our marriage turns one.

This is a really exciting day for me, y’all. I think back to one year ago, and in a day that was filled with nerves and anticipation and A LOT of preparation, it is a feeling of true joy that still sits with my soul as I think back on June 25, 2016.

Today Jordan and I get to celebrate our first anniversary as husband and wife, and the only words that I feel are worthy of such an occasion (even though I’ll say plenty more) are: Praise the Lord. Praise Him for the amazing blessing and gift that marriage is; the way it builds us, refines us, breaks us, transforms us. Praise Him for one whole year of a marriage that continues to remind us that the Lord is our refuge and our strength.

This day one year ago felt perfect in every way. I remember having this moment while we were eating dinner, when the sun was setting across a dining room filled with floor-to-ceiling windows and it felt like time stopped as I looked around the room and saw all of the people that I loved most engaging in fellowship with one another as they gathered together to celebrate us — it was beautiful and unforgettable. But even for how perfect that day was, it is the past year that has really been the shining star. In its consistent cycle of brokenness and restoration, marriage has put on display such a clear picture of God’s never-ending grace and love for His children. I have been truly blessed to have a husband who exemplifies that so well, and I am still very much learning to do the same.

Jordan and I recently became friends with a couple at church who married around the same time we did, and the other night as we sat at dinner we were chatting about what we’ve learned as we close out one year of marriage. We talked about whether or not we still felt like newlyweds, our biggest hurdles as we’ve navigated our way through year no. 1, and much more. And what stood out to me the most in that conversation was that we could feel comfortable acknowledging that marriage is not perfect, and in Christ we aren’t set back simply because we struggle. In a miraculous way, we are set free and enabled to love one another better through the reality of our brokenness, and that truth has been even sweeter as I’ve been asked many times to say ‘no’ to my selfishness and care for someone else.

In a perfect storm of circumstances, I had the opportunity to coordinate a wedding yesterday for one of my sister’s closest friends. For the past few weeks as we’ve been chatting through details, I could never resist closing out my text messages with some nostalgic piece of advice to soak up every moment as she approached her wedding day. But as I stood there yesterday and watched the beginning of someone else’s journey, I was reminded so vividly of how much more beautiful life is AFTER the wedding day, despite how special that day really is.

So here’s to one year! I have shed tears of joy and frustration, but as I take a deep breath and close the book on our first year, more than anything I am just indescribably grateful for a husband who loves the Lord, and loves me better because of it. As I’ve been praying about our second year of marriage over the past few weeks, the Spirit has been placing a lot of unexpected things on my heart for our marriage, and I am both overwhelmed and excited as I continue to pray for what’s next. And of course, I can’t wait to share it with y’all! But for now, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite pictures from the best day of my life (Brookelyn Riley Photography, you are amazing.):

related posts: with all of my heart, for all of my life.

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