Seven months ago (and 4 days) Matt and I stood at the alter and made a vow to live as husband and wife until death do us part. As I write this, I still cannot believe it has been 7 months already. That is 218 days, 5,232 hours, 313,920 minutes. (Yes I had to pull out my calculator…and then I had to google it because I didn’t want to spend time thinking about the math equations). I’m astonished at how time has flown and slightly saddened at the realization that time will always seem to slip by too quickly…except for when I’m at work and the minutes crawl by. Womp womp. Life is funny isn’t it? I’m convinced God is a hilarious. The other day I went to the library to pick up a book I had on hold, and as I was checking out the lady at the desk told me that my 6 month new member trial was up and that I could renew my membership and enjoy the benefits of a being a regular member (unlimited DVD rentals!). I looked at her like she was lying to me. I have not been here six months. Your computer is wrong! I am still a new member!! She wasn’t lying. We’ve been here over six months.
To sum up our time together thus far, even though 7 months in the long run is not a lot of time, I would have to say its been one of the most calming, joyful, growing, restful, and exciting times in our lives amidst confusion, pain, struggle, and upheaval. Life has been far from perfect; do not be fooled into thinking that is not so. It has not been easy,nor has it all been handed to us. We have been extremely blessed by family and friends and were sent off into marriage with more support than we could have dreamt of, and for that we are extremely thankful. But our true guidance and everything we have been given, has been from the Lord. We have faced more changes in 2010 than we have in most of our 22 years (almost 23!), and with that came a severely painful turn of events which will leave us dealing with the destruction left in its’ path for a long time…none of which is our fault and none of which we deserve. I share this (vague as it is) so you may know that our life is real too, and not without struggle. Life is not fair nor is it perfect, and unfortunately many of us learn that far too soon in life. Yet while life is filled with it’s share of pains and losses, it is also filled with an abundance of joy and blessings given from a sovereign and fiercely loving God.
Matt and I sat in the car yesterday after church reflecting over our marriage up to this point, and how much we have seen God challenging us, teaching us, and shaping us over the months both individually and as a couple. We have learned more of how different we are from each other in so many ways, yet we’ve seen how fundamental that has been to coming together as a strong and solid team. So many of my weaknesses are strengths in Matt’s life, and vice versa. I can not hide who I am from Matt. I cannot disguise my sin for long, nor can I succeed at holding up a facade of how I want to appear. He sees me for who I am, and he holds to me it. As Gary Thomas wrote about in Sacred Marriage, you’ll never see your habits and sin more clearly than you do when you enter into marriage and are living with someone on a daily basis. Just as you cannot escape your reflection when you look into a mirror, you cannot lie to yourself about who you really are to your spouse. They see it all, witness it all, and probably call you out on it! But it is not a scary thing that we should run from or wish to avoid. To be truly known by someone is one of the most wonderful gifts in the world. God so often works through other people in our lives to change us, humble us, and transform us into more Christ-like individuals. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” For all the mistakes that Matt and I have made, I can say with confidence that we have been sharpening iron in each others’ lives. And for that I am so grateful.
As Matt says, for most of his life he has been a do-er, in “doing mode” rather than planning. Over the past 7 months he has largely been in planning mode, learning how to be patient and just learn. I have always been a planner, preparing for what I will soon “do.” Over the past 7 months I have not really been able to plan much beyond a week. I’ve just had to “do” day by day, step by step. We have been in unknown territory, placed outside of our comfort zone and outside of what feels convenient. But it has been in this place that we have begun to grow and stretch, and allow the Lord to refine us and build up our character to prepare us for the future. In this process, there is no one I’d rather have by my side then my best buddy, who I love more each day. And in all that we’ve experienced so far, we have had SO much fun together. We’ve enjoyed the absence of tons of commitments throughout the week and the busyness of too much going on that we knew far too well in college. We’ve enjoyed all our Friday movie nights together, our countless evenings at the gym, trying new recipes together, sleeping in on Saturdays whenever we can, and trying out new hobbies. In all of this we have found joy, rest, calmness, growth, and excitement in the midst of real, imperfect life. I am so thankful that the Lord has given me Matt to go through life with, taking on the good and the bad. Your spouse is the person who will (or won’t) be by your side through it all, so choose wisely.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
With 7 months and at least 77 lessons under our belts, I look forward to many, many more :).
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