Here's the Thing I Did Not Know

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Here’s the thing I did not know, the day you told me you would love me.

I did not know still, quiet mornings or sun that would stream through windows to lay on your shoulders while you made coffee, singing songs to yourself. 

I did not know that there would be times that I would yell at you, that anger would rise up within me and spill out to poison us both. I did not know my words, usually used for good, could become a sword that could pierce you, that it could hurt. 

I did not know the humility and the joy of returning to you — the power of “I’m sorry,” the power of your acceptance of me when I did not deserve the grace. 

I knew that you would not complete me, that we were not made to complete each other. But this isn’t the whole truth — the paradox of marriage is more complex and rich than that. While God completes individual journeys in us, it remains true that he makes us more whole and complete — but in marriage, somehow he weaves it to be that I am also somehow more whole, more complete with you. Through you. In everything we’ve walked together. 

I knew love was not weakness, but I did not know how powerful I would feel when I was allowed to be weak, allowed to depend on you. 

There were so many things I did not know, could not have known before I married you. No marriage course or book or pastor or counselor could have ever prepared me fully, and it’s designed that way on purpose. 

Us together, we took a vow. We stood in beautiful clothing at an altar in front of everyone we knew and we said those words out loud: I will love you and I will choose you. We vowed we would pursue each other. We vowed we would not resist our God pursuing us. We prayed dangerous prayers and worshiped our mighty God and somewhere inside that tiny, stone chapel with the arched ceilings and stained glass windows changing the colors of the walls we agreed to something else altogether — the things unseen, the real life unfolding of God’s mysteries and promises. 

His love brings people to their knees and it brought us on our knees together — both of us young but not so stupid, brave but not unwise — we knew what we were signing up for. We knew that it was worth it. 

You have been so worth it. You have been the reality of God’s goodness in my life, the lived-truth of all the stories and verses pointing to His love and faithfulness to us. You are the one my soul desires; He is the one who causes our souls to sing.

. . .

Photo by Teale Photography