Tuesday, September 4, 2012

7 is sure to be our number

I was watching "19 kids and counting" last night and it was a wedding episode. One of the Duggar daughters got married. They had a few of the other Duggar girls sitting in chairs in a panel speaking about what they are looking for in future husbands. They are all under the age of 18 and spoke with such confidence. They spoke about finding husbands who could admit when they are wrong and husbands who love the Lord. They said that finding someone who had a great relationship with the elders in their family was important. Then I watched the wedding, it was the bride and grooms first ever kiss. They both had decided to even wait for that. I was in awe and discouraged at the same time. I found myself feeling a little envy and resentment because they had chosen to do things the right way. The God way. And then I got to thinking about how today, my husband and I are married 7 years....

Scott, when you and I met, we had no list. There was no criteria. We were so broken we both just needed someone to take all of that away. You and I both agree that if we hadn't met, we both wouldn't be here today. I didn't even consider all of your faults when choosing to spend the rest of my life with you. Infact I will never forget that 5 am we were so drunk off champagne on our front porch of our crappy apartment...that we talked about God for the first time. I believe that's the first time you met Jesus. I believe.

I never had the engagement I dreamt of. We quick planned a wedding after 3 years of being together because we decided the best route for you would be to join the Navy. Then you left and our life really started. We didn't have any engagement photos or meeting of the families...In fact most of our early days were spent fighting, leaving each other and then speeding right back. We had many opportunities then to get out. Even before we were married. But we didnt.

I am thinking back on our 7 years of marriage today a little bit in shock and a whole lot of grateful...thinking about the list of sins we have committed against each other and I think how crazy are we? How crazy is this marriage that seems more like a seedy romance novel, than a God breathed union of a man and a woman. And sometimes I even find myself questioning God...how could he have brought two people together that clearly are the complete opposite and were so broken that we didn't even know what marriage was, unlike those Duggar kids...because not everyone knows our story here, but you do. And you know what I was going through when we met. And I know what you were going through...and that night before I left for Cedar Point, I prayed...and I hadn't prayed in a long time. But I asked God to either help me make lots of money at that summer job or lead me to the man I was going to marry. And I didn't make any money that summer...

So here we are. 7 years later. Still in somewhat of a broken state. We still fight, we still get consumed with what the world wants us to be, at least I know I do. And I think about that letter you wrote me back in 2002, in our book. The one about the tree and how awkward it was then but how it was going to bloom into the most beautiful thing we had ever seen...and I think about how broken we really are and how much pruning has been done on our tree. Because we are still here. Through all of the hurt we have caused each other, through all of the promises we have broken. Its almost like God put us together because he knew how broken we were and he knew that we would hurt each other...because we didn't have the right foundation. But because of all that, we would understand each other and have a multitude of grace for each other that no one else would have. I get you. Your sin is not a surprise to me, and mine is not to you. And yet we still forgive each other and keep going, every time. If I had a million hands I could count all the reasons why we don't work but that doesn't compare to the reason why we do work. Thank God.

Our marriage is a testimony love...a testimony that giving up is not always the answer. You name it, we have been through it. I don't even know who I was 7 years ago...that girl who said I do. But I am so grateful that you were on the other end saying you do too...Not many people would still be here with me, but you are.

I am not always happy, and neither are you. I am not always fulfilled, and neither are you. And too often I live in the flesh and focus more on whats wrong than whats right. Some days I just want to give up and I know you do too...but we don't, and we keep going. For the next 7 years I just pray that our tree grows taller and stronger and that it is in full bloom. I just pray that we continue to live in grace and work harder at loving each other where we are, right now. And I pray that we look less like ourselves everyday, and more like Him.

If I could go back 10 years...I still would choose you. And I know you would choose me. I still see that guy who I fell in love with. And even though we aren't those people anymore, I still remember you. I think about that guy who made me laugh. The only guy I could be myself around. I love that we used to walk around with 40 feet of toilet paper in our pants acting like it wasn't there and waiting for people to notice, and crack up. I love that we used to pull fire alarms and write in our notebook everyday...and I love that I am still the only one who ever saw the "tree people".

So here's to our marriage today Scott. There will be no fancy dinners or jewelry exchanged. We wont be having any champagne. I didn't even get you a card. But I did give you my heart. And no, we dont look like every other couple. We didnt always do things the right way, Lord knows. And we will keep making mistakes...but I am grateful that God can use all of it.

And you texted me earlier and asked if I thought it was possible to start fresh at 7 years...and my answer is still, yes. We can start over every single day of our lives together.

I love you.

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