An Anniversary Reflection

We were married on a brisk November day two years ago. The leaves were perfect shades of yellow and the fall sun kept the air from being too frigid. I woke up that morning with joyful anticipation knowing that in just one day my life was going to change in the most beautiful way.

We both dressed up in our very best. I wore my elegant white gown, and you wore your gray suit. My hair was done just like I had imagined. I wore my shiny jewelry and my dancing shoes. As bride and groom, we looked fresh and manicured. In marriage, we’re rarely dressed up in our best. We see each other on our bad days and when we feel like a mess. You wake up to my puffy, childlike eyes in the morning and my tie-dye shirt from college I’ve worn too many times to count. I giggle when I see your Chiefs charms you bring out during the Sunday game and the gym shorts that you’ve worn since high school. Our lives are uncovered and unfiltered for each other to see.

During the ceremony, we recited our carefully crafted vows in front of our friends and family. We outwardly confessed our love for each other and exchanged rings of loyalty and commitment. As public as this was, with wedding pictures galore to prove it, these vows speak most loudly behind the scenes of our lives. In marriage, we practice these promises to each other in the quiet moments in the car, when we’re making dinner, cleaning the toilet, and taking walks together. We practice them in honesty, imperfection, and in the moments unseen by the rest of the world. That’s when I see our vows truly come to life.

I remember how excited we were to take communion together on our wedding day and serve it to those who were celebrating with us. As we dipped the bread in the wine, we reminded ourselves of the beautiful truth that Jesus’ blood covers our sins and in only Him do we find our hope. Our marriage and our lives are founded on this very truth. Yet, how quickly we forget this. We get easily distracted-- losing sight of Jesus and each other. We believe temporary pleasures will reap us more joy and we seek our own well-being instead of serving each other. Just as we shared the sacred act of communion that day, may we remember every day our great hope we have in the gospel of Jesus.

This beautiful union brought our people, ambitions, and stories together. We joyfully gave up our single ways for a better one together. The next time we’re sitting on the kitchen floor exhausted from an argument, I hope we remember that choice. When one of us tries to go a different way, I hope we chase hard after one another. When our house feels divided, let us remember that it’s not about who is right and wrong: we’re on the same team now.

Of course, our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. It was relaxed, full of our favorite people, yummy food, and the best dance playlist. The ceremony was meaningful and reflected us perfectly. It was exactly how I wanted it to be. Yet even the greatest detail put into that day, the sweetest GF wedding cake, the best Usher song, the grandest of gestures couldn’t compare to the richness of my everyday life spent with you.

The reality is: marriage isn’t played out in a gorgeous white gown and heels. It’s not lived in front of a crowd or behind a filter. It isn’t scripted and it’s far from perfect. Marriage is choosing each other day in and day out -- when I’m sick and you’re tired -- When things are going great for us and when the shit hits the fan--that’s when our vows really mean something. Marriage is laughing on the couch and drinking our favorite tea together. It’s seeking understanding and pursuing your heart relentlessly. It’s not letting each other quit when it just feels too hard. Marriage is embracing Jesus, one another, and whatever life brings our way.

I’m sure glad I’m doing this with you. Without a doubt, I’d go back to that cold, November day and choose you all over again. In my white gown and your gray suit, we’d dance the night away. Then we’d raise our glass and toast to the days to come.