It seems to be finally sinking in that I’m actually married, that I’m a wife, that we-Jacob, my love, and I- entered into the sacrament of marriage together. The past four weeks have felt totally surreal. Perhaps even the weeks leading up to the moments in which we’d stand before our gathered family and friends and under the watchful, loving eyes of our Father became wed… those weeks too, were mightily surreal.
As I’ve been listening to Audrey Assad and reading some of her past Tumblr blog posts about her own marriage, and I think because of this it’s finally sinking in that I’M married.
Sigh. I’m so silly.
Sometimes it seems weird that I’m here. I remember not too long ago thinking this day would never come. That I’d never be in love, never be a wife, never find someone who loves me so truly, faithfully, and intimately as Jacob does. In fact, it was only two years ago that we met and guess what?! Now we are married. (Obvious punchline)
As anyone who has ever had a severe panic disorder, PTSD, GAD, depression, and the like… you know how it can be all-encompassing to the point that everything else gets fuzzy and incredibly hard to process in the current moment. As I burst forth in a glorious way from the pain and suffering of the last year and a half (and ya know stumble and fall all of the time because bursting naturally implies mess) I want to pause and think upon the beauty of the most important human relationship I’ll ever have on this earth.
There is an almost inability in me to fully understand the depth of what Jacob and I share. I think that’s the undercurrent of Christ in each of us working through us to bring us closer together and closer to God. The beautiful mystery of our Father who brought us together, held us together, and spurs us forward together.
Because of what I said in the two paragraphs above, Jacob… and our relationship… has often taken a backseat to my mental illness and my road to recovery. People would ask how we were doing and always my initial thought was, “How are WE doing? How about how am *I* doing? I can barely function/breathe/stay here without running away due to a fight or flight complex.” But you know… that’s generally not an answer I wanted to give. So instead, honestly I’d answer, “We’re good, things are hard because of what I’m going through, but he’s a blessing and we are good.” And like I said, it was true.
But in the depths of me I always wanted a way to dialogue better, with more insight, with more detail, more honesty. I blamed myself and sometimes still do (though we work on that) for the fact that our year of dating and our period of engagement was fraught with trips to the ER, late night panicked/screaming phone calls that I was dying, obsessions with my health, constant exhaustion, and the like. What I had wanted for us when we initially started dating was cute outings to the zoo, walks on the beach, movies at the theater, ice cream from Cold Stone, you know… the simple stuff that most people experience. (Well that’s what Facebook tells me anyway.)
But life got in the way. It does that apparently. And that isn’t how our first couple of years together have been. But, as my ever so patient and thoughtful husband always says, it doesn’t mean that the last two years have been bad or wasted or not worth it. In fact, looking back on all of it now I wouldn’t trade any of it (okay… not most of it anyway, some of the ER trips were expensive…)
Because when we stood in front of our gathered friends and family, when we spoke vows both our own written and traditional, when we exchanged rings, we really meant what we said. With a depth and understanding that life isn’t always daisies and sunshine and picnics in the park or walks on the beach- we committed to spending the rest of our lives together until death parts us.
We are lucky.
We are blessed.
Marriage, as I’m finally experiencing now, is allowing me to fall in love with Jacob all over again. I’m able to pause and look at him and remember all we’ve been through and my heart skips a beat because he still gives me butterflies and that’s amazing. That’s a gift. We didn’t miss out on outings to the zoo, walks on the beach, movies at the theater, and all that jazz because we still get to do those things now. And really? Those are just events that can mean something, it doesn’t mean that they do. The experiences we’ve had, the events we’ve gone through… those have really MEANT something. They’ve shaped us, molded us, drawn us together, tested our character, tested our strength as individuals and as a couple. What beauty! What gifts! What joy!
I love him. Not for the stuff we’ve done, the memories we made sure to create, the opportunities we grabbed. No. I mean I love HIM, for who HE is. Because I’ve seen the man that Jacob Garrett is. Through all we’ve been through I’m able to confidently say we are blessed in the love we share, the sacrament of marriage we participate in, and that I am honored to be married to him.
So, my initial thoughts on marriage?
It’s the best, “I do” I’ve ever said and I’ll continue to say it each day that I’m lucky enough to be married to him.