I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that Tim and I are already closing in on our first wedding anniversary, May 23rd! What a joy our first year of marriage has been. Before we got married, I heard plenty of warnings.
“It’s one thing to like someone when you’re dating, but liking them when you live together is a whole different story!”
“It will be a shock at first. Don’t give up hope!”
“The first year of marriage is the hardest!”
“If you can just make it through that tough first year, you’ll be okay.”
Needless to say, I had some serious anxiety about the dreaded “first year of marriage.” But I’m infinitely thankful (and relieved) to say that our first year has been one of joy and growth, as opposed to strife and tension. I know that isn’t the case for every couple, due to a huge variety of factors. This has just been our experience.
As for the “shock” of moving in together… that really wasn’t the case for us. Maybe that’s because we dated for five years before living together, and we had a really solid understanding of who we were marrying, before the wedding day came. Living together has been a blast! Of course, it’s certainly brought some changes… in my case, those changes came in the form of Air-soft guns, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings collectibles, protein shakes, big sweatshirts… all things that make me smile, because they are reflections of little parts that I love about Tim.
Of course, it hasn’t been perfect. We are flawed humans who say things we don’t mean, do things without thinking, and ultimately hurt one another. There has been laughter, but there has also been tears. There have been moments of harmony, and moments of frustration and disagreement. Life is ugly sometimes, but we’ve experienced that making the choice to love each other- like Christ loves us- is so much bigger than that ugliness.
We both ultimately want to serve Christ, and live like Christ. This doesn’t always play out perfectly, or even well. But God’s grace is enough to deal with our imperfections! That brings both of us so much joy, and we get to keep marching forward together, hand in hand. We’ve read this and been told this many times, and we’ve found this simple truth to be a game-changer: love is a choice, not a feeling. Our lovey-dovey feelings for each other may come and go, but we have formed the habit of not letting those fluctuations affect the way we treat each other. That has been huge!
I just have to say, I’m so thankful for and inspired by Tim’s consistency in loving me. On the days when I’m having such a bad day that I pretty much don’t talk because I don’t have anything nice to say (just keeping it real, here), Tim is still there, ready to hug me, encourage me, help me, and point me back to joys in life and the hope we have in Christ. Christ’s unconditional love for us informs our love for each other. Because of Christ, we have a foundation to base ourselves off of in our marriage.
We are heading off on another adventure together tomorrow. To Tennessee we go, to stay with my friend Georgie’s family for a few days. I can’t wait to explore the Knoxville area! Now, for some laundry, cleaning and packing! I officially declare the rest of today a day of productivity! (Maybe if I type it out, it’s more likely to be true?)