All you need is love, they say.
Best let it be, I used to say.
It’s been ten years today since Mr. Smith and I said, “I DO!” and miraculously enough, these past 3,650 days of loving a man hasn’t reaped the hell-fire and damnation I once believed it would. Love, it turns out, is not a curse.
At this point, you might as well refill your coffee cup and settle in while I tell you the story of my Abbey Road Confession….
Once upon a time, Mrs. Smith was a devout, holy-rolling Bible-thumper too heavenly-minded for the temptations and stumbling blocks of this world. Love was a distraction that especially bothered me because I felt it was the ultimate betrayal to God. God was not to be replaced by people! People were distractions best held at arm’s length. And so I vowed never to let some man come between me and the Lord. (No, I’m not exaggerating.)
I don’t speak much about my dark spiritual past. I call it “dark” because I thought very darkly during those times. Everyone’s spiritual walk is different, but mine was more of a strut.
And then Mr. Smith walked into my life.
And I quickly became distracted.
Despite all my attempts, I just couldn’t stop thinking about him. My prayer journal quickly became a Smith journal, and I went as far as fasting for several days at a time on several different occasions begging God to deliver me from this temptation. And after a while, fellow strutters began to notice.
“You seem distracted and you need to ask God to deliver you.”
“You’re finding it hard to press into prayer because you’re distracted.”
“God seems far because you’re distracted.”
The spiritual diagnosis was clear: I was distracted and on the road to separation from God. (Again, not exaggerating.)
From that point on, every day felt like a struggle, and I became more and more frustrated at my failed attempts to become the devout woman of God the apostle Paul and fellow Christians said I should be. Long story short, it was a LOT of unnecessary drama. Then again, welcome to MY version of “the crazy college years”!
So when I had the chance to study abroad in London for a semester, I jumped at the chance. There I would be far away from my distraction. Or so I thought.
And here is the part in the story where we arrive at Abbey Road Recording Studios:
On a Beatles class tour, we came upon this building and though the thought of music icons walking these very streets was fascinating, I found the wall in front of the studios even more intriguing:
The white-washed wall was covered in a kaleidoscope of graffiti from visitors all around the world. In fact, the wall becomes so cluttered in writing that it gets a fresh coat of paint on a regular basis. When my class was given the invitation to share something of our own on the wall, I timidly approached with heart racing.
I knew exactly what I wanted to write…and yet…
…and yet I also knew that my words were bad, bad, bad! How disappointed my peers and mentors would be if they knew what I was about to confess.
The guilt almost cause me to pass the Sharpie to someone else, but suddenly I decided that the folks at home, and even God himself, would just have to deal with it. This was MY confession, dammit, and as long as I was in the safety of another country I was going to let the words out!
And with that I slowly wrote out:
I love Dave Smith.
As it says in the good book, “IT IS WRITTEN” and I finished the tour with a victorious grin on my face. Damn the consequences, screw the denial, forget the fight. I loved Dave Smith.
Fast forward ten years to this past September….
One of the first places I couldn’t wait to take Mr. Smith on our trip to England was Abbey Road Recording Studios. After we marveled a bit at the sights, I located the original spot of my first confession (long painted over) and penned these words:
It felt just as good the second time around.
I’m still not sure that love is ALL you need. I mean, what about cats and chocolate donuts? I can say, however, that love is our most valuable gift.
Love has been humbling, has softened rough edges, has brought understanding. A fanatical religious mindset almost lured me out of it, but, in truth, not really. After all, I tried praying and fasting the love away and even ran 6,000 miles from it, but, as it is written, love never fails. 🙂
Happy Anniversary, Mr. Smith. You’re the love of my life!