Eight years ago on this long weekend, something fairly magical happened.
Ben and I got married.
It was a wedding 30 months in the making.
It was a wedding that almost got cancelled because I was just graduating and Ben had lost his job, leaving us both unemployed and penniless. It didn’t get cancelled.
It was a wedding where we only met one couple that day – we knew everyone else we had invited. Both of us. All of them.
It was a day where we made official what we had already been practicing for our entire dating relationship – the delicate dance that is living each other’s lives with each other for each other.
It was cold and wet and rainy and there was some snow and very little sun.
It was perfect.
In the eight years since, we have held three of our children and said good bye to one.
We have survived our first apartment and bought our first house. We’re still in the first house, and we’re dreaming of the forever house.
We have watched friends get together, fall in love, get married, break up, get divorced, have babies, and go the distance.
We have worked a total of nine different jobs between the two of us. NINE. We have been unemployed a lot. We have worried about money a lot. We have never gone without what we’ve needed. NEVER.
We have worked hard in our church together. We have taken time away from our church apart. We have taken time away from our church together. We are working out what church means to our family right now. We never thought this would be a conversation or a question. Marriage has been surprising.
We have had really good times, where there was little to worry about and a lot to celebrate. We have had dark times, where the hole was deep and the pain was great and the light at the end of the tunnel was incredibly dim. In all the times we have stuck it out together.
We are a team. It’s what makes us strong and makes us work.
We are best friends. Seriously. I love talking to Ben. LOVE IT. It makes it tricky when I’m grumpy with him. That’s why God gave me so many sisters in family and in life. I’m sure of it.
We are in love. Not the shiny, new love of a dating couple, or a freshly engaged couple, or a couple just coming down the aisle, but the in-love of a couple who have endured more than few battles but are standing their ground in the war.
We take time to look up from the chaos around us, from the nuttiness that is having three kids under 6, and really seeing each other to make sure we’re both still okay.
We also forget to take time because of the nuttiness and we pay a price for that. And then we take the time.
We have a lot of stuff figured out. We have nothing figured out.
We are doing our very best with what we have. And it’s not going too horribly so far.
But we know it can all change in a second, an instant, a moment. It will not be the same tomorrow. It might be painfully the same tomorrow.
Eight years ago this weekend, friends and family came to our little town to help us celebrate us. And this weekend we went on a sad, old-married-couple date (dinner, shopping, hanging out with Dianne, Ben’s mom) to celebrate. But the date wasn’t sad. It was lovely. It was quiet, with conversation, hot food, and the best company.
Eight years ago I said yes to the boy beside me, having no idea what the heck I was agreeing to. Eight years later I’d say yes all over again. In a heartbeat. Because it was by far the smartest, best decision I’ve ever made and making it again over and over every day has proven to be the greatest blessing.
Ben – I love you. We’re 8! Here’s to the next 8 and beyond. I’m so glad it’s with you.