As we get ready to celebrate the wedding of some of our dear friends this weekend, it has me thinking about marriage. About what it actually looks like, compared to what I imagined, a little over three years ago. Marriage has pushed me in more ways than I can describe. It has been wonderful, difficult, exhausting, exhilarating, challenging, and rewarding.
Now Aaron and I have been together, going on eleven years. We are one of those strange, rare stories of kids who grow up and end up together. We met in third grade, started dating in eighth, and got married at 21. We went to three different schools together, graduating from eighth grade, high school, and college with each other. So we thought that we knew one another forwards and backwards. And that we wouldn't have the same problems that "normal" couples go through their first few years of marriage. But we were wrong, in the most wonderful of ways.
In three short years of marriage we have faced our fair share of trials. We have lived off of little to no money, graduated college, gotten our first home, worked though deaths, started our careers, dealt with way too much illness, struggled with depression and stress, celebrated victories, and together, slowly, started to grow up.
There are no breaks from marriage. You see the other at their absolute worst and lowest point and in their best and brightest. But this is one of the most beautiful parts. You are completely vulnerable with the other, nothing hidden or secret. They truly understand who you are, what your going through, and are there to support you and walk with you through it. And when you celebrate the victories together, it is with complete, unfiltered joy.
"and the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate." Mark 10:8-9
Learning to lean on one another, and to strive to put the needs of each other above our own, has been one of the biggest challenges. Selfishness and pride have gotten in the way many times. Learning to communicate what we are really feeling and wanting has really helped us to grow.
It's so funny to think about who we were together before we got married. Yes, we knew each others likes, dislikes, favorites, and beliefs. But living together, making decisions and a home together, we understand one another on a whole other level. I am always surprised to discover something new about Aaron that he hadn't ever told me before. Don't ever grow tired of pursuing the other person.
Living with and being married to your best friend is such a gift. To be able to share your life with the person you love most is something I cherish daily. We are always pushing one another, striving to be better for the other person. We have our own likes and interests, with our own friends and goals we want to pursue. Which is crucial. But at the end of the day, we come home to the comfort of one another, to the home we have made together. There is really nothing sweeter.
Our goals have shifted from individual, to what we want for our family. We are laying the foundation for the home that our children will grow up in. I want it to be a place where they feel safe, loved, and secure. This takes complete trust in one another. I want to model for them what it is like to walk with God with your husband. I want them to see what it means to truly care about one another and to treat each other with respect and love.
No, we are no where near perfect. We fight, bicker, pick on one another, are rude, short-tempered, and are sometimes quick to attack the other's weak points that we know will hurt the most. Life is messy. We are constantly being faced with things we weren't expecting. But knowing that you have someone right by your side that will be there with you through the good, the bad, and the ugly is the sweetest gift. We never give up on each other. Our relationship is constantly evolving and growing with us.
Our marriage is not a fairy tale romance. It is not something that someone will someday make a movie out of. But I love my husband fiercely, with my whole heart. Each day I am blessed that he is in my life. He sees the best in me, and calls my imperfections beautiful.
So I look forward to celebrating our friends wedding this weekend. More importantly to celebrating their marriage and promises they'll make to one another. Because a wedding is only one special day. A marriage is for a lifetime.