Today is my anniversary. Eleven is the number and I think you all get the idea already, about how I love my husband and about how he's a really very good husband, it's true. But there is something that you might not know about me, about the eleven years. It was hard at first, still sometimes is. But I'm talking about the hard where you go into the bathroom and turn on the shower so no one will hear you sobbing, hard. I'm talking about the hard where you spend hours toying with the thought, maybe we made a mistake. Where you cannot fathom your life with or without this supposed other half.
When Kyle and I got married, I had firmly turned my back on God, I had decided that I was going to live my life the way I wanted. I had bought into the lies of the world and I wasn't going to allow God to talk me out of doing what it was I wanted to do, including marrying whomever I wanted to marry. This life was meant to be enjoyed, the wisdom in the Bible, it didn't apply to me.
I never consulted God when it came to Kyle, nor him when it came to me. We were young and in love and couldn't imagine that we would ever feel anyway else. After we got married we reaped what we had sowed, the wages of our sin was death and we felt it in our marriage, death eating at the love we thought would be enough.
Yet there was never a moment when He wasn't there with us in our pit. Our DaddyGod, always standing right there waiting, asking for us to turn, waiting to catch us when we fell, protecting us from ourselves. No matter how much we had tried to turn away, we were still His children. It wasn't long before the shine wore off from the world, living for ourselves left us empty, starving, we were alone and we had no idea how to fix what we had broken.
After nine months of marriage we walked into our church, and God began to make us whole again. We showed up that day with our hands full of ashes and we traded them all in, every one, not sure what we would get in return but sick of holding on to that which burns. And so the beauty began. Just a little at first, a friendly smile, the promise of friendships to come. But beauty multiples, blessing upon blessing. Soon it was a flood, truth spoken over our lives, mentors to show us how to love, teach us what the Bible says about marriage, an example, a blue print, an understanding not just of how to be one flesh, but of how to walk with our God. People who were not afraid to come into our pit in order to pull us out, friends who would become family, prayers and then more prayers.
Ten plus years later our church trusts us to do pre-marital counseling and I remind myself that it is a privilege. To be able to go back in time and speak to those young lovers, to tell them the truth about marriage, to tell them just how hard it is, how much work it can be, to insist that they understand, a strand of two will break, it has to be a strand of three. To let them in on the secret that while all of that is true, a marriage built on the Rock of Ages, is joy, is laughter, is finding out what you've been missing all these years.
Eleven years ago when my faith was so small, when I had decided that I no longer needed the One who saved me, I used to cry out to Him to please take away the pain, to please make it all better. I never could have imagined that he would do this, I would have settled for mediocre, for just being happy. But our Father longs to give good gifts to His children, He desires that my life be lived to the full. And it was for His glory that He saw fit to turn my marriage into such beauty, to build a family here, a legacy, a place where He can dwell.
Happy Anniversary Kyle, you are the best part of the beauty, you are just one more gift I never deserved. I'm pretty sure I would be boring and small minded and probably fat if I didn't have you :). You make me happy!