As Jonathan and I approach our first wedding anniversary (July 18), I cannot help but reflect on our relationship and how we’ve each grown during our four years together. I always imagined love would equal perfection, ease, and little love birds lacing flowers into my hair. My delusion aided in a rocky beginning for us, but I am now grateful for the mountains we’ve climbed together.
When Jonathan first reached out to reconnect, I was completely uninterested. I could not have been more disconnected from the notion that we would end up together. I dated musicians in the past and swore I would never travel down that road again; he would simply be a few fun dates and we would move on. After all, I liked his confidence, long hair, and controversial neck beard.
Something was different about him, though. He asked about my favorite books, what family means to me, and where my faith has led me over the years. The next week, he invited me over and showed me a fort he built in a bamboo clearing, simply because I told him how much time I spent in the woods growing up. He was creative, intelligent, and took my lack of interest as a challenge.
As our relationship progressed, we hit speed bumps. He wasn’t ready to be transparent and I wasn’t ready to trust anyone. My generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was on the rise, but I didn’t know what it was at the time, only that I was out of control of my emotions. Jonathan was reaching a crossroad in his career, with no clear path ahead of him, which left both of us at very confusing points in our lives. Even through this, we knew that we had God and each other, and though we sometimes didn’t understand one another, we felt at home together.
Slowly, we began to find the light at the end of the tunnel. J started building his career in a new industry, I identified and began treating my anxiety, and we found a level playing field to begin truly investing in one another. We fell in love during our weakest moments, and spent our first years together broken and completely broke. We were at our worst, but God brought us to our best by showing us grace through each other.
I’ve learned more about forgiveness, patience, and kindness through my husband than I imagined possible. He’s opened my heart to new adventures and reignited my curiosity. As we approach our anniversary, I am filled with gratitude and excitement for the things yet to come in this life we are building together.
This isn’t completely about us, though. It’s also about you and me, and you and J, and the friendships we’ve been fortunate enough to build over the years. We love you. We appreciate you. Relationships are crucial for healthy lives, kindness is relief for heavy hearts, and forgiveness teaches us lessons we need to continue growing. Thank you for your support, wisdom, and grace through the years. We cannot wait to make new memories together soon.