One year anniversary

On October 17th,  Greg and I celebrate our one year anniversary. Because of this, we have been reminiscing on the past year. We are humbled and amazed at the ways God has taken care of us, taught us how to love one another more and more, and how He has reminded us to forgive and ask for forgiveness. We look back with overflowing joy that we get to spend every day together now, which was a wistful longing while living 2,000 miles away from each other while we dated and were engaged for a year and a half. 

We are a work in progress, as we will be for the rest of our lives. We have much to still learn on this journey of marriage so I won't pretend to have it all together because I most assuredly do not. I still struggle at times with communicating during conflict by tossing out excuses for my hurtful behavior or words rather than listening respectfully. Sometimes I still resort to emotionally withdrawing and replying "I'm fine" when clearly I am anything but "fine". I can be selfish, rude, and unmotivated to change unhealthy habits. I can get easily offended with the slightest thing and can hold a grudge for far too long. In short, I am still a mess now that I am married. I didn't get "fixed" of the tendencies that were there while I was single. Rather, now these things come out more often as Greg and I rub against each other in the friction of living together everyday. I often see messy parts of me that I did not even known where there. It is humbling and challenging to see some really ugly areas in my heart and mind.

And yet, this friction is so good. It helps sharpen us as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). Greg sees me in a light that no one else does because no one else lives with me 24/7. He sees me at my highest highs and lowest lows. And vice versa. We get the opportunity of loving each other despite our own failures and flaws. And if we lay our pride aside,  we get the opportunity to lovingly correct, challenge, and encourage one another to grow. Greg is not perfect, but over and over he has pointed me to Jesus through his own example as well as the ways he loves me at my worst. His words, his actions, his own humility when he realizes he's hurt me and apologizes, all of these things are small pictures of what it means to love one another with a love that is rooted in Jesus' unfailing love for us. 

All this to say, we are still incredibly and wonderfully in love with each other.
Even through our faults and failures.
Even after we've hurt one another over and over.
Even after we know the messy parts of our hearts.

And that is not because of an unfailing love for one another that we can manufacture in our own strength and volition. It is because of the love that God has placed in us for Him and for each other.

His love makes it possible for us to love one another. 
His love makes it possible to forgive one another. 
His love makes it possible to see that our marriage is worth the fight on the hardest of days.  
His love makes it possible to experience intimacy, trust, safety, and feeling understood and treasured. 

I am in awe of the sanctifying work God the Father is doing in us as He shapes us both individually as well as a married couple to better reflect His son Jesus. My desire is that if there is anything good in us that people notice,  it would point others to Jesus rather than to ourselves. We are nothing and we have nothing without God.

A quote I keep coming back to this year is from one of my favorite marriage books, You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisan Chan:
"Marriage is one of the most humbling, sanctifying journeys you will ever be a part of. It forces us to wrestle with our selfishness and pride. But it also gives us a platform to display love and commitment"
What a humbling and remarkable challenge and opportunity. I am incredibly thankful for being married to a man who loves me so dearly and deeply. Greg is not perfect but he knows where to go for wisdom, guidance, patience, forgiveness, and love. He goes to God because he knows he is inadequate on his own. I cannot express into words the peace and safety I feel as a wife knowing my husband knows he cannot do this whole marriage thing -- and really, this whole life thing -- in his own power and intelligence. He is one of the most intelligent, motivated, inquisitive people I have ever met, and yet he will still fall short at times. And I do too -- many, many, many times. But the fact that he knows this and humbly asks God for help, seeks to understand the Bible and put into practice what he is learning, and invests in friendships where he can be challenged to grow in his Christian faith gives me assurance and rest. His character and his love for me, rooted in His love for God, has been a launching pad for me to be more creative, adventurous, and courageous. In the time we have known together, I have tackled more challenges and stepped on the ledge more than ever before, knowing that even if I fall, it will be ok (which is a big thing for me since I have always feared failing). His love for me brought so much joy, emotional healing from past hurts and fears of never being enough for a man, and has pointed me time and time again at God's love for me. Greg is infinitely more than I ever knew to pray for in a husband. He is my biggest supporter, the one who can make me laugh the most, the one who I have the most fun with, one of the courageous few who can (lovingly) correct me when I am wrong or hurtful, and the one I want to walk hand-in-hand through the mountaintop highs and the valley lows of life with. 

Here's to one year of marriage and here's to a lifetime of growing more, loving more, forgiving more, and finding joy more and more. I am so honored and blessed to be the wife of my best friend and beloved and excited for what the next years have in store for us.

Happy one year to us!

Here's a little walk down memory lane ...
--> 7 things we tried to focus on during our engagement 

And just a few more photos because they give me the heart eyes….

All photos by Vio Regus Photography