Love Story: Real or Trouble?

Love Story: Real or Trouble
By Jackie Francois

I usually open up my girls’ sessions with having all the girls sing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” For the last five years, girls from 6-12th grade have all excitedly sung this song with a deafening loudness that Andrea Bocelli could hear from Italy. I know that this song speaks to a woman’s heart, which longs to be pursued and loved. Clearly, it was one of the top 10 most downloaded songs of all time. But fast forward 5 years to Taylor Swift’s song “Trouble.” A far cry from a love story, Taylor sings of the heartbreak that comes from giving herself away to a guy who never really even loved her. Even the music videos of the two songs are complete opposite in their aesthetic: one shows a princess being swept off her feet. The other shows a disheveled and lost girl in a wasteland of despair.

Recently, I read that those who believe in the idea of a “soulmate” are 150% more likely to get divorced. I have also read numerous blogs by Catholic authors that talk about marriage as if it’s some cold, romance-less arrangement.

All this doesn’t bode well for me, the romantic who believes in a “soul-mate,” with whom I will have a beautiful love story.

So what are we to think? Does believing in the idea of a “love story” determine that we’ll end up with a “troubled story”? Does believing in a “soulmate” mean you’ll get divorced? Are all of us who call ourselves “romantics” doomed for heartbreak and heartache?

Well, it depends on your idea of a love story.

If you choose to believe that love is a mere feeling and whoever makes you feel all gushy all the time is “the one,” or that sex is the foundation of a relationship and thus you need to “test-drive” a person before committing, or that your “soul mate” will be your “everything” and fully complete all the desires of your heart, you got a heartache comin’ (and maybe a really great country song).

If, on the other hand, you believe that Eros-love (passionate love) is beautiful and necessary, but needs to be purified and caught up in Agape-love (God’s sacrificial, unconditional love), that sex is beautiful and a gift of self belonging in marriage alone, requiring great sacrifice in chastity, and that Jesus is the Bridegroom who alone satisfies every longing of your heart, you are in a good place. (It helps immensely if your significant other believes this, too.)

God, who is the biggest romantic of all time with the greatest love story ever told (the Bible), has an amazing love story for you. Is His love story all bunnies and roses? Nope! Just as His love story for humanity needed the agony of Good Friday to get to the ecstasy of Easter Sunday, His love story for us will also be filled with times of suffering and times of romance, times of painful sacrifice and times of blissful happiness, times of heart-wrenching loss and times of life-giving love. An amazing man of God told me that, “in marriage, the highs are higher and the lows are lower.” Why? Because contrary to what the world teaches (that unabashed hedonism will bring you happiness), we know that it is through God’s unconditional love that we will experience true peace and joy. It is through loving someone in their weaknesses, fears, hurt, brokenness, pride, and sin that makes those moments of romance all the better. When my beloved shows me his faults or his vulnerability, I don’t run–in fact, I love him even more. Thus, when we share beautiful moments of romance like dancing in the rain, or surprising each other with love notes, we both know it’s a sign of our deep love for each other–a love that is more than a feeling; a love that is rooted in Christ and loves the whole person, not just the pleasure we can give.

I knew my fiancé, Bobby Angel, was the “one” or my “soulmate,” because there was an overwhelming sense of God’s peace and joy in our relationship. Not only am I passionately attracted and in love with his body, heart, and soul, but I am in love with him in the good times and the bad. I love him whether we are in tears from laughter and beauty, or tears from pain and loss. I love him as my brother in Christ, my friend, and the love of my life.

I’m not worried about our love story becoming a “troubled” story. While Bobby and I are the biggest “romantics” who believe in a “soulmate” given as a gift to us from God, our love story won’t be from the pipes of Taylor Swift, but straight from the heart of God. As I walk down that aisle toward Bobby on August 10, 2013, he will be right under the crucifix, the ultimate act of love. Our marriage will not only have great romantic passion, but it will have THE passion–the passion of Christ, reminding us that to truly love, we must lay down our lives for one another as Christ layed His life down for us.

  One thought on “Love Story: Real or Trouble?

  1. April 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Awesome!

  2. Marian Pascal
    April 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Perfect Jackie…God is so amazing that he speak through.. :)

  3. April 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    According to Saint Raphael in the book of Tobit, “Do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you. And I assume that you will have children by her, and they will be like brothers for you. So do not worry.”
    This sounds like soul mates to me!

