As we get closer to the one year mark, I have been thinking a lot about all that I have learned during this first year of marriage. Although in the marriage ball game we are still just rookies, this past year has been one of growth and new experiences. Not only have I learned a lot about my husband, I have learned a tremendous amount about myself. I have learned a whole lot about life and I am amazed at how marriage really teaches you so much. I have learned that no matter what I do, my husband and I will never have the same appreciate (or lack there of) for spicy food. I have also learned that I am a bed hog. It was never a problem before, but now it is a weekly conversation. But it all seriousness, I have learned a few life changing things as well.
1. marriage just makes you married
I read that line somewhere and it resonated so much within me. I believe, especially as girls, that we feel like we will have it all figured out once we get married. We will know what we want out of life, we will no longer feel insecure and that it will all be just peachy within your relationship. Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but that is most definitely not true. If anything, marriage amplifies any issues or conflicts that were already existing. You and your spouse are both broken, sinful humans and that doesn't change once you get married. Now, you are just married, broken, sinful humans trying to do life together. Now don't get me wrong, I love being married but it doesn't change who you are or who your spouse is. There are still days when I feel insecure about myself. There are times when I struggle with knowing what I want out of life. Those things don't go away once you get married, but the beautiful thing is now you have someone to share in those things with. To talk to on the most intimate level and know that they love you regardless.
2. forgiveness and grace are the best gifts ever
I never fully understood the concept of grace until I got into a good, healthy dating relationship. One of the hardest lessons I learned was how to forgive well. Come to find out, I can be quick to hold a grudge over little things, even against myself. But that doesn't go well with having a healthy, joyful heart. I have had to learn the true meaning of forgiveness and grace. Not only has this concept helped in all my relationships, but it has helped me understand God in a new way. And it blows my mind to know that God gives us that same kind of grace when we are willing to accept it. And that has been life changing in so many ways.
3. communication really is important.
Just in case you didn't know already, men and women are very different. From our physical make ups to the way we process information. And if you want to learn that first hand, just get married. Again, don't get me wrong, I am thankful that my husband is different than me. God purposefully created us that way. Plus, I would probably be very annoyed if I had to deal with someone just like me all day. Yet, I have learned that men and women also communicate differently. I had always heard that communication is the key to a good marriage but I didn't realize how crucial that was. I have always thought I was a good communicator. Turns out-- I'm really just a good talker. Real communication takes effort and energy and is so worth it. Taking the time to have genuine conversation and discussions will make the difference between a mediocre marriage and a healthy, connected one.
As we come up to our first anniversary, I am reminded everyday of how blessed I truly am. I am so thankful for the man that Jake is and for all he has brought to my life and our marriage.
And all I can really do is say thank you, thank you, thank you.