7.08.2013

Seven Years

Seven years ago today I said, "I do."
For better, for worse. In sickness and in health.
In good times and bad. 
"Love does not boast. It is not proud."
Honestly, for a long time I really struggled with this verse.
If God designed marriage to symbolize Christ's relationship with the church and we are to put our spouse above any other human being, and if you are truly in love then how can you not want to be proud of your marriage? How could you not want to shout it from the rooftops?
I learned quickly after we got married.
You see, a marriage does take work. It's not always easy.
For us, we had so many bridges to cross and hurdles to jump from the get go because of our ages and because of the career path Brandon was called to follow.
Yes, we chose to get married earlier than most would have preferred, but the math just didn't add up to wait when we sat down and listed all the reasons as to why we should wait.
We knew we were ultimately going to take the journey together and even though it wasn't always idyllic and a lot of sacrifices had to be made, we are both so thankful that we surrendered to God's perfect timing for our marriage.
Some people wait until they are finished with college and have a career.
Some wait until they have a house. Some wait until they are 30.
Each stage brings its own challenges.
For us, there was no honeymoon phase.
It was real life. No money, broke life. Full time work, full time college, full time professional school life.
One month after our wedding Brandon started vet school and it has been a roller coaster ever since.
For a long time we were more like room mates than newlyweds.
We were like ships passing in the night.
I know there were some very difficult times where balancing our relationship with each other and the outside world proved to be a continuous challenge.
I know I said things I didn't mean and shouldn't have in the heat of stressful situations.
Despite the challenges that were ahead, I started off our marriage by making several mistakes.
At the time I wasn't conscientiously trying to be perfect, but that's what it really boiled down to.
I was eager to start our marriage with a clean slate, so...
I tried to never initiate or engage in an argument or disagreement of any sort.
This meant that if something was bothering me I tried to suppress it and deal with it because I had decided in my ridiculous head that I was going to be a good wife and always be agreeable.
MISTAKE!
I always have an opinion, I'm strong-willed and independent...you can bet that the cap finally blew and it wasn't pretty. Now, I always speak my mind and voice my concerns-in a diplomatic way, of course.
I decided that I always had to have the house perfectly clean and supper on the table every single night.
MISTAKE!
Life happens. It takes two to run a house. I can not do everything alone. That does not make me less of a wife.
I thought I should always be dressed pretty and have fresh makeup on my face when Brandon got home in the evenings regardless of what my day had been like.
MISTAKE!
He never ever put this pathetic idea in my head. It was all me.
I don't have to look perfect in his presence 100% of the time to make me more desirable in his eyes.
I think you get the picture.
I'm not perfect. He's not perfect.
We have some really wonderful days and we have some ugly days, too.
It's called real life. It happens.
At the end of the day, do we let the bad days override the good days?
We have to make a choice. Sometimes we have to admit when we're wrong, say "I'm sorry," and forgive and move on.
Other times when bad things happen in our lives that are out of our hands, we still have to make a choice.
Do we hold on tight and weather the storm together or do we drown each other while trying to swim our way to the surface or do we wave the white flag and surrender?
Personally, the trying times we experienced during the first 5 years of our marriage have confirmed that we are in this together.
We have already chosen to weather several storms together and so far, we have made it out alive.
That has helped to prepare us for future storms, because they are coming and we don't know when.
Don't get me wrong, we had some wonderful, beautiful times and experiences during those 5 years, too. Honestly, those are the memories I recall the most because those are the memories I choose to focus on.
God always provided for us and we have experienced an abundance of blessings.

So, "Love  does not boast, it is not proud..."
That's true, honest, pure love.
Because true love has sailed through the roughest of seas and it is more humbled because of it.
Am I proud of every aspect of our marriage? Am I going to brag on our what may appear to be a "seemingly perfect" marriage?
No. But, I'm thankful because the imperfections remind me that I am a lowly sinner and I am constantly seeking humility.
That is what makes me a better wife to my husband.
Perfection in any realm is simply unattainable.
Unfailing, unconditional love...now that's something worth striving for.
When I look back at the past 7 years of marriage we've shared, I am thankful for the good times and the bad, I'm thankful that God gave me just what I needed in a spouse, and I'm thankful for mercy and grace.
I love Brandon immensely, more each day.
I respect him and I appreciate him. I am so thankful for the hard worker and provider that he is.
He loves me and I know it because he shows me each and every day.
He is my best friend, my confidant, my partner and he makes me a better person.
We are a team. We are in this together until the very end. We are one.
We are not perfect, but we are in love and we are loving the journey that God has called us make together.
It's hard to believe seven years have already come and gone.
Where does the time go?
I wish we could relive our wedding day and get married all over again.
It was the best, most magical day of my life.
I do not take this gift of marriage for granted.
Brandon is such a rare gift and I am so blessed to share everything I am and have with him.
He is my Prince, my One True Love.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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

52 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary! 7 years is wonderful, we just celebrated 6 years in June. Love your wedding pictures, they are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Nicole!! Happy 6th anniversary to y'all!! :) Love and hugs! xoxo

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  2. Happy Anniversary!!! Your wedding photos are so beautiful. I especially love what you said about being dressed pretty and having perfect make up! For the first few months of my boyfriend and I dating I felt so refreshed that I didn't have to look perfect all the time and he still found me attractive. Then somehow this idea has snuck into my mind that I need to look amazing all the time, when actually he genuinely doesn't even notice the difference between when I wear make up and not! It's funny how as women we can get it so totally wrong! Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you so much, Francesca! You are so right-most of the time my husband doesn't notice the difference either. In fact, with him, less is more. Funny how that works. Blessings and love! xoxo

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  3. Happy Anniversary - your wedding pics are beautiful - have a blessed day with your sweetie. xo

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    1. Thank you so much, Sheri!! Blessings and love to you! xoxo

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  4. What a sweet and honest post! Happy Anniversary!