  4. Chiquita
    April 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Such a beautiful Portrait of Love. Thank you for sharing.

  5. April 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    As I read this today I was tearfully reminded as to how much I love my soul mate of 36 years. I would do it all over again and look forward to you and Bobby Angel’s adventure together. I always tell me newly married friends that if you don’t like rollercoaster rides get over it. Hold on tight, lot’s of amazing highs and unforgetable lows with great straight aways. Enjoy the ride. I will be praying for you on August 10.
    Pam

  6. Lisa Abramson
    April 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    A beautiful explanation of a Christian romance. And I can testify it leads to a beautiful marriage. Not one free of troubles but one where God is in the marriage and with His help and strength love just continues to grow.

  7. Monica
    April 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    i almost started tearing up reading this. you and bobby are such great examples :) god bless you both :)

  8. April 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Jackie, absolutley beautiful! May the glory be to God.

  9. April 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    so much so that I even forgot how to spell haha! Absolutely beautiful.

  10. G
    April 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I think that the basic idea of this article is excellent. However, with all due respect, I don’t think that the example of Taylor Swift, as presented, fits. To some degree, it could work…ie. if you were simply stating that “I Knew You Were Trouble” is a cautionary tale against the wrong sort of romance, as Taylor has herself made clear. (FYI, she has also stated that, in the video, she is playing a character (ie. to make a point), although the song itself has some basis in reality.) However, to imply that Taylor has, as a hopeless romantic and through “Love Story”, only embraced the “Eros” side of things without recognizing God’s Love is unfair. She is believed to be Catholic and discusses the true meaning of Love through God’s gifts and presence in “Christmas Must Be Something More”. She also seems to compare another, holier relationship to “Trouble” in “Holy Ground” and touches on it in “State of Grace” (“This is a state of grace. This is a worthwhile fight. Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.”), although she doesn’t claim to be perfect. So, I would personally be a bit more cautious about making assumptions, while your article is, at its core, a wonderful piece. :-)

    • G
      April 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      P.S. She calls out slutty behavior in another song of hers. She also serves others, especially kids with cancer, and even wrote a song about a little boy who died of cancer (“Ronan”).

  11. Isabel D. Sanchez
    April 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    I remember you saying 28 and still not married… little did you know! Right around the corner… BAM! Bobby Angel <<<and what a name, too! =)

  12. Johanna
    April 3, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Absolutely beautiful. It definately made me tear up a little bit because this was something I needed to read. Thank you for helping me realize what I desereve.

  13. Gabby
    April 4, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Please post wedding pictures in August! God bless you both!

  14. July 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Good stuff (-=

  15. Nana Rose
    August 9, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Dear Jackie, I have noticed that you have written somewhere at the end that you are going to walk toward your fiancee so I wanted to share something. In the litrugical books regarding the wedding ceremony it says (I haven’t really read it, but a lot of my friends got married that way) that it is better if the couple enters the church and walks toward the aisle together. (I have also heard that sometimes it is a matter of choice, whether you walk alone or together). So, I wanted to know what you think about it. God bless! I wish you both a lot of love and joy in your life together.

  16. Tammy
    September 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    This is so beautiful! Your posts bring such inspiration and hope, Jackie. God definitely speaks through you. Thank you so much!

  17. kris
    July 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Hey Jackie! Question for you, did you always know it was marriage you were being called to? Or did you ever go through a time where you truly thought you were being called to the religious?

    I know that first and foremost, what we are being called to is holiness, sainthood. And both are so very capable in any vocation He has willed for us. But sometimes the difference between being called to the religious and to the married life (or single), seems so hard to differentiate. One may feel like your heart skips a beat (in a good way) and the other may feel like a tuning fork hitting a perfect pitch. Or sometimes one feels like if you choose the other, you will desperately ache the one you didn’t choose, or vice versa.

    Thankfully God is real patient and kind, and he really doesnt beat around the bush unless absolute necessary, and for very good reason. And that keeping my eyes on him, is the best ailment/peace to the constant confusion.

    But, curious to know if you ever went through that road, and how you discerned between your choices.

    Prayers for you and your growing family! Thank you for being such a wonderful light!

    Blessings,

    Kris

  18. Lori
    November 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Does Jackie have any DVDs of her talks aimed at junior and senior high school girls? Thank you

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