WHAT A YEAR, Y’ALL. Before I started writing this post, I went back and read my posts from our first and second anniversaries, and it is amazing and humbling just how much God has done and continues to do in our life together.
The past 12 months were filled with, for lack of a better way to put it, Jordan and I biting off more than we could chew. Shortly after our second anniversary, Jordan accepted a job in our hometown of Charlotte, NC, allowing us to move home just in time to welcome our sweet Harper Madison into the world 6 weeks later. For some reason, we also thought it would be fun to take a “fixer upper” approach to the place we now call home, so we tackled new jobs and parenthood amidst paint cans and a dozen unfinished projects at any given time. In complete transparency, it was overly stressful and didn’t make the hard process of learning how to be parents and still invest in our marriage any easier.
AND YET, God has been so faithful. Just as He promises, He has been present with us through it all. He has sustained and protected our marriage. He has used the stress that both of us would break under on our own, to sanctify us and create opportunities to love one another better. Over the past year, it has become abundantly clear to me that I alone am just not capable of pulling myself back together after every situation life throws my way. It’s been a year where a lot of weaknesses and idols have confronted me head-on, and it has pointed me back to my need for God over and over again.
Throughout this time, God has really pressed into me the reality that life operates in seasons. I’ve heard it a million times and honestly my first inclination has been to write-off something that sounds so “fluffy,” but it has been such a freeing concept for me. In every season, God is refining me in a unique way — using every circumstance and every person to bring me closer to Him.
As my perspective on this has changed, I finally came to the realization just a few months ago that this applies to my love language as well.
Ah, yes, love languages. You had to know they were going to come up some time in these posts about marriage, right? When Jordan and I were dating and decided that we wanted to get married one day, we decided to take the Love Language Test to see where we each landed. We both fell into the “Quality Time” category, so for several years we got to enjoy the fruit of having the same love language, hanging out and feeling like all was good.
But then we got a house together. And we had a baby together. And we took on the monster of renovations, and the list goes on. I felt like I was drowning, and Jordan was killing himself to look past his chore list and spend quality time with me, all to no avail. Finally one day I was praying through our season of life and instead of throwing another self-pity party (I’m GREAT at those), I took a step back and was like, “Hey, I think my love language looks different in this season of life.” Wow, did it change so much when I was finally freed from thinking that nothing about the way I operate can or should look different in varying phases of life.
It wasn’t manipulative or whiney, but it just became so clear to me. And instead of going through this huge mini-crisis with myself of wondering why I had suddenly changed forever, I felt so much relief in remembering that this is a season and nothing more. It may be a long season, but that is for God to decide and for me to trust Him to control. Maybe one day, Jordan and I will both work our way back to that Quality Time bubble where it feels “easy” to love one another well. But right now, we’re learning how to meet one another in our different love languages, and while it’s been hard, it has also given us both a new appreciation for one another as we make intentional efforts to show we care.
Time changes everything, and instead of fighting it, I’ve decided I’m so grateful for it. Sometimes it feels silly to recap yet another year of marriage, but the way that God graciously teaches us heart-altering lessons as we continue to run the race set out for us has been incredible. I hope we never stop seeking out the big lessons that can be reaped from marriage, even when we’re old and gray (Lord, make it so!).
Cheers to three years, my sweet husband. You speak truth into my life, encourage me endlessly, and lead our family with so much patience and wisdom. I am blessed beyond measure to call you mine.