So originally this was all included in yesterday’s post. But then I realized I wanted to leave that post as a simple celebration of what began 9 years ago yesterday.
Today, however, will bring some balance to all that.
I’ve been pondering lately what it means to be real, what it means for me, and what it could mean to others. As church folk I think many of us have bought the lie that our lives have to appear perfect all the time. Our pride prevents us from being honest and true to each other. We have an image we are working hard to maintain. This was especially true in my life early on in my marriage. I’m not going to lie… life has not been all sunshine and rainbows since that lovely day 9 years ago when Jon and I began dating. During those times of difficulty I pasted on a smile while inside I was filled with pain and despair. I couldn’t breathe a word of it because I thought people would criticize instead of care. I was sure that if people knew the truth they would think less of me, think less of Jon. I married young and I married a man I honestly didn’t know that well. We were ridiculously, passionately, desperately in love with each other, but we were untried, immature, selfish, secretive.
Awhile back I tried to write out our story like a story, because there is so much good, so much fun, so much adventure and surprise and silliness, I wanted to remember it, to share it. But honestly… it was too hard. For all the good and wonderful moments, hours, days, years that we have shared, there are other times it is better for me not to dwell on. Suffice to say, we have each forgiven much. By God’s grace I am not the person I was 9 years ago. And by God’s grace Jon is not the man he was 9 years ago either. My relationship with Jon has always been the hardest thing for me to write about. I was just trying to explain to Jon why that is, but it’s hard to find the right words. Love is painful, glorious, complicated. Often all at once.
Just know that we have a story. We have history.
So I guess that’s my way of being real. My way of providing some balance to the shiny, happy couple we are today. I love this quote by Antoine, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction”. Today I have a true partner, a true love. We stand together, work together, we are moving in the same direction, with the same purpose, with much greater harmony between us.
But more of life and marriage is yet to come. I don’t know if I will ever be vulnerable enough to blog during the harder times, but I’m thankful at least that I have people in my life now who I will turn to when those days come. God has drawn me out of my hiding, he is breaking apart my facade. I am real, my husband is real, my marriage is real.
Don’t hide and suffer and struggle in silence. We are all a bunch of broken messed up people, no matter how “together” we try to appear. Where there is a strong marriage, there is a history.
Where there is community there is comfort.
Where there is God, there is hope.
He makes all things new.
He did it for me and He can do it for you.