Seven years ago, I walked into a bar with a very unfamiliar bridal party. Even though I was the florist for the wedding and was good friends with the bride in college, the rest of the girls were strangers to me. Sure, we'd spent the day lounging around a pool together and were all coordinated in our bedazzled tank tops, but other than that small connection I was alone.
As these things go and the night progressed into an all-girl-dance-party to a covered version of “Black Velvet” from a small, local band at the bar, eventually I wasn't so much alone.
He stood there, in his Pink Floyd swim trucks, collared shirt, and sweat band.
I don't really remember what it was, per say, that attracted me to him. Perhaps it was his laid back demeanor. While the other men were quick to try and pick up ladies in our group, this one stood back. Observing. Chillin'.
And so I approached him.
Oh yes, I did.
I blame the confidence on the draft beer I was thoroughly enjoying.
“Do you want to dance?”
And so we danced. And then we talked politics. Ya know. Good intro conversation.
We were all but inseparable from that moment on and while I've come a long way in my sanctification, I'm still thankful that I'd had enough liquid courage that night to ask that oddly dressed and super relaxed boy to dance. And that somehow, I'd managed to get his telephone number plugged into my phone without mistake.
Today marks five years of marriage with that ‘boy' who, right in front of my eyes, has grown into such a wonderful man.
What they say is true. Marriage is hard work. Marriage is loving someone enough to be comfortable with them pointing out your sin. Marriage is compromise. Marriage is loving one another through disagreement. Marriage is being okay with not always being right. And not always getting your way. Marriage is praying together. And letting go of pride that so often drives wedges into our deepest relationships. Marriage is making love, whether you feel like it or not, for the sake of the other person. It's getting up extra early to milk so your spouse can enjoy a moment of extra sleep. And driving a half hour out of your way to put a bouquet of lavender in the car. Marriage is replanting fifty-three cabbages with your spouse, just because you know they need help. And using your gift card to buy a saw, just because you know how much a new tool will make them smile. Marriage is trying your best to read Lord of the Rings, just because you know how much it means to them that you “understand”. It's humbling yourself before another, letting them see your flaws, wrinkles, stray hairs, and boogers. And loving them even when they take the last cup of coffee from the French Press.
No one, besides Christ, has ever called me to a higher being of myself. And the work of sanctification that is done through such an intimate relationship, with one another and with the Lord, is astounding. And painful. And wonderful.
As I said last week on Facebook, a lifetime would not be enough to love his man. Five years of marriage seems such a short time to spend with my dearest friend.
Happiest of anniversaries to the one my heart loves more than any other.