years ago, so I decided to update it and share it again, since it is one my most popular posts on Pinterest.


  2. February 14, 2014 at 5:02 am

    I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from the SITS girls comment love.


  3. February 14, 2014 at 2:08 am

    What a beautiful story, it is glad to see that you are still married and in love after 32 years. That is a blessing in itself! I love the pictures what a great comparison. When we keep God in the center of our marriage it definitely helps! Visiting from SITSblogging!


    • February 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and your encouraging words! :0)


  4. February 13, 2014 at 11:22 am

    It is about working on the relationship each and everyday! Best Regards, Wendy #sitsgirls


  5. Jan Gilreath
    February 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    You opened up your heart with truth. We married and moved to Germany for 4 years. (We were 19 and 21) It was a definite fit the pieces time for us because all we had was each other. Our church family helped fit in what we needed. What a great God plan! And stll fitting.


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