Y’all- When people tell you time flies after getting married, believe them.
It’s absolutely nuts to me that Paul and I have been married for two years today. In some ways, I feel as though I just walked down the aisle toward him yesterday, and in other ways it feels like forever ago.
It is 6:35 AM, right now. This time two years ago, I was sitting in my closet on the floor praying and reading through the journal I was going to give Paul finally after years of writing in it- a journal to an unknown recipient from age 13 and on.
I was on the floor of my closet because: A. I lived in a loft, and all my bridesmaids stayed the night with me. There was nowhere to be alone besides the bathtub or the closet. B. Because of said loft style, I could wake up the entire place no matter where I was at.
I have shared our love story before on here, but today’s post is simply about marriage. The choice to love, the choice to remain present and committed. To be honest, I think we can all agree that the value, even the need for marriage, has been much forgotten in today’s world. People are getting married either much later in life or all together choosing to avoid the commitment of marriage with their partners. I have experienced as a married woman at age 21 severe judgement, looks of hopelessness from strangers when they hear I am married, and even being bluntly told I was too young to decide to get married.
But, I believe wholeheartedly in marriage. I believe it is sacred, and -best of all- I believe it to be the most fun adventure I have ever embarked upon.
I think it feels like forever ago that we got married, because we are such different people than we were when we first got married. We are the same… but we are different. We fight differently, we communicate differently, we love each other differently and more than ever before. Do you know what I mean? Marriage is the best, I know I talk about it a lot on here, but I mean it. That certainly doesn’t make it easy. There are days when things feel so impossible to remedy or communication is so tough that I can wonder why I didn’t just stay single my whole life. Why in the world did I choose to get married at 21? Surely life was easier before I had to communicate my feelings in order to maintain a healthy relationship. It was so much easier to hide when I wasn’t married, and it was definitely easier to walk out on people that I didn’t see eye to eye with…
But, that’s the beauty of marriage. No hiding. No running.
Someone knows you so well that you cannot even get away with faking your own opinions or emotions- at least usually not for long. Paul knows me so well that if I am struggling but trying to act like I have it all together… he knows. Sometimes even better than I do myself. In marriage, you have to be honest not only with your spouse, but you’re held accountable to be honest with yourself for the first time in your life. You actually have to address how you truly feel about circumstances or situations, because, like it or not, it affects someone else, too. If you keep quiet, you will ultimately end up bitter about things you should have been honest about months before, and that is what can ruin relationships. And, to be frank, I am really good at this. I can be awesome at bitterness and holding grudges. (I know, it is so icky.)
But, being independent cannot last forever. We aren’t created to function in solitude, but this is especially so if you choose to get married. I had to learn this the hard way. I had to learn that when you choose to get married, you choose to let someone into your life, your routines, your frustrations, your struggles. Everything.
Marriage has turned out to be the most beautiful and needed interruption of my life. I needed someone to disrupt my routines and independence.
Second, it is said ‘love is a choice’. Every single day you must choose to love your spouse more than you did the day before. You choose to communicate. You choose commitment. People who run off of emotion are who end up hurting their husband or wife. This is how so many affairs begin. This is what so many divorces are based upon- “We fell out of love.”
No, you stopped choosing to love.
Choosing love means more than just the romantic, fantasy kind of love. Choosing love means that even when you really hate to do it, you communicate and listen to your spouse. It means apologizing no matter how much it hurts to. It means sharpening and building up, even offending, if it means helping your spouse to become more like Christ. Love is offensive sometimes, people don’t like to talk about that piece of love. That’s also why I believe divorce rates to be so historically high. People want the romance, they don’t want the growth. Jesus was one of the most offensive people in the history of the world, completely wrecking what people ‘felt’ like believing. The world is on this kick of “love everyone, love everything- that’s the answer to all the problems in the world!” I do believe loving people is the answer, but the world’s version of this truth is a little off. That might make you mad, but I love you enough to be offensive. The problem with this ideology of love is that real love doesn’t let you be whatever and do whatever- true love guides you, walks alongside you, it is offensive and redirects. That is marriage.
Honesty is first and foremost what I have learned in my first two years of marriage.
Today, I feel like two years officially makes us “married”, no longer newlyweds. Is that silly? I just feel like up until today, anytime we have told somebody that we’ve been married for “x amount of months” or a “a year and…” we get a pat on the head in a ‘bless your heart’ kind of manner. Who knows, maybe that won’t change and I guess I am okay with that. It’s quite similar to the fact that I still get asked what school I go to- unknown whether they are insinuating I pass as a high school or college student.
I am so grateful for marriage. I am so grateful I have a husband who is willing to hurt my feelings if he absolutely must to make me a better person. I love that I am forced to be honest with emotions in marriage. I love that I have opened up my heart to walk through every battle alongside someone. Last night at our Valentines Day dinner, we each thought of a word to share that we felt defined year two of marriage for us. We coincidentally each said “growth.” We grew relationally together, spiritually, emotionally. In every way possible, we grew this past year.
I love y’all deeply. And, like I have said so many times, thank you for welcoming Paul and me into your lives. We love being part of it.
***Questions about everything featured in this styled wedding shoot? You are in luck, brides! I will be posting all about each vendor and everything I am wearing in the coming week.***
xoxo- Han (+ Paul)
All Photos Provided by Cottonwood Road Photography for The Cake By Hannah
Florals: Pollen Events
Photography: Cottonwood Road Photography
Venue: The White Sparrow Barn
Makeup and Hair: Kristy Rankin
Calligraphy/ Invitations: Fig and Flourish
Furniture Rental: Unique Unique Designs