On April 8th, we celebrated ten years of a good and true marriage. I’ve loved celebrating us this time of year as early April promises new life, and the days surrounding our anniversary date warm towards the heart of spring.
Together, we’ve learned how much we value depth and sincerity, how the language of adventure speaks to us, how our hearts bend easily toward vulnerable things and how God’s provision is not what we imagined but is, still good and sanctifying. We did not know these things would be sure footing when we said our vows ten years ago, but they have made a way for us.
We’ve also learned how difficult so many of our differences can be- especially (always) when we are too impatient, too driven and altogether bent inwards. Still, we press on together in a joyful, steady accord and till death do us part. I’m learning this gentle, ordinary perseverance is, the real meat, the real work of the covenant.
If someone asked you what it was like to “grow up,” you might pause, stumped for a moment, because growing up is a thousand different things on thousands of different days. I’m finding marriage is like that too. While it is, of course, legally captured by that signed license- it remains a commitment designed to make and give life so it must be: organic, breathing.
We do not hold a magnifying glass to the canvas of a masterpiece to verify its beauty. Instead, we spend time in its presence, we pull back, we forget ourselves and our personal agendas. When things have been hard, I have often wanted to nail us down to confirm what “we” are about or not about or to affirm who Luke is or isn’t. I am tempted, to pull in close with my proverbial magnifying glass- inspecting and controlling. Give me a plan, a proof, a map, I politely demand. But sometimes, in marriage, and in life, we do not need a plan. Sometimes, we need first, a nap. Then, a quiet, sincere prayer. Then, a resolve to repent, to turn around, and to let our hearts grow a little softer and kinder towards this blessed, beautiful person we have been given.
To my Luke: thank you for making our marriage such a live wire of love- while the practical parts of agenda, budgets and goals have their important place, these things make only an arrangement, not a life. Because of your push for presence, trust and vulnerability our marriage is replete with a noisy, beating rhythm that gives our union a fleshy skin and solid bone. It’s the most holy and human thing I’ve ever done, this life with you.
Our days are unglamorous and ordinary- filled with coffee, cluttered countertops and figuring out what to do for dinner. And now, in the evenings we watch our son– arms often thrown back in sleep, mouth making small, soft shapes. Even still, thank you for sitting long on the corner of creativity and contemplation and for showing me how humor really can lighten the burden of a tender heart. As the poets have said, your heart and my heart have indeed, felt like very old friends. I love you.