Regardless of it being so short and so little, we have to celebrate these moments, honor them, give them the credit they deserve.
Because deciding to get married was a big choice, a hard choice, one that didn't always come easy for me.
This month I've felt like an infant taking their very first breath, learning to open their eyes, struggling to wrap their tiny hand around a mothers finger. I have a sneaky feeling too, that through new trials and seasons, parts of me might always feel this way, like I have no idea what I am doing and find myself saying “I’m sorry” more times in a day than “I love you”.
I thought of writing all the many things I’ve learned this month [which not to my surprise, has been an overwhelming amount]. Or maybe writing all the seemingly insignificant words and moments that add up to the really big stuff, like lying opposite on the couch, tired and full of joy from a busy weekend, legs intertwined, him rubbing my feet. His face when I’ve cooked a meal I feel proud of, his eyes when I've said words that cut and hurt; the sound of his voice when he prays. These are the moments that stand out in my mind, the moments that make life so good and sweet and downright hard; the moments that make a life together.
But it seems my mind keeps wandering back to the beginning.
Back to when he showed up at my parent’s house for our first date wearing a white colored shirt underneath a clean blue sweater. Back to when he called and I didn’t answer because I was nervous and really didn’t understand why he was interested. Back to when I hesitated, moved really slow, kept the deep stuff, the stuff that isn’t easy to share close to my heart and hidden because I worried if I said it out loud he wouldn’t really understand. Back to when I invited family and friends on that first date [truth] because he wasn’t at all the man I imagined for myself and I figured, it wouldn’t really work out. He didn't have dirt underneath his fingernails, a guitar strapped to his back, a passport bent and torn from travel, or a beard. It seems when I was 22 these things were important.
Though looking back, it wasn't really those things that made me hesitate.
I hesitated because he was the first guy to ask me out on a date who not only loved Jesus but lived a life to show it.
And that scared the heck out of me.
I was afraid of not being good enough. [Ladies, you aren't merely "good enough" you are beautiful and wonderful. Never forget that. Tell your closest friend, or the person sitting next to you right now that simple truth, in case they forgot.]
I also had big plans to see the world, do my part to change the world, serve in radical ways, live simply, things I thought dating and the “m” word would get in the way off.
Culture and society seemed to scream, “You can’t be married and do all those things you’ve dreamt of Maeve. You’re better off running at your own speed, alone”.
Never mind the adventure and thrill in commitment. The rebellion in choosing to stay and plant some roots, rather than always itching to pack my bag and go. The absolute joy in putting someone else first every second of everyday, even when it's hard, because they are doing the exact same, choosing you first.
Despite my head saying, “He’s not who you pictured.” I couldn’t let him go. I didn’t want too. Because when I was with him, sitting real close on a bench or sipping coffee at a wooden table, I found him fascinating and smart and gentle. I found it safe to be all the many, sometimes conflicting, parts of me. I found it safe to share my doubts and fears on God and life and relationships.
I loved the way he asked real questions and gave real answers and never seemed to get annoyed that I loved asking questions more than giving answers [something I'm working on]. I loved that he was honest and direct and told me exactly how he felt, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
God revealed a real man to me.
A man who truly sought my heart first, before anything else.
A man who’d drive the 3 hour round-trip just to have dinner.
A man who listened to all my big plans and dreams and said, “Take me with you. Let me be right by your side. We’ll do so much more together.”
When I think back to the beginning I smile and feel so thankful because in the end, I abandoned my seemingly important list of traits, surface traits, traits I thought I wanted and instead, fell for the man who embodied the traits I needed.
He isn’t perfect, and he’s certainly not who I imagined, but neither am I and the rebel in me, the one who loves surprises, going against the grain, seeking adventure, loves that.