My husband and I are coming up to our second anniversary of marriage ( May 11th) and now past is our second anniversary of
a) having met ( February 8th)
b) our first conversation (February 11th)
c) our first "date" (February 12th)
If you have been paying attention you will notice that we married about three months after having met. I don't really tell people that right away. I try not to, since most people tend to react with a sense of restrained surprise and doubt. How do I express to these folks that in our three month courtship, we crammed in three years' worth of life? How would they believe me?
How can I tell these nice people that though their concern is well-intentioned, and based on reality ( so says the great relational cynic) but totally unnecessary? That we know exactly what challenges we face as a married couple, let alone one who has only recently gotten to know one another ( and continue to do so). We know what a failed marriage costs, and so we know what a successful one is worth.
Well, let me say that life with Fuzzy has finally settled down, somewhat. In our first year of marriage, God changed both he and I dramatically, and we went through EPIC adventures. We also lost a baby and then had a baby shortly after our first anniversary. We are now learning how to be parents, and learning how to love one another in the midst of a life that feels more like regular life.
While the changes we go through are smaller, they are no less dramatic. I want to post a tribute to my husband, to the beautiful man he has become, and is still becoming. But before I do, I think it is important to talk about us.
I am motivated strongly not only to praise him to whoever will listen, but to lavish him with affection this Valentines' Day, and I am excited by this. Every day my hubby goes to work, to earn us a living and to allow me to stay home to raise our little Tristan. Every day, he chooses to put me and our son first, and for each small sacrifice he makes, I resound like a bell in gratitude. How can I show him what this means to me?
I come from a broken home, as many of you know. My father has chosen to love himself more than any other being, and as such he is not very well equipped to love ANYTHING let alone himself. My mother has a tendency to love based on production and behavior. I believed that God loved like that, too.
Until my husband came along, I didn't believe that anyone would or could ever love me like he does. Even God. For that alone, I am thankful. I keep that in my mind whenever I have the choice to get angry for the little stupid things. Because of him, God is introducing me to the love that He really has for me, and who I really am in Him. What a blessing!
On the anniversary of our first meeting ( four days from now) I am overwhelmed at how much we have both changed, and how we have been changed for the better. Marriage is a constant refining of one's self in order to put another first- and so is parenting. Much refining is going on, little by little. In the beginning, it was like refining metal- boil it up, skim off bad stuff, boil it up again, lather rinse repeat. While such a process is volatile and painful, it may have been easier to take for someone like me, who is drawn to extremes in myself and in others. I also enjoy using extremes to challenge people. But the slower process? More like water on a stone? ( Isn't there a torture like that? Chinese water torture?) I have a hard time with the slower ways, because it's easy to forget what's going on, lose focus and just complain.
But there are times when I am bored out of my mind and so rocked by what feels like stagnancy, and in comes a still small voice saying "this is so painful- there must be a purpose. What compels you to run, and what good comes of staying still?" and I thank God for that voice. It is this very inclination that causes me to realize that there is a purpose.
Joni Earekson Tada is a quadriplegic. She is strapped into a wheelchair, and is so much more than many people ever will be with all four limbs functioning- but one of the things that blew me away about her was what she said one day about when she gets to meet Jesus face to face. In her glorified body, she will have all the uses of her limbs and digits. She said that she used to tell people that when she met Jesus she would dance for Him. Later, and still, she said that now she knows that when she meets Jesus, she will
I felt that through my whole body as if I had been hit. An offering to Jesus to be still in His Presence, after a lifetime of being still. How amazing and self-sacrificing. I think of this whenever I feel frustrated. My stillness as an offering.