Of course this is something I've been trying to learn my entire life. God has always been teaching me this. I think He was preparing me for marriage. Patience is important in any relationship, but especially when you are living with and supporting a person you care deeply about. And in many circumstances in life, I've had to succumb to the fact that the power of patience is not something I can teach to myself. It HAS to come from God!
It's so easy to go through life reacting to things in the way that naturally-- Like getting mad when something makes you mad or squealing at the top of your lungs when something makes you excited. But sometimes, your natural reaction can be a selfish reaction. Through marriage, I'm learning to react in LOVE rather than reacting naturally. I have to step outside of myself and think "how should I react to this that would show love to Andrew?". This is probably the most important lesson I'm learning! So much power in this.
Like in a lot of marriages, one of us the the voice of reason and one of us is the yes man. Can you guess which is which? Yep, I'm all about reason. Andrew gets these sudden enthusiastic grand ideas and I tend to react to them by saying "no, I don't think you can do that", "That's not normal", "I don't understand?!?". But this enthusiasm and these grand ideas are what make Andrew special and successful!! He thinks outside of the box- something that I thought I did too... but turns out I don't! I'm learning to squash that voice of reason (a little). Of course I don't totally leave reason and that gut feeling behind... but I am learning to completely hear him out before I stomp on his excitement. Then we work together to refine his ideas. Turns out, we make a pretty good team!
So I don't know about y'all, but I'm not in a perfectly chipper mood 100% of the time. I can get a little cranky. And my husband/roommate/business partner can sometimes see that ugly side of me. I hate it! I want to hide my crankiness from the world but in marriage, you will see the best and the worst of each other. There's just no way around it! So I'm learning the importance of a sense of humor. On those days when it feels like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I have to CHOOSE to laugh about it. In the moment, it feels like the hardest thing in the world but it can turn my entire mood and day around! Not to mention, simply laughing instead of fuming relieves Andrew of stress and tension. There is so much power in a smile.
I hope I'm not discouraging anyone from marriage by what I wrote above?! The truth is, marriage is hard. Ask anyone who's ever been married and they will tell you that it is. But marriage is SO WORTH IT!!! This first year has been a BLAST!!! I get to do everything with my best friend! We laugh together, travel together, do business together, and cry together. It's an extreme life partnership. God made us for this intimacy and unconditional love because we are made in His image! It's awesome and we testify God's love to each other every single day as we forgive and choose love over and over again. And even though it's not easy, the hard things in marriage teach me about myself by revealing things that only my husband and our relationship can reveal- the sinful, ugly AND pretty parts. And that's SO cool!! I'm growing in my relationship with God simply because I'm in this earthly relationship that calls for unconditional love and forgiveness just like the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father.
Photos by Leslee Mitchell Photography