After all these years, marriage hasn’t gotten any easier, but it has made us better people than we were on our wedding day. And while this anniversary isn’t one that is typically considered a milestone, shouldn’t it be?
Because whether it’s one year, ten years, thirteen years, or beyond, making it through another year of marriage is a big deal. It’s not the romantic bliss that the movies make it out to be, and once you figure that out, you spend each day working hard at doing life together.
Marriage is love. But not the diamonds and flowers and chocolates kind of love. It’s a love that sacrifices, surrenders, and serves. It’s a love that, over time, becomes less about feeling and more about doing.
Marriage is surviving. Together. It’s hanging onto each other by a thread when life tries desperately to pull you apart. It’s threatening to throw in the towel when things get bad, but instead using that towel to dust each other off and dry one another’s tears. It’s standing at the doors of defeat, but refusing to walk through them.
Marriage is commitment. To your spouse. To God. To putting in the effort to become your best self, even when the road there isn’t exactly the route you want to take. It’s promising that you won’t give up, even when you desperately want to. And it’s making good on that promise.
Marriage is surrender. It’s letting someone else have the last word every now and then. It’s laying down pieces of your life in order to allow someone else to pick up the pieces of theirs. It’s throwing away the keys to the doors that (falsely) promise constant satisfaction and trusting God to hold the master key and use it accordingly.
Marriage is learning. That it’s really not all about you.
Marriage is happiness. But not your own. At least not all of the time.
Marriage is struggle. With each other. With yourself. With the forces that are beyond your control.
Marriage isn’t cheap. It will cost you your entire being, yet produce great gain.
Marriage isn’t a fairy tale, but it can still be a dream come true.
Marriage isn’t easy. But it is still good.
And marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s in the imperfections where we finally see each other. Where we recognize the need for love and prepare ourselves to give it.
And on this anniversary day, we recognize how far we’ve come while realizing how far we have to go. Because while we try, we still fail. But our failures have not defeated us.
By the grace of God, we’re celebrating another milestone simply by surviving another year. And I, for one, couldn’t be happier.