On March 28th, Randy and I celebrated our one year anniversary together. 365 days before on the night of our wedding day we stayed in “Fenn’s Cabin” at Rowena’s Inn. I love milestones – all of the reflection and reminiscing that comes with returning to a particular place again. I’ve stood in the same spot Randy first put his arm around me in Deep Cove. I’ve returned to the same bench he said “I love you” in Victoria. I’ve walked by the first place we kissed down by the river. It sounds silly, but it almost feels like “hallowed ground” returning to places big moments happened. We were here – a year went by, or whatever length of time – and now we’re back here. So much has changed – but physically, here we are. Right back where we were. We decided to return to Rowena’s Inn one year later to celebrate our first year of marriage.
One year of love, of learning, of fighting, of apologizing, of forgiving, of fun, of laughter, of hugs, of cuddling on the couch, of teary discussions, of overnight adventures to bellingham and whistler, of shared meals at the kitchen table, of shared meals on the couch, of watching an entire season of friday night lights, of road tripping to california, of making the bed, of buying a puppy, of folding work socks and boxers, of appreciating one another, of being irritated by one another, of changing and allow the other person to change, of traveling to haiti and of launching the school sessions, of late night conversations and “let’s just talk about in the morning because we’re going around in circles,” of feeling blessed to be married, of feeling loved, of learning to show love better, of communicating, of date nights in the city, of dates walking the dog, of weeks with lots of time together and of weeks with barely any at all, of dreaming about the future, of making list of baby names, of notes left around the house, of three-word texts during the day “how you doing” because really, there’s no time to stop, but he just wanted to let me know he was there, of lunchtime phone calls, of 6am silent sleepy breakfasts on the couch before work, of pizza nights, of slow cooker meals and of “i don’t care what we eat tonight, babe, i’ll just make eggs. don’t cook anything.”
Sometimes you hear people say, “Marriage is hard.” I truly held the view before marriage that if you didn’t think marriage was going to be hard – you were pretty naive and in for a great, big surprise. I don’t know, I guess I’ve always been a little bit cynical. Oh, I loved Randy so much on our wedding day. Oh, I was so happy and peaceful not at all “bracing” for the hard times… but I knew there’d be challenges. I just didn’t know what they’d be.
Marriage is unlike anything you experience before you’re married. It’s different than dating and engagement–no matter how much time you’ve spent together or how long you’ve known each other. So yes, you could say marriage is hard. Because it’s new. Anything new is hard. You’ve never done it before you expect to be an expert already? Without work and communication, no undiscussed issue, bad habit unbroken or selfish trait will magically disappear. As Tim Keller says, “Marriage is the Mack truck driving through your life, revealing your flaws and humbling your reactions.”
The afternoon of our first anniversary, we fought. We fought tearfully (okay, I fought tearfully) and with frustration. It wasn’t how either one of us wanted to spend that afternoon but we laid on that hotel room bed and communicated. You hurt me then. And you hurt me then. I need this. And I need this. I’m trying to understand you. And I’m trying to understand you.
Neither one of us was willing to let things go unsaid, as much as they may hurt to hear. We “fight”/disagree/discuss (whatever softer word you want to use) with love because we’re both dedicated to this marriage thing. I want Randy and I want him forever. He wants me and he wants me forever.
That really is the mystery of marriage. How can something so messy, so complicated; two human beings full of sin and selfishness and inadequacies love each other like Christ loved us? How can something so messy, black mascara stains on a hotel pillow, be so beautiful?
It may sound strange but I love our first anniversary memory. I felt safer than I ever had in Randy’s tight hug that afternoon and the feel of Randy’s hand in mine meant much more than it did before our conversation. He’s here to stay. Nothing is “too much” for us to handle. Our anniversary getaway was perfect; celebrating what God has done in us and how much we have to look forward to in the years to come.
Every day, I’m thankful for my choice in Randy. He’s shown me love, grace, forgiveness beyond what I have ever known before. He knows me more than any human ever has and ever will. I’m thankful for his patience, willingness to work, to share, to listen.
I couldn’t do marriage without him.
He’s mine and I’m his.
Happy one year, Randy. You’re it for me, babe.