This is a re-post and a tweak of something I published over a year and a half ago. Bjorn and I were married on March 29, 2014, and I so often find myself reflecting on how blessed I am to be Bjorn’s wife. Marriage is a beautiful journey – character-stretching, but mostly so tender-sweet – and I’m happy to share my reflections on it with you today!
Today is your wedding day!! Today, you finally – finally! – get to marry your best friend! This is a dream you’ve had your entire life, and you clung to it, even when it seemed so hard to find. For you, it was the way to go. Now you get to walk down the aisle to your dear Bjorn, the one who holds your heart and the one who knows you and loves you best.
Marriage will bless you in many ways. It’ll bless you in ways you expect – like quiet evenings together and getting to do daily life with your man. But even more so, Hannah, it’ll bless you in ways you never would’ve expected.
Lean in close, and I’ll give you a couple snapshots of what this life together will look like!
There’ll be countless evenings spent cooking supper together. Even more evenings spent sitting in comfortable silence reading or working together. There’ll be long car rides spent reading books aloud, slow dances in the kitchen to the record player…or to no music at all. There’ll be arguments (you’ll call them “discussions”) and tickle fights and picking up each others’ mess and dropping each other off at work. And there will be dreaming of what is to come – oh, the dreaming. You have never held such happy, ambitious dreams in your palm before you met Bjorn. Sometimes, there’ll be silence – the unhappy kind – as you two sort out what it really means to live – with a commitment of permanence – alongside another flawed, sinful human. Yes, there will be tears. But there will also be minutes upon minutes of laughter and eyes shining bright because this other person really gets you. These shiny-bright tender moments will heavily outweigh any tense conversations.
You’ll travel the world together. You’ll play together. You’ll laugh until you cry. You’ll record hilarious Snapchat videos. You’ll proofread his masters homework and he’ll cheerlead you constantly with your dreams. And your favorite Beach Boys’ lyric will come true: “We can say goodnight and stay together.” 🙂
You’ve heard that marriage is like someone holding a magnifying glass to you – nowhere else will your flaws and sins and stumblings be so evident. And this is so true. There will be days you cringe because you said that comment or fussed that way, and he knew you’d do that, and you knew you’d do that…and you’ll sit there, ashamed. Because sin stinks. And marriage makes it all that more visible. But then, in those discouraging, vulnerable – even embarrassing – moments that will come, do not forget this truth:
Marriage allows you to be both fully known AND fully loved.
Let that sink in for a moment. You’ve wondered what people meant when they said marriage is a reflection of Christ’s love for the church. Part of that idea rests in this – the safest, most fulfilling place to be is where you are fully known, messes and ugly tears and frustration and all – AND fully loved in spite of those raw, icky facets of your heart. Bjorn will do this so incredibly well, gathering up those weary, vulnerable pieces of you and holding you so tight you are put back together again in his love. You will find yourself thanking the Lord again and again for His knowledge and the way He prepared you two for each other. And times will come – sooner than you think – when Bjorn will be grieving and will need to lean on your support and your love.
Life will pick up at an ever-quickening pace: ambitions and dreams and celebrations and good things will pull for your attention. You two may find yourselves wishing for more quiet time together. And his army drills and trainings will bring you that unique combo of opportunities to adventure together…and necessary times spent apart. But you know what? Those necessary busy times apart will make your evening hugs and conversations about the day that much sweeter.
There will be moments – more than you even expect – where you’ll just stop and stare at this handsome man in front of you, marveling at how God created him just for you and you for him. You will even feel in those moments that you don’t deserve a man this hard-working, this thoughtful, this deep-loving. So turn it all back to praise, and thank the Lord for this husband-gift! And jump into everyday-moment ways you can serve and love Bjorn right back!
Yes, Hannah, marriage will be an incredible experience. Marriage is not just a fancy party on a sunny day in March. It’s a God-orchestrated journey that you and Bjorn get to take together, step by step, until the day you reach heaven’s gates. Praise be to the One who designed it all!
Now, what are you waiting for? Go walk down that aisle and hold the hands of that handsome man as he vows, with tears glistening in his eyes, that he’s ready to do this crazy thing called life together with you!
Hannah, 2 and a half years later.
PS – Oh, and by the way? You’ll always still get butterflies when he looks at you. 🙂