There is so much I could write about the day we got married.
I was many kinds of confused on Feb. 19th 2011. I was all mixed up in some big ways that I wasn't even aware of at the time, and the years following this day have brought some really dark moments. I spent *that* whole day in shock, which was not what I had been expecting—and it was confusing to more than myself. I suddenly realized I didn't know myself, I think—and that was absolutely terrifying.
William has supported me in ways I didn't know were necessary; and necessary they have been. He has given me freedom where I have needed it, even when I have not had the strength or courage to ask for it. He has asked me really, really good questions. He has waited patiently as I have writhed in pain from events in my life I didn't know necessitated deep, profound, difficult healing. And the healing I have begun to find is due not in small part to this man's presence in my world. Mind you—this is all in the messy context of, you know, actually living life together. These words might sound romantic, but rest assured—we have raged and we have clawed and we have looked at each other from across the caverns of disconnectedness that lie beneath the surface of the skin. Two broken humans trying to help each other towards wholeness cannot help but make a mess sometimes.
Our marriage isn't perfect. It's not even close. It's full of stumbling and grasping after the light and after each other—sometimes we demand too much. Often we give far too little. (Or at least, I know I do)
Sometimes people ask me for marriage advice. I used to laugh, but now I know better than to do that. Maybe we've only been married five years, but those five years have been a crucible and a forge, and I am a wiser woman than I was that day. Truthfully, this is all I can advise you—if you are thinking about partnering up, consider not only whether you would like to take up your cross in this way, but whether you are interested in waking up some morning soon to see clearly that your spouse has been taking up his (or hers). It is the best kind of painful when you realize how hard you sometimes are to live with. And it is the most redeeming kind of difficult when you learn to accept the kind of love that stays, and offer it in return.
And yes—marriage is still a blast. It's not all pain. It's not all cross. It's not all crucible. But I just needed to say tonight that am so thankful that I'm married to someone who has stayed with me in the pain, however imperfectly, whenever it has arrived, and however long it has lasted. I refuse to take it for granted; I will sing the praises of my husband in the city gates, as he has sung mine. May our voices raised up together be a war cry against the slow march of Death and all his friends—a small and steadfast light in the darkness.