In a little less than a week, Mark and I will ring in THIRTEEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE! Zach said recently, "you made it to the teens, that should count for something!" I'm all, "HECK YEAH IT SHOULD!"
A blog post will have to do.
Two young kids, Jake and Melanie, are standing on a beach while a storm is blowing in. Melanie asks Jake, "why would you want to marry me anyhow?" Jake responds, "So I can kiss you any time I want!" (that writer made his/her career with that one line :)
1. Mark first kissed me on beach. It was quiet, soft and slow. After thirteen years of marriage, and 15 1/2 years of being in relationship with one another; I want to kiss him. Parts of me go missing when our lips stop finding each other in the early morning light before work steals him away, or when the daily grind collaborates to create a ravine in our paths crossing.
Truth: don't stop kissing each other.
2. Marriage is the most painful work on the planet. The vulnerability created between two hearts that are fully exposed, substantially increases the amount of pain you can cause and receive. Say, "I am sorry!" Oh my gosh, the number of times you MUST say these words EVERY FREAKING DAY to sustain the very life blood of two people's worlds colliding. We were barely out of the womb when we said, "I do!" Completely clueless to the way we would be called to beat our way forward in obedience to our love story. There is never a, "happily-ever-after" that doesn't require deep, scandalous, beautifully-messy, and sucky hard work!!
Truth: Holy, moly, crap-o-la, it's a knock down, drag out war to preserve the precious places of any marriage.
3. Before you get married, take your shoes off. I know some of my scandalous readers are on the brink of getting married themselves and are hoping to take off a lot more than their shoes... ;) and I just get all hilariously, giggly because that is SO WHAT GOD INTENDED! Why, but OF COURSE, you are anxious to consummate your marriage and put into action all that you desire and feel. Holy moly cow, if we cannot talk about and celebrate the intimacy of a married couple, than this is dead to me. Back to your shoes. Marriage, while incredibly painful and hard, is one of the most hallowed places we can walk. Do not tread like you are on eggs shells, but tread as if the ground you walk upon is sacred, and to be held with the utmost awe, wonder and honor.
Truth: naked feet are necessary.
4. As this last year settles into the history books, one thing specifically rises to the top of what I learned about my marriage, well... what I learned about my husband and the way he feels towards me. At the end of every day, I know down in my gut and into my toes, that my husband is FOR ME! I have had so many new and stretching opportunities placed in my life this year, and the first person up to bat to encourage and support me has been Mark. "You can do this, I can think of no one better out there to do this EXACT thing you are called to do. You are more capable than anyone I know!" Those words plastered themselves all over my insecure heart as I left for Houston last week. He is for me, he has ALWAYS been for me, but this year that truth became our reality, and it has required deep sacrifice on his part.
Truth: if you want to communicate to someone that you love them... you have to find a way to clearly communicate to them that you are FOR THEM!! Loving someone and being FOR someone are two opposing pieces of one part.
I am humbled everyday that I have been given the great and mighty task of being in relationship and in a covenant marriage with my husband. It IS the most sacred ground I walk on this side of eternity. Without a doubt, I am the source of the deepest and darkest wounds that lie on my husband's heart. Without a doubt, I carry scars of encounters that are rooted in being in relationship with Mark.
Without a doubt, the dance floor we step on is littered with unspeakable brokenness and screw ups.
WITHOUT A DOUBT, I choose him.
I choose Mark.
I have everyday for 13 years of marriage, and I have ZERO intention of stopping.
Tears pour, as I think about the story we have written and the story we are beating forward, in great sacrifice, to tell. Our sacred marriage is the sweetest, most delicate story I will ever pen.
I totes adore you!!