I came down into the kitchen this morning, and Matt was sitting there reading his Bible in his bedtime regalia (fleece, flannel pants, double socks, and hat - yes, all of this, even in the summer). He looked at me for a second, and then his face brightened with realization and he said, "Hey, happy anniversary!" We marveled that it doesn't feel like three years - it actually feels a lot longer than that. Partly because our first year involved SO many things that most people manage to fit into ten or twenty years (multiple moves to multiple states, job loss and changes, etc). But Matt summed it up nicely, "I guess it just feels timeless."
Our first year of marriage was pretty tough. We went through a lot together and were stretched way more than we imagined we would be. Living states away from our support systems was no joke. Heck, we really barely knew each other, come to think of it, when we got married. We only dated for four months before becoming engaged, and were engaged for seven months, three of which we spent apart while I was at camp in southern Colorado and Matt was settling into the condo in Denver. Marriage was a huge adjustment, to say the least, for both of us.
Our marriage looks so different from what I think both of us imagined it would be. TV shows and movies and our culture in general gives us the impression that our partner is the one who is supposed to meet all of our needs, make us happy, and love us for who we are. While all of these things are true to a degree, we found that having these expectations of each other pretty quickly led to disaster. No one person can meet all of our needs - only Christ can. Our happiness can't be found only in another person - the joy of the Lord is our strength. And if marriage is supposed to model Christ's relationship with His bride - the church - then yes, we are loved for who we are, but the one (and the One) who loves us loves us too much to let us stay exactly as we are. That last one was a toughie. Being with this other person 24/7 served as a huge mirror that showed me just how selfish, prideful, childish, and set in my ways I really was. And so down the challenging, rewarding, amazing, redeeming, grace-filled road of marriage we sped.
God is so kind for giving me Matt for a husband, who I have learned is my primary source of grace on this earth. Matt, thank you for loving me sacrificially, for the way you take our relationship so seriously, the ways in which you seek to grow and connect with me. Thank you for being always on your guard for the things that could encroach on our relationship. Thank you for making me laugh, spending time with me, being my greatest source of encouragement, and always having my back. In so many ways we ARE still "newlyweds," but in so many ways, you're right...our marriage IS timeless. I can't wait to see what the NEXT three years will bring!