Our first year of marriage came and went so much faster than I ever could've expected. To say that today my husband and I are celebrating our "one year anniversary" feels incredibly surreal. As I reflect on the past year, I find myself overcome with a flood of emotions...
JOY...joy over the day-to-day happy memories and fun adventures created with my best friend in the whole entire world.
GRATITUDE...gratitude for my faithful God's incredible provision, reaching far beyond our financial and tangible needs.
CONTENTMENT...contentment in this new, life-altering season of my life as a wife.
FEAR...yes, fear. Fear that our first year of marriage was too good to be true. Fear that our expectations for the future are unrealistic. Fear that the "honeymoon phase" really is just a phase.
Something that always bothered me from the time I was a young teenager filing away "marriage wisdom and advice" for the future was this idea that the first year of marriage is, without a doubt, not only going to be hard, but rather it's supposed to be hard. Statements like "Get ready...they become another person after you say, 'I do'," or "My first year of marriage was hell on earth," or "They're never going to pursue you like they did when you were dating" set an uneasiness in my heart anytime I would hear them. Thankfully, that uneasiness helped lead me to the personal conclusion that just because there are certain people who have had those experiences - even if they represent the majority - that doesn't mean my husband and I have to share those same types of experiences by default. We get to make our own choices. We get to choose the kind of marriage we want. We get to choose to have an amazing first year. And we absolutely did.
Throughout the past year when many people have asked, "How's the married life going?", part of me would feel a twinge of guilt for not having a more pessimistic response. You would think I wouldn't feel the need to apologize for loving married life and having no complaints...but I've often felt this weird pressure like I've needed to - like I need to point out some flaw I've discovered in my husband or relay details of some big fight we've had. But the truth is, I haven't discovered any flaws in my husband during our first year of marriage. If anything, I've discovered more reasons for why I love him and am constantly reminded how ridiculously blessed I am to have him as my husband. And big fights? Intense discussions would be a more accurate description. And we've maybe had three of those. Is our marriage perfect? Of course not. Do we know how to push each other's buttons? You bet. Do either of us take credit for the amazing first year of marriage we've experienced? Nope.
We both know beyond the shadow of a doubt that our marriage is a gift from God, a display of His undeserved favor like we've never known. We also know that the favor we've experienced in our first year was set in motion well before we got married - I'd venture to say before we even met. I believe today my husband and I are reaping together what we sowed individually in our pasts. (See Galatians 6:7-10 for yourself.) God is impeccably faithful and true to His promises, something both my husband and I have believed and experienced from the time we were children. And now, we're getting to experience God's faithfulness together. During our first year of marriage, we have reaped a humbling, beautiful harvest from years of sowing seeds of love...patience...gratitude...self-control...generosity...contentment...joy...trust...and that was only by the grace of God. I have no doubt that every year of our marriage we can reap a beautiful harvest, so long as we keep sowing. And we get to choose whether or not we'll keep sowing year after year. We get to choose what seeds we will sow. Hard times will come. We will make mistakes. But we get to choose whether or not those hard times and mistakes will overcome us. When we reap consequences, we get the choice to turn around and sow what will produce reward. We get to choose.
So, if anyone asks how our first year of marriage was...
We unapologetically choose to say, it was UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING! :)
Babe, thank you for being my biggest supporter, my constant encourager, and my best friend in the whole entire world. This blog wouldn't exist without you. I have no doubt because of the character of your heart that God will bless the photography talent He's given you in ways you could never dream possible! Thanks for always putting up with me! :) You're my favorite person. I love you most!
Thank you so much to everyone that has been so supportive of our marriage and family! It means more than you'll ever know! And thanks for reading and supporting this blog!
[Wedding Photos by Derek Green]