If you were to ask me what the most wonderful thing about marriage has been, I would tell you that is has been the companionship, the togetherness of it all. We are not alone. We are in this marriage as a team, sacrificing for the good of our spouse, and believing in each other no matter what happens.There is a beautiful loyalty in this marriage, when I know he will stick with me, no matter what. Experiencing life together has been absolutely incredible. I love how my husband shows me the heart of Jesus every day.
When Jon and I began our relationship, I used to fear that as he got to know me better, and began to travel the mysterious depths of my heart, I wondered if he would be repulsed at what he saw. At the real me. With the courage that characterizes so much of the man my husband is, he kept pursuing and loving me no matter what. Marriage hasn't changed that about him, and trust me--marriage brings a whole new level of “getting to know each other”. As humans, I believe our greatest fear is being alone, but our second greatest fear is being known. As a woman who has been chosen, known, and still loved; it is the greatest gift my husband could give me.
For our anniversary, my husband booked a room at a lovely hotel, and we enjoyed some time away from all the busyness of life. We shopped and found some fabulous deals. We enjoyed butter chicken, biriyani, and naan bread at an east Indian restaurant [It tasted like a party in my mouth!].We relaxed in the hot tub. We watched our wedding DVD, and laughed as we saw our nervousness, fumbles, and the time that he tripped over my skirt as we walked down the aisle as man and wife. A lump rose in my throat as I heard him say his vows to me up there in front of our family and friends. I trusted him with my heart that he would stay true to those vows. Now I know he meant what he said. I cannot be grateful enough for my Godly husband.
The next milestone was on December 15th, the day that I moved to Canada. How well I remember that day. It was so cold, people, so cold! I may have grown up in New York state, but nothing prepared me for that bitter, savage Manitoba cold and the wind that seemed to slice through your being. That road trip was the longest of my life, each mile taking me further away from my family and everything that was familiar to me. I cried. A lot. There was a border crossing, and paperwork, that we were apprehensive about. My new life stretched before me like the straight roads that traversed the flatness of the unfamiliar prairie land we drove through. Unknown, and kind of scary.
That was then. Now, I look back and think, "Ignorance is bliss". I had no idea what our first year of marriage would hold, and I'm going to painfully honest with you here: it's a good thing I didn't know. Don't take this wrong--I would marry my Babe all over again. But had I known how difficult our first year of marriage would be, I would have approached our wedding day and the move up North with trepidation and fear, and that would not have helped anyone or anything. [Disclaimer: It's true that it just gets better, because our second year of marriage was so much better than our first.]
I have learned much about people and myself by moving to another country and beginning to familiarize myself with cultures unlike my own. The culture shock was quite unexpected, because what country could be more like my native land than Canada, right? [perhaps I should say "eh"? *grin*] Everyone spoke English and they drove on the same side of the road as we did. I think that experience deserves another post, another time.
Through all the changes in my life in these past two years, there is one thing that hasn't changed. One who has been my rock and the strength I needed to keep going. My husband? Ah, good guess. Even my husband has changed since we've gotten married. But Jesus hasn't changed at all. Even when I thought I couldn't feel Him, Jesus was there with me, sustaining me, His grace giving me just what I needed for every moment. I have found rest for my heart in cultivating an attitude of gratefulness and contentment. This journey is one of learning, really. Learning to trust Jesus to lead the heart of my husband and commit our every move to Christ. Learning to make Jesus my all-in-all. It hasn't been easy, and it never will be. The things in life that are truly worthwhile are not for the faint of heart, and they won't be easy. Our Lord has promised a yoke that easy, and a burden that is light. I am so thankful my Heavenly Father. He fills my soul with peace.
To my readers who are married; what was your first year of marriage like? How did you deal with the changes and adjustments of marriage, and perhaps a new community? What would you do or say to encourage a new bride in the throes of these adjustments? Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
Blessings to you!