I am probably the most sentimental person you will ever meet. I love to reminisce and remember important times, so it’s no surprise that for about the last week I’ve been replaying all of our wedding events in my mind; there were so many special people who helped to make our day as wonderful as it could be, and it truly was one of the best days of my life!
As I look back on our three years of marriage, two things stand out: God’s faithfulness and the depth of Nathan’s character. We got married just 4 months after my dad passed away. Continuing to plan our wedding knowing my dad would not be walking me down the aisle was not an easy realization.
I think of Nathan in this particular situation and I’m overwhelmed by his love. In the “American Dream”, newlyweds are supposed to be lighthearted and carefree, not bogged down by a weight of grief staring at them before they even say their vows. Nathan saw me in my very darkest hours right before entering into marriage and then as we began our new life as husband and wife, and I’m blown away thinking back at how much he had to endure that first year with me emotionally, in addition to stepping into that new role as my husband. The poor guy had to deal with a brand-new wife who, at times, was an emotional wreck! Laughing one moment, then sobbing tears the next! Countless times he was woken up by me having another nightmare about my dad, greeted at the door upon returning home from work as I fell apart again and so many other instances.
I’ve noticed that grief does weird things to a person; all the stages someone goes through during the process brings out the depths of who they are, whether good or bad. We kind of got a crash course in “oneness”, if that makes sense. There was no gentle transitioning into married life and all the pretty and not-so-pretty stuff that entails. It was all on the table from the very beginning because we were both so vulnerable after my dad’s death.
I don’t say all this to plead for pity on me today! I am bringing this up to say that God has truly taken something awful, tragic and heartbreaking and used it for good in my life. Would I rather have had my dad there on my wedding day to give me away? Of course! A hundred times over, I wish that he was still alive on Earth! There’s no doubt about that. However, on the other hand, I have seen God’s loving and healing power in my life in a way like never before through this situation and I have been so blessed with a husband who knows how to love his wife. That’s why I say that the two things that stand out to me above all else over the last three years of marriage is God’s faithfulness and the depth of Nathan’s character.
Grieving is a normal and necessary part of life when a person experiences a loss or tumultuous thing in their life. Christians are not exempt from this reality and it’s healthy to go through the process of grief. I am blessed to have had my amazing husband walking through that grief with me. I believe our marriage is stronger and that our relationship is deeper because of what we’ve gone through together and the ways we’ve allowed it to shape us into the people we are today.
We don’t always get it right; we fail like any other couple. But the reason we’ve had three incredibly wonderful years together is that we work at keeping the first things first. In some ways that’s much easier said than done, but we have made a commitment to God and to each other and that’s what drives us to always continue putting effort into our marriage and our family.
Nathan is one of the easiest going guys. He doesn’t get worked up about anything easily and he’s very even-keeled. I love this because I can sometimes be all over the place. He treats me like his queen. He’s also really, REALLY fun to cook for because he always loves whatever I make. Now, seriously, we’ve been married 3 years…if he was faking that at first I think he’d have given up by now, so I know he really does love what I make!
He is also the most amazing daddy to our son! He’s not overwhelmed by much (except boogies, which he says are worse than poop, but I just don’t get that!), he enthusiastically plays with Judah and helps me out when he’s home and he sees it not only as his job to be a great dad, he sees it as his privilege!
I know some of you are thinking “Three years? Talk about marriage when you’ve got eighty-three years under your belt and I’ll listen.” Well, to that I’d say “Okay, I will!” My main point today is to give credit where credit is due for the blessing we find daily in our marriage: God alone is the reason this is true for us. Yes, we work at it and a lot of times we get it right, but more often we don’t. We get stressed out, we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, we forget to keep the first things first. But the grace of God makes up for what we lack.
My second point is to say that no one can tell me God can’t turn around the worst situation in their life and make something beautiful out of it. It happened all through out Scripture, it happens in the lives of people I know, it happens to people all over the world I’ve never met and it happened to me!
I love my husband and I am excited to see what the next eighty-three years has in store for us and our family!