December 20th marks our anniversary. It’s been three years since we said our vows to one another, deciding that for better or for worse, this would be our forever person.
When I look back at our wedding video and read the post I wrote for our first anniversary, I remember how absolutely, overwhelmingly in love I was with my husband.
And I still am.
But although that love I felt then was real and true, it hadn’t yet gone through the fire. It had yet to be tested and tried and proven true.
It was only a matter of time.
I still remember the first week of his life like it was yesterday.
We clung to one another, trying so hard not to drown in the waves of disbelief, grief, fear, doubt, and worry that threatened to overtake us.
But as we wept together, our cries turning into prayers and our prayers turning into songs of praise, somehow, miraculously, we started to believe. At the other end of this, there would be a glorious story to share with the world. And God was going to take our ashes and create something beautiful.
In just a couple of weeks, we felt stronger in our marriage than we ever had during the easiest and best times of the previous two years.
But here’s the funny thing. As tough as that season was for us, we had no idea that it was only the beginning.
Because then the baby came home. Which, of course, was what we had been so eagerly anticipating for nine long weeks while in the hospital. But we had no idea what was coming.
And yes, all of our married friends with kids had warned us of this. That babies, especially the first one, completely change the marriage dynamic. That you’re going to have to be intentional about going out on dates, making time for each other, etc.
“Yeah, yeah, we know,” we said.
Yeah. No. We were SO naive. We had no idea.
I am thoroughly convinced that marriage doesn’t have to go through some dramatic event to be tested and tried. It just has to go through postpartum hormones and sheer exhaustion.
See what I mean? 🙂 This grainy, too-early-in-the-morning family selfie says it all. Oh those tired smiles.
But we’ve learned (okay, okay…we’re still learning) a valuable lesson this year.
We demonstrate our love by what we choose to say and how we choose to say it.
Simple as that. This is obviously one of those easier said than done scenarios.
Which leads me to the next lesson we’ve had to be so very intentional about…
Be quick to forgive. Be the first to say “I’m sorry” and really mean it. Because we’re both going to mess this up. Again. And again.
And that’s why it’s called love. Because love is truly kind. Love is patient. Love keeps no record of wrong.
And when we choose to take our vows seriously and speak to one another in kind, patient, keeps-no-record-of-wrong kind of love, life with our forever person holds so many promises of richness and goodness.
So, with that, year three is in the books for us. We still haven’t gotten the awesome, non-blurry, everybody-smiling-and-looking-in-the-same-direction family selfie down, but the joy is real. And the love is even more real than it was the day we said, “I do.” What more could a girl ask for?
Happy anniversary to us, babe! I love you more 😉