I dated my college boyfriend for three years, and looking back I can see I spent so much of that time trying to convince myself it was right. Those three years were packed with lots of fun memories, but not much transformation of me as a person. I was just...comfortable.
After only knowing my now-husband of three years, I knew after 2 weeks that it was "right," and that he was the man I was going to marry. These three years have been the most life-changing and probably hardest years of my life. I have become a wife, submitting myself to another and having to disregard my own selfish desires for the desires of what's best for us both. I have become a mother, and again, laying aside myself for the good of my family. We have now moved three times in the span of our marriage.... some friendships have been lost, but new friendships have been formed while also maintaining some very life-giving ones that I've had for some time (I feel like I say that every post but friendships are huge to me, and through every change it has been hard to cope with the loss).
I am so thankful for these last three years and the woman I have become over that course of time. I attribute who I am becoming ultimately to the Lord, and I can testify that God uses mine and Brad's differences to help each other become the woman and man He has purposed for us to become.
MARRIAGE IS REFINING.
When we were dating, Brad and I Skyped and wrote messages on Facebook because he was deployed and it was the only way for us to communicate. We learned SO much about each other through paragraphs of very personal text back and forth and saw just HOW much we had in common. It was so exciting!!
And then... we get married and start realizing that although we have so many of the same interests, there are also some things in our personalities that are complete opposite. When two individuals come together to become one unit, it is HARD. You have to work together and take the other into consideration.
When you commit your life to another in holy matrimony, you do whatever it takes to work things out. You fight for each other and for your marriage. Period.
It takes time and I am no expert, but have already seen how easily people enter and then run away from their marriage commitments... because it is anything BUT easy to sacrifice for love. Look at Christ... his sacrifice of love took him to death on the cross, because that was the only way to redeem us back to Himself. Love is a choice.... and it's not always easy, but it is so worth it for the reward.
MARRIAGE IS REWARDING.
I have grown so much over the last three years, and because the Lord is living and active in both of our lives, we have helped make each other better. Brad challenges me, pushes me, makes me think BEYOND myself and chase after my goals. He is my number one fan and is the first one to point out when I'm not living up to my potential.
As someone who doesn't take criticism very well, this was hard for me at first haha But with time, I am getting better at accepting it because it's only to make me better!
I am so unbelievably grateful for the way in which Brad was brought into my life.... today has been reminiscent of the day we said "I Do," and I get all giddy again scrolling through the pictures and feeling all of the excitement of the day all over again. There was rain predicted all week for my OUTDOOR wedding, and all of it was DIY as Brad and I paid for it ourselves. It was sweet and simple and one of my very favorite days of my entire life.
My friend Chelsea wrote a blog that captures so perfectly the essence of that day.
Happy Three Years, babe :)