This week we celebrate the five year anniversary of our wedding day back in 2011. I’m sure you never feel this way, but sometimes we look at each other like…. “Wow, we made it! We stuck it out and stuck together for five whole years.” Not that there’s any other option, but still. It feels like a big accomplishment some days, doesn’t it?
At one time, I would have shuddered to think that I’ll say those words. I only wanted to get married if I was promised the perfect husband who would agree to have a perfect marriage with me. I didn’t want anything to go wrong, I wanted to always be polite and kind and deeply in love, and God forbid that anything should ever hurt or disappoint. To sum it up, I was very self-centered.
Then my world shifted on its axis and I discovered things are askew and spinning and flood waters were rising fast, nipping at the heels of my selfishness. I ran for higher ground and climbed the tallest trees to preserve my self, sometimes sitting in the top branches to sulk and ponder if I had made a big mistake. I’m speaking metaphorically so it sounds a lot nicer than it was. My former self really makes me cringe, and really makes me grateful for the kindness of God, especially the branch that leads to repentance.
I am so glad I didn’t marry the perfect husband, and I mean it. Five years of weaving our lives together have created some patterns. I see how the dark threads create this depth and beauty, drawing us closer, more like Jesus and more like each other. I see what the enemy meant to kill, steal and destroy has been flipped into big, beautiful blessings that are reaching into dark corners of other peoples’ lives. I see that intense light of always being known and seen, is really the light of glory. I know that feeling of wanting a veil between us so I don’t die, just like the children of Israel. It’s terrifying to have nowhere to hide. What a perfect way to die though, my flesh being burned up in the light of your glory. I don’t want to hide in the treetops anymore because I want that bright light shining on me, burning off my barnacles. I’m so glad I didn’t marry the perfect husband, and I mean it.
It took awhile, but I absolutely love our marriage. We have fought fiercely, and fought fiercely for it. We have crossed paths so many times right at the foot of the cross. Every death was followed by a resurrection; every time we awoke in newness and oneness of life. We don’t take each other for granted, we don’t hide and we don’t give up. I love that we tell each other often, “Just be yourself.” I love that we don’t have to prove anything, or prove ourselves. I love that we are so much bigger, so much better than just two people. Marriage is supernatural like that. It opens us wide, stretches us deep and multiplies us over and over and over. Becoming one is a really beautiful way to lose your self.