I should be jaded about love. I have every reason to be. The past year and a half has not been kind to me. My marriage failed, my heart was broken, my spirit dampened, and my hopes crumbled around me. I spent a large part of 2016 trying to come into my own, learning about myself, figuring out how I would survive in this new season. Trying to understand how to force a broken heart to keep pursuing love, when it took all of its effort just to keep beating sometimes. 

Over and over this past year, Love has lost its battle, for me, and for others. I see a friend get divorced and think another battle lost. The presidential election this year smelled of money over love and brought another wave of grief. Everywhere I turn, every TV I watch, the theme of greed, hate, money, loneliness and selfishness screams out declaring victory over love.

Love lost a lot of battles this year.

But I believe love will win the war.

I believe in my love when my oldest boy chooses his birthday snack because he knows the special needs kid in his class will love Sponge Bob fruit snacks.

I believe in love when my 3-year old kisses the palm of my hand for no reason.

When a cherished friend brings lunch, doesn’t blink at the mess and stays to visit all day.

I believe in love when I watch my parents play with my children.

When I cry because a friend is pregnant.

I know love will champion when I look back at the last year and instead of seeing all the ways that it failed I focus on all the ways it shone through.

I feel it not only in the embrace of my friends, but also in the hugs from their husbands. Great big, protective bear hugs that shout how love is multiplied by love.

I could be jaded. I could cry and shake my fists at how unfair things are, and how I didn’t deserve what has happened. 

But I choose to breathe deep, and see the love. 

Love may lose some battles, sometimes big ones. Battles that feel like we may never recover from. But if you look for it, you will see love is winning the war. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves. Look up and out today, see the love, celebrate it, grow it, focus on sharing and shouting that LOVE will be the victor over all.

Kathryn Ryder

Hello! I'm Katie, I was born and raised in the Midwest and I'm still trying to learn to love the winters. I'm a tried and true boy mom, with four little men, ages 5, 3, 3, and 1. Since 2010, I have had 4 months when I was not pregnant, or nursing, or both. I'm having to actively search out myself again, and learn how to nurture my soul. I am a wannabe runner. I am an accidental writer, an experimental cook, and I'm learning to be a truth teller. I survive on a whole lot of coffee, friendship, little boy bear hugs and sloppy kisses, and about three hours of sleep a night.