Today is my favorite. It’s Eric and I’s wedding anniversary! Three whole years – we can’t believe it.
God has been so good to us. He’s gifted us a partner that sharpens the other to be more like Him (Proverbs 27:17). He uses marriage to bring us closer to Him. We learn how to love well like Jesus – patiently, kindly, truthfully. We strive to be as an earthly examples of God’s love, in the best moments, but especially in the hard ones.
If you’re looking for a more traditional anniversary post, you’re in luck! I’ve written some already in years past:
- How We Met (Y’all, did you know Eric was originally not into the idea of us dating?)
- The Surprise Paris Engagement (Details you need to learn more about: a rando guy captured the moment; I had a crazy dream the night before!)
- Our Wedding Story : Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV
If you’re open to that and more, read on friends. While things may look peachy keen on social media, we know behind-the-scenes there’s always more than meets the eye, right?
That’s why today I wanted to share more raw reflection based on what E & I have learned the last few years, and more importantly, how we love through it all.
When people said marriage is hard, I thought they only meant it’s hard because they fought a lot. Maybe someone’s not who you thought they were, or someone is hurt by the other’s lies, etc. I know that can be the reality at times, and my heart breaks for those situations.
What I’ve learned through, in our 3 years, is that marriage can often be hard because of outside lot circumstances.
Now, I’m not saying Eric and I don’t have our moments of frustration, we’re only human y’all! But rather than arguments, a lot of the hard stuff has been related to things outside our control.
Family dynamics, losses of loved ones, difficult career situations, you name it. Real life is hard. When you’re married, in the seasons of hardship, your spouse’s challenges become yours too.
On one hand, it’s hard to see people you love hurt – especially when you’re a fixer by nature, and you don’t have all the answers for each other. On the other, even when there’s no clear answer, that peace that comes in being in that low valley together is sweet.
With this said, I wanted to share a few practical ways Eric and I have loved each other when the world can seem overwhelming:
1. PRAY // One of the first things E & I bonded over was our faith, and it has been the root of our relationship from day one. When we don’t have the answers, and even when we think we do, we hold hands and pray together (or over whichever one of us needs it most). Thankfully, we aren’t in control, but our God is. Even when we don’t see it or feel it, He is working things for good. How freeing is that?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6
2. ASK FOR HELP // Of course we problem solve between the two of us, but this one can require more guts – reaching out for help. Who do we trust outside of our relationship to guide us truthfully, lovingly, and honestly well? Even if they don’t have the answer, who are those extra family or friends that can love on us from near or far away with encouragement? Being vulnerable and having people in your corner is BIG.
3. LISTEN & EMPATHIZE // I love Brené Brown’s explanation on empathy. She notes empathy is when someone is in a hole (feeling overwhelmed, stuck and sad), and you lovingly get in there with them saying, “Man, I don’t even know what to say, but you’re not alone.” It’s choosing to truly listen. It’s just being there together for a minute (or hour, or day), rather than being quick to problem solve without meeting the other where they are first. Love grows in those moments of connection – and then you can come out, ready to tackle the world together again.
Well there you have it, friends. Some vulnerable, heartfelt reflection and a lot of gratitude for the man I get to do life with! What are ways you have learned to love in the highs and lows of relationships?
Love you, E. Cheers to three and forever more!