The past three months have been the most fun and rewarding days of my entire life. Can't believe people say marriage is boring, the end of life, ball and chain - whatever. Marriage really is the best opportunity to learn how to be selfless (and actually achieve it sometimes) ;), to trust, and feel free. Obviously it's not for everyone, but my heart has been so broken over all of the conversations I have had with people who are reflecting on marriage out of bitterness or fear derived from their past. See, the thing about our marriage is that it is not about us - in fact, it never has been. Nothing in our lives is our's, not even our own lives. All of this is for God.
Marriage is not an easy commitment, we knew that going into it, but it is the most rewarding and strengthening experience I have ever known. Maybe it's because I'm naive in the first few months of marriage, but I honestly think that many couples have lost the ability to have fun with life and find joy in even the little things. Yes, two very different people coming together and spending a lot of time together and making very hard life decisions together is not an easy task, but it becomes too serious way too often. One thing that Stan and I have learned is to laugh - and laugh a lot. Even when we don't agree on something. I can't make eye contact with Stan when we have a disagreement because I immediately laugh or smile when I do (which is very hard when I'm trying to hold my ground), but then I realize that it isn't about me - and whatever that was all about really wasn't that important if I can laugh instantly about it. The thing I've learned is to allow myself to laugh with Stan, to let myself look him in the eyes in those moments and smile - because he is so much more important than even the hardest things that we have faced so far. In the past three months we have dealt with several different situations that put a strain on our marriage - or could have - but we learned very quickly not to start picking at each other because of something that someone else did, and to still laugh even when whatever that thing was didn't have any validation nor made any sense to us.
I seriously do not know how two people can love each other so "successfully" (for lack of a better word) without God's love and forgiveness. I can recount numerous instances throughout my life of when I have felt almost "outside" of myself, watching what I am doing, and not really knowing how the words coming out of my mouth are actually sounding pretty good. It has always been the Holy Spirit speaking through me and loving through me. And those are my most favorite moments. It is when I feel the most love - the most Christ, in me. I love feeling Him move through me. And when that happens with Stan, it feels a billion times more amazing. Because for me to allow God to move through me to love the most important person in my life, is the most satisfying and rewarding feeling in the entire world.
In our new adventure in Austin, and my new job, I have never felt more sure of anything in my entire life. I've had people tell me I'm so young, but I've also had people respect me for it, which is quite honestly very refreshing. I've had people say that they couldn't imagine being married to someone as sweet as Stan, which breaks my heart because everyone deserves someone as wonderful as Stan. And I've had people say that we were wrong to get married so young because we should have been having fun and exploring the world at our age. But honestly, I am having the most fun I have ever had, and I have someone to explore the entire world with who knows all of my flaws and still loves me unconditionally and pursues me passionately.
Sometimes I get tired of hearing a lot of things regarding age, because age does not make you who you are, nor does it discount your credibility; but then, I hear a little whisper and then a strong pull from my heart telling me that I have not been giving such a blessed and decisive life to get upset over someone caring or simply reflecting on past heartbreak or poor decisions. My purpose is to love even when whatever is being said about me or anyone else is false. It always brings me back to when Jesus was accused falsely and He never got angry nor did He ever rant about it. He always loved, and loved them so deeply.
I thank God every day for changing my plans and putting Stan in my life, because it has given me (us) an incredible platform to allow God's love to move through us. Knowing that my job, our life in Austin, and everything about this moment in time is the vision I had always kept in my heart of what God was calling me to do, and knowing that these are the people He is calling me to love, is the driving force behind my desire to be here and to work hard at my job - because it definitely is stressful, and it is not easy. But I love every minute of it :)
More pics tomorrow :)