Sometimes it’s the simplest words that say it best, you know?
I remember when Evan and I were preparing to get married, we agreed that we wanted to write our own vows. It’s no surprise to anyone that we’d do something like that. I had been writing letters to him for the two years leading up to our wedding. I’d write them to remind him I loved him. I’d write them to remind myself of what we were heading towards together. Writing my vows to him was like finishing the letters I had been writing for years.
I distinctly remember sitting down to write those significant words and feeling like I had said so much already. What I wanted to say would only take a few sentences. It felt like it wasn’t enough in some ways, as though I should have had a long letter of love to share with him. But he already knew so much of what I would say. We’d been saying them to each other for months. So when the time came to share my vows with the kid I was marrying, it was only a few sentences, filled with more meaning than I realized.
Today we’re celebrating nine years of marriage. Nine years! Evan turned to me last night while we lay in bed, and he said, “We’ve been sleeping in the same bed for nine years. That’s a long time to share a bed with someone.” I laid there thinking about it, while I was also thinking about my sprained shoulder (that I injured at a doctor’s appointment yesterday, go figure). It is weird that we have spent more time together than we have apart. Soon we’ll be together longer than we’ve been without each other. We grew up together in many ways. From learning who we are as people, parents, and citizens, to discovering why we believe, Who we believe in, and for what aim. We’ve discovered ourselves and each other again and again over the years. It’s a sign that change is unavoidable, and I wouldn’t want to discover myself, this world, or our God with anyone else.
We’ve been stuck in our house for 26 days with our kids, and we haven’t wanted to get a divorce. I’d call that a win, wouldn’t you? I think it’s because we’ve fought for this, and we have fought for it often. Falling in love as teenagers and getting married was the easy part, to be honest. Staying in love, learning to love, and wanting to love are what make me like the guy even more every day.
There is one thing I’m certain about when it comes to marriage: it’s worth the work. And what’s more, it isn’t worth being selfish over. That truth transcends marriage and falls over every relationship. Loving someone is easier when it’s not for our benefit. It can take years for that to take root. When it does? Your world changes. The way you see the world and the people in it changes. If Evan has taught me anything (and trust me, he has taught me a LOT), it’s that selflessness makes a difference. I married one of the most selfless people I know. He is first to serve without recognition, willing to do for others what no one else will do, and will always take the time to ask how you’re doing in the process. He cares for others. And he cares for me better than I sometimes care for myself.
Happy nine, Hotness. Every year is better with you.