I was young and stupid and I didn’t know what I was doing.
But taking a chance on him was the best decision I ever made.
Seven years ago I said “I do” to my best friend.
Each year has been different.
Each year has had it’s own highlights and struggles.
From saving for our first house, to selling that first house.
From nights out, to nights in.
We’ve changed a lot over the past seven years.
But all that time we’ve been building something.
I’m not sure I completely believe in soulmates.
But if they exist, then I’m sure I’ve found mine.
That person who I don’t have to explain everything to – because he already understands.
That person who supports my decision to work or to stay home.
That person who dreams big dreams with me.
That person who holds my hand every night while I fall asleep.
That person who is so good at taking care of and appreciating our children.
That person who treats me like a princess even though he knows I’m a badass – not because I’m weak, but because he is kind.
That person who listens quietly and attentively when I need to verbally process.
That person who appreciates my strengths – who speaks positively about me to others, even when I’m not around.
We got married just two years after meeting.
We were barely 22 years old.
Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing.
But God did.
I’m so thankful God helped guide my decision, in spite of the fact that I had no idea how long “till death do us part” is. (I still don’t.)
Looking back, I was still getting to know Josh when we got married.
But I knew all I needed to know.
I knew he was genuine.
Even now, I’m still in awe of his genuine-ness.
There are no false pretenses with him.
There’s no saving face.
God knows he doesn’t follow trends – sometimes I even wish he cared a little more.
But in a world of hipsters dashing from one hot thing to the next, this steadfastness is refreshing.
Or maybe it’s just nerdy.
Or maybe it’s maturity.
I’m not sure anymore.
But it’s Josh – and what you see is what you get.
I try to follow his no-fuss-just-do-the-right-thing-no-matter-what-anyone-thinks example.
It comes a lot more naturally for him.
Genuine and honest.
That’s pretty much all I needed to know.
I always thought I would marry someone a few years older than me.
Josh and I are only a month apart.
But he’s an old soul.
I’m a kid at heart.
He’s an introvert.
I’m an extrovert.
He’s all numbers and music.
I’m all feelings and visuals.
We’re complete opposites.
And it works.
We have shared interests and shared goals that unite us in spirit.
I prefer running and he prefers biking.
But we agree that driving the car comes second to human-powered transportation.
We can’t agree on what to watch on TV.
But that’s okay since we’ve agreed not to own a TV.
Josh inspires me daily to be a better person – but not in a way that makes me feel inferior.
He leads by example.
He doesn’t tell; he shows.
I’m incredibly blessed.
I try not to take him for granted, but I’m sure I do at times.
I try not to abuse his kindness, but I’m sure I have.
Marriage hasn’t made me a perfect, unselfish person.
But it does give me a steadfast, constant partner to tell me the honest truth about myself.
It is being truly seen.
And loved anyway.
It’s not all happy, love-y dove-y all the time.
Our marriage was near perfect the first few years, but we hit a difficult spell after Shiloh was born.
I resented everything about my current situation – including him.
He didn’t know how to win me back.
I didn’t know how to explain what I wanted.
I wanted the thrill of pursuit, but he didn’t want to be hurt by rejection.
We had some tough conversations – the kind where the air in the room is heavy and there are 30-second pauses between sentences.
But here we are.
My depression is finally gone, and our relationship is stronger as a result.
The dark days are like a distant memory now.
Mentally, I’m the best I’ve been in a very, very long time.
We are building a history together.
Our story is still unfolding, but it already has twists and turns and struggles.
Already, we are able to look back at what we’ve been through and smile.
Things become more valuable when we have to fight for them.
Here in the US, diamonds are used to symbolize marriage.
But the idea that a diamond is created by carbon withstanding extreme heat and extreme pressure is fascinating to me.
(2,200 degrees F and 725,000 pounds per square inch to be exact.)
After withstanding all that, something beautiful and valuable is created.
After going through something hellish, the resulting diamond is virtually unbreakable.
How do you make an unbreakable marriage?
You withstand the heat and the pressure.
You come out on the other side stronger, more vibrant.
I know marriage isn’t easy.
I’m pretty sure I married the most patient man alive.
And it’s still hard.
But, boy, is it valuable.
I never regret it for a second.
I’m so thankful for my marriage – two imperfect people trying to love each other well.
It isn’t about a fairytale ending.
I’m excited to grow old with Josh.
Excited to see what new adventures lie ahead.
Excited to see how God uses us and shapes us.
It isn’t really about us, anyway.
It’s about building a legacy much bigger than just us.
It’s about our children and our children’s children.
It isn’t as much about succeeding as it is about learning to fail well.
It’s about making mistakes and asking forgiveness.
It’s about embracing our brokenness because we fall short every day.
And that’s why grace exists.
It’s about seeing fully. Knowing fully. And loving fully.
Seven years down.
A lifetime ahead.