six years :: Marriage


Chicago, Colorado, Minnesota, Helsinki, Phoenix, Mexico

Each year for the past 6 years we've gotten to celebrate our anniversary in a new destination. Either due to a move, a holiday, or a business meeting. The adventures just keep coming.

I drafted this post ages a few months ago-when it was actually our anniversary. I was waiting, friends. Waiting for that sweet click in my brain I sometimes get. I wanted profound words to share.

Some two months later and I got nothin'

My parents celebrated their anniversary yesterday. Thirty plus years of being faithful to one another.  Growing a church, raising children, calling each other up and out . I've seen tenderness grow. I've seen a loyalty and a commitment that makes a little girl feel secure. I grew up  in that. It has been a privilege.

As I joked with my mom- their marriage can drive now. It has a PHD. Probably could be teaching at a university somewhere. Thirty plus years of doing the hard work of loving well and fighting for one another and insisting on pursuing what God has for the other. I've seen it.

Staying married, is perhaps not the hardest part of marriage.. Especially when you come from a generation of those that see it as non-negotiable. Perhaps for my generation it is harder, but for generations past-there seems to be some understandings I can even struggle with accepting. What seems to be hard for all generations, however, is staying tender. Life slays you. I've learned this well already. It can be difficult to not turn to the other and want them to feel the pain more. Especially when the pain comes from their side of the room.

But I've seen another way. I've seen my parents and the other marriages in our life where they shield and shade and tend to each other. Especially when life is so cruel. I've seen husbands be tender to their wives in their insecurities. To look them boldly in the eye and affirm that who they are and what they do matters. I've seen wives commit to uphold and praise and respect their husbands in extreme tension. When others are pushing shame, I've seen wives push back with truth.

I've seen a lot of beautiful marriages. PHD earned marriages.

Yesterday, on my parents anniversary, some seven years ago, Ben proposed. That curly haired guy showed my mom and dad the ring and asked me to do this crazy marriage thing with him. He took my ice cream away in order to propose (he's since learned to never do that agan :P ) and after we all went out and celebrated. One marriage, already so well seasoned, another about to begin.

Our marriage now? Six years old.  It can hardly tie it's own shoelaces. Just now phasing out of tantrum throwing. :P

And so, if you wanted to know any wisdom from little ol me, I'd point you up and over to my parents.

But if I could tell you what I've learned, I'd tell you I've learned to keep my feet in the room, and make my heart do the same.

I'd tell you we've learned to use the words we know will help us through, not get us reactions.

Our marriage has learned how to tie a triple, quadruple knot on it's shoes just to be ready for what life throws. Yet, we've learned to give those shoes just enough room where we can slide and feel grace. There is time to rest, in this life. Our marriage has learned that sometimes, despite all the planning and keeping eyes open, you trip and get bloody knees.

Analogies aside,  all this to say:

Ben, six years of marriage later and you're still tender to me. You're kind to me in ways I couldn't have understood when exchanging vows. I knew you were loyal and true then, I couldn't have predicted how gentle of a leader, how strong of a pastor,  and how tender of a husband you are.

I am fiercely in love with who God made you.

I'm glad you asked me seven years ago to be your bride. Come hell, or high water, and we've felt a bit of both, haven't we? You're the one I'm so grateful I get to do this with. As we tend to our wounds that life has sometimes dealt us, as we laugh in euphoria at some of the most beautiful sights our creator has made, as we share vulnerable thoughts and air out our fears-It's you. John Benjamin. God's given me the best one he's got.

That isn't a sentiment. That's the truth.

Cheers to marriage, and learning how to lace up and face life together. Cheers to knowing that the day is coming, Lord willing, when our marriage will be seasoned well- the laugh lines and frown lines will run deep. The understanding of one another deeper still.

It'll be a beautiful site. I've seen a few good marriages already. And they are radiant. Cheers to parents who chose to bless their children by loving each other well.

As my dad has said so tenderly to me. "Britt, I just love your mom." and my mom grins and says "he's my best friend."

It's a beautiful sight. It's a worthy life pursuit.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. Thank you showing me how beautiful a marriage really could be.

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