It's been a while since I was preparing for my wedding, but, oddly enough, it seems like just yesterday. I've never had a more stressful time in my entire life, and most people know that I despised every minute of wedding planning and I'm the type of person who favors elopement unless you've got a substantial budget to put everyone else to work.
I didn't really have any expectations for marriage, because everyone preached how hard and difficult it would be. I've seen so many married couples weather serious storms and I knew that we would have our fair share. It was reassuring and scary at the same time and in the same breadth. Reassuring because I would have true companionship and joy, scary because another person is outside of my control and I was allowing that person to become an extension of myself without reserve.
The first year of marriage felt like late night ice cream, sharp words, broken cars, many tears, and a general sense of adventure paired with a harsh figuring out of adulting. We lived frivolously one day and then had budget meetings the next. I learned that my husband is not the same as having a roommate or a girlfriend, and my expectation of him meeting me at every turn with passionate, philosophical, and chatty attentiveness would have to be sacrificed. I discovered that living with a man was a learning curve, but that calm, rational, and loving conversation was a sure way to communicate all things, which took continual refinement and purging of my impatient, sparks-flying tongue.
The second year...well, things became a lot easier after we had learned to speak each other's love languages. We learned how the other operates and we learned how to respond and encourage in love. We became even adultier adults. We discovered that we were going to have a real human kid of our own and we faced the first real tragedy of our married lives with the unexpected passing of my father.
I feel like marriage is simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing I've ever done. It makes the beautiful things I had in my life even more stunning and real and precious, and it rips up the ugly parts of my ego from the deepest places in my soul. Marriage with Garrett makes me feel comfort and contentment like I have ever know. Marriage with Garrett makes me sharply aware of my brokenness and pride. It has allowed me to become more annoyed with a human than I ever have been, but also shows me a love for another that is deeper than anything I have ever known.
The best parts of these two years, for me, have been the random but deep conversations at night that make me fall in love with him all over again in an instant; talks that bring me back to when we were teenagers and running rampant with ecstatic feelings of love. They've been the simple dinners at the end of a long day and the feeling of waking up all groggy next to my best friend. They've been feeling the little feet kicking all around the inside of my belly, reminding us both that a little tiny human that we made is the best thing that has ever happened to us. They've been the moments where I swallowed my pride and apologized first even though I felt like I didn't need to, and the moments when I stepped outside of what I wanted and allowed myself to serve him in ways that I didn't know that I could.
Marriage is everything that I expected, nothing like I prepared for, and bursting full of the most tender and blessed moments of my life. Marriage, for me, is like the cross: utterly painful, humbling, sacrificial, beautiful, and the most profound deepening of real love.
Two years down, and I hope so, so many more to come!