Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seriously, Green Flowers?

I used to love romantic comedies. I love watching as "fate" made a handsome hunk fall helplessly in love with a perfect, dainty beauty that he would do for. It was so ROMANTIC but I've come to find that it is so not real life.
Derek liked me. He liked me a lot. He gave me a promise ring about 2 months after we started to intentionally date/court. Now he tells me, he wished he had just proposed because promise rings are pretty stupid. They say, "I promise to eventually engage you then promise to eventually marry you..."

Through our dating season though, Derek didn't give me flowers, or any special gifts other than the expected holiday stuff. We were both poor college students at the time, which was super understandable why I wasn't being showered in romantic symbols, but that didn't stop me from wanting to be shown this form of love.

My heart got pretty bad for a season. I began to wonder if Derek really even liked me. He would spend time with me, have great conversations with me, and tell me I was pretty from time to time. But for some reason, I just wanted him to surprise me with notes and poems, and sweet things like flowers and I was unsatisfied I wasn't getting that attention.

During our first year of marriage, I had such a hard time dealing with unmet and truthfully, unreasonable expectations that I held on Derek. He wasn't acting like the movies I watched growing up that said he would if he really loved me. I finally opened up about it, and Derek was hurt that I felt so neglected. I felt pretty stupid saying any of it because I would be reminded of all the sweet, whole hearted things he would say and do daily to show his love for me. But my words continued to fall out of my mouth, "I JUST WANT SOME FRIGGIN' FLOWERS!!!"
A couple days past and I came home to Derek's smiley face. "Welcome home, honey!"

As I hugged him, I could see over his shoulder a small vase with bright, neon orange, yellow, and green flowers.
Wait... What?
Neon orange.
Neon yellow.
Neon green.
The first flowers Derek has ever bought me.
Cue internal struggle between my brain and my heart.
Brain - "Shut up, he got you flowers."
"Awe, you got me flowers." I said in my soft, girlie voice. His eyes lit up, proud of his accomplishment. "Thank you so much." I whispered.
Heart - "Does he not know me, at all...”
Brain - "You asked for flowers, you were not very specific."
Heart - "Did I have to be?"
Brain - "Let it go and be grateful. Be patient."

So I thought I had let it go by not saying anything about it, but inside, I despised those flowers and mocked Derek for ever getting them.
Three hours later, we get into an argument about something minor and out of my mouth rolls, "YOU BOUGHT ME GREEN FLOWERS... REALLY!?"

I couldn't be grateful. I couldn't see the fact that he was trying to love me in my "language of love" which is very different from his, which is service and quality time. I made it about what I was getting verses the fact that my husband was blessing me and trying to show his love for me.

It was rough and my heart didn't change immediately.

For a while I used this story as ammo for how I thought Derek needed to step up his game. But I have since realized that I was the fool. I was the one so bent on the color of the flowers that I couldn't smell the sweet aroma of his love for me.

I apologized to him, about a year and a half later, for holding expectations over him (some that I didn't even realize I did) as to how his "real love for me" should look. Derek is not a Hollywood character, nor are we here to write my dream love story. We are a part of God's story, which is more romantic and pure then any "true love" tale ever told. He is kind, gentle, and patient despite our broken gifts and ever wondering hearts.

It has become a running tradition, and a never-failing-laughter-starter, to get some type of green flower in each bouquet that Derek gives me. It reminds me of God's pure love for me and intends for me to experience and give. It reminds me that,
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13


  1. Thanks for such an honest post (of such a typical female mind) :)

    As I was reading, "YOU BOUGHT ME GREEN FLOWERS... REALLY!?" it reminded me of how much we do that to God. In our false expectations, ungratefulness, forgetfulness and unreasonable demands of God our behaviour often screams non-verbally, "YOU GAVE ME YOUR SON TO DIE FOR ME... REALLY!?"

    Thank you Courtney for a picture of how much our Father loves us. :)