Last week we celebrated our first anniversary. On my wedding day, as my bridesmaids can attest, I cried all morning. I was just so overwhelmed – by my love for Michael, by my utter disbelief that he had chosen me, by the gratitude I felt toward my beautiful parents, and by the joy that came with knowing that God had come close. I held my sisters’ hands, smiling and laughing, and cried, I talked on the phone with a bridesmaid who was living in Africa and unable to be at the wedding and cried, I prayed and I cried. I was a mess! I pulled it together for my makeup to be done and by the time I walked down the aisle, my tears had ceased and I was ready.
A year later, I’m the same. A year of marriage has only deepened the roots of those feelings; I have only become more saturated with gratitude; I have only become more keenly aware of the grace that permeates my life. I don’t deserve this humble, incredibly handsome, hilarious man and the life we are building together each day. The small moments are the best: waking up to his whispering “Good morning, cute girl.” or jogging around our neighborhood, talking about our days or discovering the totally weird things we each do. Having a partner: It’s a gift I don’t take for granted. I remember being told over and over before we got married that I needed to know how hard marriage is. And I know that to be true. Any time you deal with a whole person and all their imperfections, life is going to be hard, raw, and real. But what I wish people had emphasized was the deep-seated joy. Not just happiness but joy, the kind that grows from shared experiences, selfless moments, and the times where you see God more clearly at work because you see yourself being shaped by your marriage. It’s a sweet thing.