Well baby, it’s February 25th, 2016. It’s been a hell of a ride, ain’t it?!! But we are here---we’re together!
Happy One year my beautiful bride.
It’s funny, at times, how it feels like more than 365 days fill the gap between then and now. And yet, this morning, the emotions and memories flood in and it feels like only yesterday we stood, hand in hand, making a promise of forever.
Man, you were beautiful that day! Your hair fell perfectly, your eyes sparkled with anticipation, and your smile was as exquisite as it’s ever been. Our feet trekked through the snow sprinkled park, and our fingers fidgeted to stay warm under the tile ceiling of the Bethesda Terrace. As we made promises that from then on forever linked our lives, we were surrounded by a support system, which to this day, seems too good to be true. From our stolen moments in The Village after the ceremony to the laughter and friendship that filled the walls of Philip Marie, our day was truly perfect.
As perfect as it was, we knew that the road ahead would hold more imperfect days than not. And that's been true. Marriage at times seems to be an odd choice that we love birds make. It's a choice to live a life of selflessness, a life of mutuality. It's a decision to love, a decision to consistently play second fiddle to one another. It's a life spent laying down of one's own way, and embracing a never ending compromise. It's making a lifelong covenant that joins our lives together without knowing what the future will unfold. It's saying, that even though we aren't guaranteed any particular outcome, I choose you. I choose to make this thing work. It's beautiful, and messy, and complicated, and fun, and frustrating, and rewarding, and crazy ... and yet, it's a choice, with you, I would make over and over and over again.
This year we have celebrated each other’s joys and we have cheered on each other's successes. We have seen one another's flaws and we have witnessed each other's imperfections---we know each other better for it. This year has held many 'honeymooner' moments, where we couldn't get enough of one another---where our faces hurt from all the smiles, our bellies ached from all the laughter, and our hearts overflowed with gratitude. It's been filled of moments where we have disagreed passionately, where we were stubborn and uncompromising, and where doubt fought to rear its ugly head. And yet, by God's grace, we clung tight to the promise we vowed and made the choice to love, even when we didn't feel it.
In the day to day routine of life, it feels as if so little has changed. While all the crucial parts remain intact, looking back over the past 12 months it continues to catch me off guard at how much change has been a part of our story ... how much we have grown, and how much farther we stand from where we began. It's truly an unimaginable gift, this marriage thing, to share life so intertwined with another soul, yet remain equally and uniquely independent, moving forward together, into a land of the unknown.
As messy or as breathtaking our journey may be, I am honored to do it by your side. May the next 40 years be as adventurous as our first. May the next 480 months push us into those waters that have no borders, where we lean hard on our vows, lean hard into Christ, and find amazement and wonder every step of the way. May the next 14,600 days hold more laughter than we can stand, and more grace than we know how to give.
Our marriage is far from perfect my love, but it sure has been, and no doubt will continue be an awesome ride!!
One year down .... Forever to go!!