Settling is an ugly word. I don’t know of many people, if any, who would suggest doing it. And if they did, I would say that they are not happy with themselves in one way or another. But the pressure to settle can be very real. Personally, I don’t think anybody should settle, despite the fear of being single in which so many experience. Because I believe that everyone deserves their heart’s desire. And because, after some years of exploring this big world on my own and discovering who I am and who I want to be, I have crossed paths with the love of my life.
I met Austin my senior year of high school. We went to different schools, but saw each other at church quite often. Once we graduated and went off to college, we didn’t keep in touch besides the occasional ‘like’ on Facebook. Two summers ago, we were both hired to work at the MN State Fair for the same company- Pronto Pups. We started talking again at that time, but it dwindled out around the same time the fair ended. I was about to go to school in North Dakota and he was in Wisconsin. Fast forward to the summer after that and we both found ourselves back at the fair again. This time was a little different. Lets just say that “we found love in a hopeless place”. You can thank Rihanna for those song lyrics.
It’s been seven months that Austin and I have officially been together and if I could tell you one of the many things that Austin has helped me to see it would be this: you don’t have to settle.
You don’t have to settle for the person who only loves you with half of his or her heart.
You don’t have to settle for the person who only treats you right around others, but behind closed doors is a completely different person.
You don’t have to settle for the person who doesn’t know what they have until it’s gone.
You don’t have to settle for the person who doesn’t accept you fully- flaws and all.
You don’t have to settle for the one who doesn’t do those little things that might not be important to them or others, but are important to you and make you feel loved.
You don’t have to settle.
No matter how cute he or she is. No matter how long you have been together. No matter how hard it is for you to wait. No matter how lonely you might feel at times. You don’t have to settle.
The past seven months of doing life with this man have been the best months of my life. They have been filled with laughter, road trips, surprises, overcooked scrambled eggs, good coffee, adventures, and Skype-dates. They have been filled with dreaming about the future, growing together in Christ, seeing each other at our best, worst, and everything in-between, and getting to know each other more and more each passing day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side.
When I think of Austin, the love that he shows me, and the relationship that we have, this verse comes to mind:
“Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I can tell you that no relationship is perfect. But there is a difference between settling and holding strong until that person comes.
I can tell you that true love exists and that there are still good people out there with hearts of pure gold.
I can tell you that romance is not dead. That chivalry still exists and there’s nothing wrong with that despite what society is saying.
I can tell you that if he or she truly loves you, they won’t belittle you in any way, shape or form but instead, he or she will build you up, encourage you, support you, lead you, and be there for you in every and all situations.
I can tell you that God gave me my heart’s desires when I least saw it coming. Sometimes the road was smooth, other times it was bumpy. But I kept moving, kept believing, and one day mine and Austin’s paths crossed once again.
I know in my heart that no one could love me quite like he does because no one has the exact heart that he has. I am glad that the path I took led me to him. I am glad that in those times when I could have settled, things did not turn out as I planned. Austin loves me in a way that I didn’t think I would ever experience with another person. With a love that I didn’t believe existed in this day-in-age. Austin James Merritt proved me wrong and took away my doubts. And that’s something that a person will never discover by settling.