Anyway, I feel I am getting off track and the real reason for this post is to share my love and appreciation for my sweet Husband, Peter. :)
It's funny how many different stages you got through with someone. I remember so vividly how everything felt back from the first few weeks of dating, to the moment we got engaged. Every talk, every prayer all leading us closer to God and into a beautiful but MESSY marriage.
I struggled to write this post because as I am writing this (the night before our anniversary) we just had a huge fight before bed. Our relationship is not always smooth, in fact, it's often rocky... it was always up and down but strong!! When we dated, we would fight a lot... (well I would get mad a lot- Pete is literally the most chill guy I know, which drives me bananas at times haha) but we fought a lot. I have always been very passionate about life. Friendships are cherished. I don't have many close ones but the ones I do have mean the world to me and I would do anything for them! I have always been passionate about the people I care deeply about- sometimes it is too much for people but it's something I have learned to be ok with. Friendship and family are SO important and special to me and I fight for who I love and what I believe! I am also a very strong-willed person who likes to be in control (something I never realized in myself, until marriage) these two things are HUGE in marriage and lately, we have been trying to work on that! It needs to be about the other person, always!
I was listening to a Christian podcast earlier about 'staying in love'.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
"It’s simple, yet counterintuitive. Jesus takes this word love — which we normally perceive as a noun, something we fall into, or a feeling we experience — and He highlights it as a verb. It’s something you do, an active choice you make. And once you do, then the feelings will follow." Staying in Love: Andy Stanley.
I love that!! I think so many of us marry because of a feeling or divorce because that feeling is gone. We are so preoccupied making sure our spouse is ticking all of our boxes and making us 'happy' or sometimes we go the other way and just settle for a 'blah' kind of life. Both are so dangerous and I know we have found ourselves there more than a few times... Instead of pointing fingers when they don't' say what you want the way you want it... pause. I have been trying to do better at that. I don't 'pause' well haha... if you know me, you know I am constant and never slow down, ever. But it's vital for marriage. In conflicts, think back to how you feel. Most of us feel either misunderstood or attacked. Most of the time our spouse is not intentionally trying to hurt us, attack us or confuse us and we need to remember that!
God loves us with an everlasting love. LOVE that shows us a way out, a light when our world feels so dark and alone. God's love gives us GRACE... every day. We all have flaws, annoying habits that we once thought was cute which when you get married is NOT... learning to accept those and not judging is so hard but again, vital to a healthy marriage. Letting go of arguments and the control that goes along with it. Saying sorry first (my hardest one). We need to put the other person first, say sorry first and treat them how God treats us. That's how you make love last. Simple acts of kindness that show LOVE in a culture where shiny and new is everywhere is the challenge. Love your person at their best because of how amazing and talented they are, rejoice at their accomplishments but console them when they cannot handle life's clouds, lay beside them at night, even when your bitterness tells you to sleep on the sofa... FIGHT THE DEVIL who comes to steal your joy, your love, and your marriage! Choose to look at your spouse as a friend... even when they aren't acting a way that you like, love them, forgive them and remember that they are not perfect. Pray for them and talk to them. When they are out of line, kindly tell them. Help to guide them closer to Christ. Notice the little things they do and remember to tell them you notice!
There is so much more I want to say but honestly just am overwhelmed with words. So I decided to write a letter to Pete on here :)
Please be respectful of my privacy and vulnerability here. Without further to do:
Dear Wonderful, Loving Pete,
Four years have passed, can you believe we have been married for 1460 days!!! That's a lot of days! It is crazy how intimate marriage is, it's real and hard. There are things I have faced in the past year, I never thought I would have to face. I remember a few times, feeling so overwhelmed that I wanted to never leave the house again, never leave my bed... but you, my sweet Pete came after me and loved me. You would hug me, hold me close, listen to me talking and crying for hours because you are good.
You have been through some very difficult scary things the past year also and I can only hope I was a steady, loving wife to you helping you to stand tall!
I often compare myself to you- strange I know. But when I stop and think about us, I see all the times you kept your temper, said sorry first, made me tea when I was beside myself in tears or pain. I see the moments you stayed up late just to listen to me because you know I am an extrovert and don't have many friends close by. I see how stable you were for me when my family was struggling. You were my HOME more than ever this year if that makes sense. Never have I wanted to see your face and feel you near every single night this year. Going away overnight without you has felt wrong. But that's okay because I remember clearly in our first year, I would curl up at the edge of our bed, pushing you away. It took time for me but now... well, now I am just so fond of you and you are the greatest friend and lover I could ever imagine and for that, I am truly thankful!
We have become such good friends this year and I love that! God has taught us knew strengths in each other. You have grown a lot in 1 year. You have taken on so much pressure and trials but never once pointed fingers to God, or blamed me, or yelled at me. You really have been a rock. My person. I love you so unbelievably much. I love you fiercely and its hard to do that because it means being vulnerable and humble. You have taught me how to do that- I have learned so much from you Pete. You truly are a treasure and I am now starting to see how deep marriage is and how deep it really NEEDS to go to thrive! It's not about us, it's GOD!!! He has orchestrated this whole thing and is writing our story. Like every story, there are plot twists, slow chapter, and fast ones but please never doubt how much I love and need you in my life! You have always been what I needed even when I didn't feel it. You have made my life more meaningful and give me daily hope for our marriage! I strive to be quicker to forgive, love and serve this year!!
Thank you for being such a wonderful, forgiving hubby xoxo
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. "
1 Corinthians 13:4-8