This week, it's been two years. Two years since I woke up at 4:30am to have a wildflower crown tucked into my hair. Two years ago I slipped on a flowing white dress and walked down an aisle ending with a cross. Two years ago, I promised these words: "I love you not just today, but always."
It's been two years since that day.
Someone asked me this week, "How was year two?" I replied, "Harder, but better."
Year two was harder. Steve started a new job with a new schedule the week before our one year anniversary. I transitioned to a new job. We experienced several deaths within our families. Community was tough. The world seemed to literally flood with brokenness and pain. We often felt disconnected and frustrated. Year two was hard. But better.
Year two was better because despite the days of grief or frustration, I felt a deeper need for Jesus than ever before. I felt the weight of my sin and the way my idealistic tendencies often put pressure on our marriage. But in that understanding of my brokenness, I felt completely overwhelmed with gratitude for the Gospel.
Emotions are hard for me. I usually don't know what to do with tears or when I feel that lump in my throat, but this year I took baby steps towards feeling emotion. I felt the vulnerability and the grace that floods when I let myself go there (still not an expert, but I did literally weep over a Princess Diana documentary a few weeks ago). Experiencing emotion and letting Steve into that is a huge W in my book.
I remember reflecting on year one and watching all of my preconceived ideas of marriage shatter. Year two was another series of transitions. Which is all life really is, a series of transitions where we learn how to live and love and know Jesus more.
If I take one thing out of year two it's this: "Jesus, Jesus, only ever Jesus."
Now don't get me wrong, my husband rocks. He's goofy yet wise. Humble yet passionate. I've watched him grow in confidence and leadership. He stays up late studying for his MBA classes and wakes up early to put the dishes away before I pull my sleepy self out of bed. He let me get a second cat even though we definitely didn't need a second cat. He reads the Bible with me and also prays.
Despite all these wonderful things, Steve's broken. He's in good company though, I am too. Real broken.
This year I was reminded over and over and over again how desperately I need Jesus. I need Jesus to help me love Steve. I need Jesus to help me lay down my own desires for his. I need Jesus to cope with the brokenness in our world. I need Jesus to help me show grace. I need Jesus to get out of bed in the morning. I need Jesus to do my job. I just need Jesus.
Year two was certainly harder than year one, but better. I know Jesus more. I know Steve more. I know myself a little more. The whole sanctifying, turn you into someone who looks more like Jesus thing can hurt sometimes, but it's worth it.
Always worth it.