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  5. Your honesty and openness is so refreshing! So many people try to convey "perfection" at all times when everyone knows that's not reality! Thank you for your honesty and for your choice to put Christ first in all aspects of married life. May God continue to bless you both in the years ahead.

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    1. Thank you! You have encouraged me more than you know and I am thankful for that! May God bless you and your family, too! xoxo

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  6. Happy Anniversary pretty lady! What a beautiful post about the loves and truths of marriage.
    Congratulations on these special 7 years together as husband and wife, and well done for getting through it all together.
    A true inspiration to us all.
    x

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    1. Thank you so very much, Caley! Thank you for the encouragement! :) Love, hugs and blessings to you! xoxo

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  7. Happy Anniversary, such a beautiful post about love and marriage!

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  8. Happy Anniversary!! Thank you for sharing with such honesty, as a newlywed I find myself creating expectations similar to the ones you did. It's really encouraging to read a little bit of your story and to see such a great post about marriage!

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    1. Thank you, Laurel! I'm glad you could relate and hopefully learn some from a few of my mistakes. Marriage is a constant work in progress and a learning experience. No one has all the answers, but thank heavens God does and He will guide us along as we seek Him. :) Love and blessings to you! xoxo

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  9. Forever is a wonderful thing.

    I love your openness and honesty. I love how real you are. It makes you so easy to relate to. Many girls will cling to this post with hope for their own marriages.

    Congrats to you and Brandon sweet Cherish.

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    1. Nonny, I know you have so much wisdom in all aspects of life, especially marriage and family. I would love to hear some of it someday! Thank you for encouraging me and for being such a great role model. You are precious. Love and hugs to you! xoxo

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  10. Happy anniversary! I love your honesty on marriage in a Christian light. It spurs us onward! Thank you! Enjoy your wonderful week ahead!

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    1. Thank you so much, Whitney! You have encouraged me today. :) Blessings and love! xoxo

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  11. Happy 7th Anniversary! Your wedding pictures are so pretty with the sunset and all of the colors. Y'all are a beautiful couple!

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  12. Love this post! Happy anniversary. Have really been blessed reading your blog.
    In Him,
    Katie

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    1. Thank you so much, Katie!! I'm so glad! :) Blessings and love to you! xoxo

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  13. This post is very inspiring Cherish! Happy 7th Anniversary! and many more blessing years to come! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Lakia! So sweet of you! :) Blessings and Love to you! xoxo

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  14. Happy Anniversary! Enjoy many more to come.

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  15. Happy Anniversary! I have to say, I really felt as though my own heart was speaking while I read the part about aspiring to achieve perfection in your marriage. Although I've only been married for a little over 2 years, I also felt that "clean slate" after walking down the aisle and began to guilt myself over not getting a perfect, homemade meal on the table every night, not cleaning our house spotless, and even feeling as though I wasn't pretty enough around my own husband. With time and utter exhaustion, you learn to let go and let God :)

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    1. Ashley, thank you so much, precious friend! I am so glad that you are learning that truth you wrote...let go and let God! Amen! Marriage is a constant work in progress and a learning experience. No one has all the answers, but thank heavens God does and He will guide us along as we seek Him. :) Thank you for encouraging me! Love, hugs and blessings to you! xoxo

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  16. Happy Anniversary! I always love reading your heartfelt posts. It's so refreshing to see the true sides of bloggers and not the constant perfectness. I wish you and Brandon SO many more wonderful years of marriage!

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    1. Kerri, you are such a precious doll! Thank you! Marriage is a constant work in progress and a learning experience. No one has all the answers, but thank heavens God does and He will guide us along as we seek Him. :) I sometimes get frustrated reading some blogger's posts and seeing their instagrams because everything always seems to be so perfect, and I know it's really not, but the constant "illusion" can make others feel inadequate sometimes. I try to find a balance between being real, but always maintaining some dignity and respecting my personal relationships, too. It can be tricky! Thank you, again! Love, hugs and blessings! xoxo

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  17. Happy Anniversary sweet girl to you & Brandon!

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  18. Happy Anniversary! May God continue to guide and bless your marriage forever & ever, Amen :)

    Karen

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    1. Thank you so much, precious Karen!! Love and blessings to you! xoxo

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  19. Cherish, sweet, precious friend.... you have blown me away again. Your open heart and transparency are priceless! You are such a gem. What an awesome post for wives of all ages to read. Love you... Congratulations to you and Brandon... you deserve a lifetime of happiness, laughter, love and health!

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    1. Rachel, you are making me cry!! Like a river kind of cry! Thank you for encouraging me and for being so wonderful. You are precious to my soul and I love you, too! Thank you, again! xoxo

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  20. This. Is. Perfect. I absolutely love it. Thank you for being so honest about marriage and the fact that it's work and it's not perfect. Happy Anniversary!!

    ~Tiffany

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    1. Tiffany, you are so precious! Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for being so sweet. Blessings and love to you! Xoxo

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  21. Happy Anniversary to both you and Brandon! May you both enjoy everything that the Lord has in store for you on this journey called marriage. My husband, Marlin, and I were recently blessed to celebrate our nineteenth year of marriage on July 9. Be blessed in the Lord, and I wish for you two many more happy anniversaries!

    In Christ,
    Paula

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  22. This is beautiful! And so are you two!

    Happy Anniversary!

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  23. I love this post! It's so honest and real and I really love it.

    I hope you had a great anniversary! :)

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I sure do love hearing from y'all-you make my day!