There was a lot of turmoil over our wedding. He wanted to move in, but we didn’t feel it looked very good to be living together without being married. We tried a few different alternatives, but nothing really panned out very well and so we got married on Christmas Eve at his parents’ place. His dad performed the ceremony and we wrote our own vows.
We had always planned to have a larger ceremony with all our family and friends at a later date, a date that just keeps getting pushed back – first because we got pregnant right away with Abby, and then for a very large variety of reasons since.
But it struck me as we spent Christmas at his parents’ place and they asked all kinds of questions about me, that he has always been right there in my life, just around the corner, just out of my sight.
His parents had created a DVD compilation of some of their home videos while their kids were growing up. It was part of his Christmas gift and we sat down to watch it.
At one part of the home video, I had to do a double-take. I recognized my parents. It was a clip from the May Day parade float that their church put out one year (the church in question only participated in the May Day parade for two years). I remembered this because the pastors of the church were clients of my parents’ home-based computer support and desktop publishing business. Our whole family was invited to take part in the activities. Sure enough, we rewound the clip and looked at in slow motion – there I am walking ahead of my parents at the age of 6 or 7. I am in my husband’s home video of his childhood.
So we talked a bit more about the time before we officially met at youth group. He went to the same private Christian school that I went to for at least one year that I was also at the school – albeit two grades ahead of me. And although we knew this before, the house he spent much of his childhood in was only a few blocks away from our house. In a town of 80,000+ people, we lived less than a 5 minute walk away from each other for like 10 years.
And the year that Five Iron Frenzy made their farewell tour, we were both at that final concert they did in Seattle in 2003, although I was dating someone else at the time and we didn’t bump into each other. Ok, so that one might be stretching it a little – the closest FIF came to Vancouver each year was Seattle, so it was kind of a given that we would go even if we didn’t see each other there, and we had been to other concerts in previous years together with the youth group.
He confessed to secretly “stalking” me at my job at the library. He would come to the library just to watch me shelve books as a student page. Yeah, I’d say you really have to love someone to want to watch them shelve books for four hours.
So he’s always been there. Much like Jesus – sometimes out of your line of sight, but keeping an eye on things and looking for you the whole time you’re living your life unaware of what He has in store for you.
Some days, I do have to consciously choose to love Tim, to continue loving him. He can be the source of many of my frustrations. But, he is also the source of so much joy in my life. And I know that our trials are temporary. We are by no means perfect, but we strive to keep communication open between us and we know when it’s time to get help. We also know that it’s important to seek advice from the people who have what we want in our relationship – so when my pastor and her husband were still here, we spent a lot of nights talking with them about our big struggles and our little mole hills.
Speaking to people about your marriage or relationship isn’t a sign of weakness or failure, it’s a sign of humility, of determination and commitment. It shows that not only are you not too proud to ask for help – even if it’s just asking another couple about their marriage – but you are determined to make your relationship work even if it means getting advice from outside of your marriage.
My perspective is that as long as we’re learning from our mistakes, we’re moving and growing, which is so much better than staying in the same place.
(While this is not really “The End”, this is probably where the “Happily Ever After” comes in. One day, I might share what “Happily Ever After” looks like in more detail)