Friday, June 13, 2014

Lessons from "The Vow"

     If you were to ask me what one of my favorite chick flicks is, I'd have to say "The Vow", a movie inspired by a true story.  The story centers around Leo and Paige, a married couple who get in a serious car accident that leaves Paige with no memory of the last five years of her life, including all memory of her husband.  Throughout the remainder of the movie, Leo not only attempts to help his wife recover her memory, but also tries to win her heart for the second time. *SPOILER ALERT* Paige never does recover her memory of Leo, but she does gradually falls in love with him again, after which the couple is reunited for good.

     When I first saw this movie several months ago, I was touched.  Not often do you see Hollywood producing chick flicks of such quality.  Most usually revolve around sex, alcohol, drugs, or money (or all of the above).  Yet, "The Vow" is a movie that reminds you that true love is powerful.  It reminds you that marriage isn't just a wedding and eloquent vows.  Marriage is commitment, perseverance, and forgiveness.  In the movie, Leo remains committed to Paige no matter how many times she spurns him and his attempts to remind her of her vows.  He continually perseveres, doing whatever it takes to win her heart again.  Most beautiful of all, Leo never lets his wife's coldness make him forget his own vows to her.  On several occasions, Paige makes it clear that she wants nothing to do with him.  Nevertheless, Leo forgives her behavior time and time again, always remembering the woman she was and the woman he knows she can be.

     While Leo and Paige's story is certainly unique, it reminds me of my own relationship with Josh.  We've gone through our ups and downs just like any couple, but we've always managed to find our way back to each other.  In rough times, we've chosen to dwell on the happy memories we've shared over these last nine months.  In the past, Josh, like Leo, has often had to fight to keep our relationship alive.  He's had to persevere and fight for my heart.  While I'd like to say that I've been the model girlfriend and stood by Josh's side through the thick and thin, I'd be lying.  At one point, I'd sunk so deep into my apathy that I cared little for our relationship and little for myself.  I believed every lie I was fed by the world and allowed myself to temporarily forget who I was.

     Yet, even when I'd given up on myself, Josh never gave up on me.  I'd pull away, and he would pull me back.  At my lowest point, he picked me up, dusted me off, and helped me get moving in the right direction.  Though I'd hurt Josh with my behavior more than once, he never failed to forgive me and continually reminded me not of my many faults, but of who I am and what I have the potential to be.

     So, as you can see, our story is a bit like Leo and Paige's.  Our story hasn't always been sunshine and rainbows, and it has NEVER been without its fair share of trials.  Contrary to what outsiders might perceive, our relationship  has been marked by pitfalls, pain, and apathy.  At times, it's nearly been stretched to its limit.  Even so, something always brings us back.  Something always reminds us of why we fell in love in the first place, and that something has always been God.  When Josh or I have fallen short, He's given us strength to persevere and the strength to love each other through it all.  There have been times when I've felt unlovable and acted in a manner that wouldn't encourage anyone to love me, but Josh has always managed to somehow see past the facades I've thrown up.  He's ripped down these facades and loved me despite my faults.  And that's really the message of "The Vow" isn't it?  Unconditional love, commitment, perseverance, and forgiveness.

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