Marriage is one of those things that you think you know all about and then you get blindsided by the reality that what you thought you knew really was nothing at all. At least it was that way for me. Before we got married I thought a lot of things about marriage. I had high expectations. I expected that we would spend endless amounts of time together. We would relax at the end of a long day and watch television and read together. We would explore our city and go out to eat at fun new restaurants. But those things take time and money, none of which we had a lot of as we got married in the middle of Daniel's seminary career. I expected all that we knew about manhood and womanhood and conflict and resolution would somehow just fall into place. But textbook and real life are two very different ballgames. I expected more children, easy pregnancies, and a different career path. None of those things is true of our life together. Earlier this week Daniel and I both read a helpful article on what to do when your twenties aren't what you hoped they would be. We can relate. We got married in our twenties and they weren't what we thought they would be. In some ways they were better and in others much, much harder. But we do know one thing:
We are not the same people today that we were five years ago.
And for that we are grateful.
Marriage has been a good and hard road of unexpected turns and circumstances. I have seen firsthand what it means to be loved in sickness and in health. Daniel has held my hand as I've been wheeled off for one surgery, one C-section, and one D&C. He wept with me through two miscarriages and two years of infertility. He has held my hand through uncertain ultrasounds with a high risk pregnancy and made me dinner when pregnancy hormones made the smell of the oven too much for a queasy stomach to handle. He has loved me through happiness and tears. He has stood with me during multiple middle of the night feedings and daily visits to the NICU. He has loved me fiercely. We have laughed over things that only we think are funny and talked passionately about things that only we can understand. There is no one else I would rather spend my days with, even if they are hard and good and messy and crazy.
But like all marriages, ours is far from perfect. We know what it's like to fight on date night and go to bed frustrated. We know what it's like to feel distant even when you are sitting right next to each other. When we said "I do," five years ago, we felt a rush of emotion and never wanted it to end. We know what it's like for that emotion to wane and then come back with greater intensity than there ever was before.
What I've learned in these short five years is that I have a lot to learn. We are not where we want to be, but are glad we get to walk this road together. We know less today than we did five years ago, but by God's grace are not the same as we were that joyous day either. I've learned that no marriage is perfect. Every marriage has its quirks and blind spots, but the beautiful thing is it is ours. This story is our story. With all of its tears, disagreements, laughter, and silliness, it is ours. God has joined us together and he is making us into a picture of himself.
God knew what I needed when he gave me Daniel Reissig five years ago. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to fifty more, babe.