Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary.
In 3 years, we have lived in 3 different states. Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado. We have a thing for the southwest, I think.
Nolan graduated college and found a new job after spending years at a dead-end job.
After spending 2.5 years as a stay-at-home wife, I entered a new chapter as a caregiver for toddlers and preschool teacher aide (both of which I am now on the path to becoming teacher qualified).
We have experienced some of the most harsh disappointments in these years. We have also experienced immense financial blessings and support. We have explored the southwest together. And we have grown leaps and bounds in learning ourselves, our weaknesses, strengths, likes/dislikes, and what we want to pursue in this life.
We both agree that we're becoming increasingly more honest as time moves on. We have seen each other hit rock bottom in our personal lives more times than we can count. Three years can throw more at you than you are capable of balancing on your own, or even with an extra pair of shoulders. So, now, we know...marriage isn't for the faint of heart. If someone would have told my 23 year old engaged self that even with all my head-knowledge how utterly unprepared I was for this wild ride, I would have chosen to marry anyway. I would have chosen this path regardless. And, today, I still choose this path even though I haven't fully processed all that I have experienced on my own, as a young wife, living out of state away from my family, friends, and all the comforts of my 23 years of life in Arizona, sheltered and protected. Honestly, I feel like I have been wandering the wilds with this man I have always referred to as "my ranger." Pardon my frankness, but there is no way in hell I was ever prepared for this! Yet, here I am and here we are. Together. These three years have changed us, are changing us.
How many times have we washed one another's feet since that February afternoon we said "I do", I wonder?
A number that I stopped counting long ago in the way one loses count in the number of breaths since birth. It's easy to keep the muscle exercised out of necessity, but keeping it exercised for mere wonder's sake is the real gift. That is what we are humbled in each passing day.
We hurt and disappoint each other. There are days we grow apart, feeling lost. Then, days we drift into each other's arms, found again. We work to delight each other, to be the one to make the other smile so sincerely.
How can one person bring out all the best and the worst in you simultaneously?
This a mystery I am living.
The Apostle Paul's words on marriage really are profound.
My latest marriage revelation is that the "best" that I want for my husband is not always the "best" that God intends for him. Becoming open-hearted to the evolution of changes in your other half is not easy. Sometimes, it feels like you get to be a part in steering them towards their destiny, but in reality, you're not. You just get to walk with them towards Glory, whatever highs and lows that entails along the way. When it was written that Love is patient, I like to think there was an assumed footnote in there that reads: "especially and particularly for the married." Pretty sure that's what Paul wanted to get across to us married folk. ;) Because this is marriage: a long walk to Glory. We don't get to control or call the shots for any portion of it. But we get to build trust...if we want to. We get to enter into a level of vulnerability that would scare even emotionally well-balanced individuals...if we want to. We get to treat each other in all gentleness, compassion, kindness, and grace. If one wants to. And I say if because, let's be honest, humans don't always want to. And that is completely understandable. Living in the mystery of marriage is beyond the best of our human abilities.
But we want to.
I want to.
And, some days, I laugh and cry at the same time because...gosh darn it, this is SO hard and I want to!
I find that kind of hilarious.
I have and will always say that on February 10, 2013 I made the best and hardest decision of my entire life. Nolan and I chose to walk each other to Glory, come what may. 3 years sounds like a minuscule amount of time and, yet, everything about these few years have been of paramount importance.
Holding his hand, being a receiver of his glances, and having his familiar presence accompany me through the days is what I enjoy about my husband. I love him as Christ loves me and this is all that matters.