I remember the exact moment. Old jazz music blaring, a feast of food placed in front of us at our small table, and the rising sound of our friends and family laughing, talking, hugging and dancing.
“Oh this feels like what Heaven must feel like,” I turned to my brand new, hour-long husband. The candles flickered, the pine lay fresh and green, the kids spun in dresses and mini-suits on the hardwood floor. He laughed and I continued. “Right? Doesn’t this just feel like heaven? All of the people we love in the same place. Dancing. Feasting…”
“I think that’s the whole point?” he said, trying to not crush my happy little moment. “The wedding feast? Of the church…?” He’s waiting for me to get the point and I laugh because of course. It just never felt so less allegory and so much real as it did in those few hours on a snowy night at the end of January.
Marriage has been almost two months for us little newbies. A crash course in parenting for him. A whole slathering of revisiting all the ways I’m a hot mess.
For instance, I cry a whole lot more than I realize. At everything. All the time.
And apparently, I’m a messy person. I’m familiar with being artistic and creative; an eccentric writer who dramatically leaves remnants of a "beautiful life" around her desk. But then he asks why there are bobby pins everywhere. Or when I can’t find something, he smirks and says, “Well, where did you leave it? Did you leave it in the place it belongs?”
“It has a place it belongs?”
This is a common conversation.
But an update on married life can be summed up with this — we like it.
We have no advice. No hard-earned wisdom. No top five list for anyone. We each married our best friend which means we laugh a lot. We like hanging out. We've known each other for years so there are no shocking surprises (yet). We're a team. We're a family.
Maybe eventually I will write “How to not lose your mind when you realize that you’re a control freak when it comes to how your daughter’s desk is arranged or how the bed should be made.”
Or I’ll wax poetic about “What do when you start crying and don’t know why and don’t know how to stop.”
But more seriously, “How to talk to your kid who is new to this whole thing too about why mom and dad lock their bedroom door sometimes.”
And the hard truth? Going from being a single mom to a wife and co-parenting in a few months has given me another chance to either die to self or to wear myself out (big difference).
I'm far too prone to self-reliance. I have a hard time admitting that I need help, or that I can't juggle as much as I'd like to think I can. Where I thought I could cover and bridge the gap for every piece of my daughter's heart, I'm seeing how her heart was made to bloom under more guidance than just my own. Some seeds are not mine to cultivate. Some words mean more coming from his mouth. Some games, stories, and memories were not hoped and prayed for with me in mind. In the evenings, when we're kneeling at her bedside and sending simple prayers to Heaven, she gives thanks for God hearing her prayers and sending him. He, whom I love deeply, is God-sent and has been placed at the helm and I am learning all over again what it really means to trust.
Once again, the story of Jesus drops into the middle of our world. I see redemption in the wedding. I see the Gospel at work within and among us, around the dinner table and at bedtime prayers. I see the truth of Grace flowing as always, beckoning me to stop trying to earn love, rely on my self, impress the one who loves me or muscle through to prove I can do it without him. The Gospel at work within me, for me, despite me.
We are learning how to live together, how to communicate when we’d rather eat cookies, how to navigate parenting situations when we don’t agree, how to wake up slowly on weekends and enjoy the precious stolen moments of a love that is still very new. And I'm waking up to the whole picture of a Story that is very, very true showing itself at work in my day to day life as mom and now a wife.