This is a Love Story


bethany suckrow -this is a love story-3

This is a love story. But it starts with a heartbreak.

A few weeks ago, my friend Emily found out that she wasn’t in the marriage she thought she had for the past three years. It turns out, her husband had been choosing someone else for the better part of two years, and that someone was a mutual friend. Text by awful text, she told me and our friend Caitlin the whole sordid ordeal.

“I need you to choose me,” Emily told us. “I need to know that you’re in my corner for this. I suspected this was going on for a long time but was afraid I was crazy, afraid that if I said something that no one would believe me and no one would choose me.”

That was almost worst than the news itself, that she was so afraid of being wrong that she couldn’t tell her closest friends. I felt utterly heartsick for Emily, angry and protective and mournful, made worse by the fact that we live so far away from each other. My arms couldn’t stretch that far to reach her. My financial situation can’t afford a plane ticket to fly out to see her. Every part of it felt so unfair.

The day after she told us, Emily went to see another friend who lives near the beach in Southern California. What Caitlin said on our group text encompassed everything I didn’t know how to say to her,

“I hope you get to see and touch the ocean and know how deep is our love for you, but also how much power you contain in yourself.”

I sat there, reading and rereading that text for a long time, just letting myself cry. Her words were meant to comfort Emily, but it was also a powerful reminder about how strong the bond is between us.

I can’t really remember the last time I felt Love, big-L Love, like that. The kind that feels like the presence of the Divine, a force to be reckoned with, deeper and wider than anything we can imagine, stretching on infinitely in every direction.

The next few days were full with wave after wave of love for Emily. As she told more people, more love poured in.

And it made me wonder why we ever expect anything less—why is it so easy to believe that we deserve less, even when the thing we’re afraid to tell our friends was never our fault to begin with?

The worst heartbreaks have a way of cracking us open and letting the light in on all of our worst fears. That our secret fears will make us seem crazy if said them out loud to anyone. That no one would love us. That we would end up alone. The light reveals them for what they are: lies and insecurities. The best kind of Love turns the light on and reminds us that nothing will separate us from it.

Bethany Suckrow
I’m a writer and blogger at at, where I shares both prose and poetry on faith, grace, grief and hope. I am currently working on my first book, a memoir about losing my mother to cancer. My musician-husband, Matt, and I live in transition as we move our life from the Chicago suburbs to Nashville.
Bethany Suckrow
Bethany Suckrow

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Bethany Suckrow
  • And who would have thought that God would show up in the middle of that horrible mess? But there He was, pouring out His love through you, and I’m reminded never to sell Him short. Thank you, Bethany.

  • That text from your friend Caitlin gave me goosebumps. I’m so sorry for your friend, praying she’ll find the support, strength, and hope she needs.

    • Caitlin is the best. I’m keeping a screenshot of that text forever. Thanks for the kind thoughts, Beth. <3

  • Jamie

    I love this because I have two girlfriends like this that I know I can come to with anything, even if I sometimes hesitate to do it. I know many women don’t have the same type of relationships with other women and I sometimes wonder how they survive crises because I don’t know how I would get through it without my two best friends.

    • Right?! Even though we don’t live near each other, I don’t know what I would do without them. Even just daily texting gives me a sense of stability and strength when it feels like everything else is going wrong in my life. So so grateful.

      • Jamie

        Oh yes! My new friends live in different states from me, including one on the other U.S. coast. It doesn’t matter.

  • WOW. Those words. Thank you for sharing this—the heartbreak, but also the Goodness that broke through. I love that you have this kind of friendship.

  • Debra Vaccaro

    We have a neighbor going through a separation – I do not know the reason – she will tell me when she is ready. But it is hard to see their house dark and sad with only the glow of the aquarium lighting the living room when it once was the hub of activity. I am the only neighbor she told and it is difficult to see her not reaching out – but I understand she wants to shield her teenagers from it all. I hope your friend feels the ocean of love.

  • Sarah Joslyn

    This had me in tears all over again. You are a woman of her word and a friend who is trustworthy and strong. I am honored to have you in my corner and I know Emily is too.

  • Bekah Landfair

    This tugged at my heart: I’ve sat in this pain, both with my own heartbreaks and supporting my girls through theirs. Love and vulnerability really do make beauty out of the mess.