We were surrounded by our family and closest friends. People from our former lives as individuals, whom we had invited to witness our future as a couple. God was truly present as we joined our hearts and lives together. I was a girl of 19 about to take on one of the biggest roles one can ever take on. I was becoming a wife.
No one can prepare you for what is to come as two people come together to make a home. We were raised so very differently, and there were a lot of moments when we weren't sure what we'd gotten ourselves into! We both only had siblings of the same gender, so didn't even have that to go by. The first few months were interesting, to say the least!
I've heard tell the first year of a marriage is the hardest, and I can honestly say that for the most part, it was true from our vantage point. We've had some hard things to deal with over the years, but the first year was the biggest struggle. We both had a lot of growing up to do and a lot to learn about one another. But, however hard that first year was, I can still look back at it with love and happiness. We loved our tiny, one room apartment. I loved having friends over to "our" place. I can remember many nights of laughter in that living room! I also remember conversations about what we saw for our future and other memories we made there, like our very first Christmas.
Twelve years doesn't seem like much in the grand scheme of things, I know. But for us, it's a milestone. There was never a doubt in our minds that we'd make it, but we've seen many friends devastated by divorce. We thank God for His protective hand every day, and we ask him to sustain us. We did not only commit to one another, we committed to our Lord. Love is a verb as much as a feeling. You have to work at it. I don't ever want to take it for granted that we'll be married for 70 years and then sit on my laurels expecting it to happen. I want that, more than anything. But as for most things in my life that I've wanted, I'm willing to work hard for it. And so is he.
So here's to our 12th anniversary. I love him more today - crashed on our couch snoring lightly - than I did the night he took my hand and heart and said "I do."
I still do.