It’s wedding season, and so it's anniversary season too. I love love. I love marriage. And I want to be all “Happy Anniversary,” woot woot! Okay, and I am that. But, I can’t help but look at this picture of us, 10 years ago, and just see heartbreak. I hate that. This is cancer y’all.
I have cancer in this picture here, of us on our wedding day. I wonder if he still would have married me. If he’d known; if we’d known, what would’ve happened then?
I look perfectly healthy, but I’m not. It would be another year or so before we know because health and sickness are inside. You can't see them; you have to go deeper. And you go deep in marriage, right? You learn things, bad things, sweet things, things you never wanted to know, things you always wanted to know. It changes you.
We don’t stay the same. We get sick, fat, bald. Maybe even bitter or sad. We also get more open, happier, kinder, more loving. We heal. We change. We are meant to change. “She changed” is never a reason to leave a marriage. Right on the other side of “he changed” could be “he changed for the better.” Love is patient, love is kind. (1 Corinthians 13:4). The waiting can be hard. Patience is hard.
We don’t share our struggles enough in marriage. Maybe if we did, there’d be less divorce. We would compare less and feel less like we were lacking what someone else’s perfect marriage has that ours doesn’t. But we can’t see what’s inside, and mostly we don’t say, so we don’t know, and we go on thinking if it looks perfect, it is perfect. But it’s never perfect. Perfection is a myth, always.
There was a time I didn’t think I’d be alive long enough to get here: 10 years. Here I am; here we are. Patience.
Pain is not bad in itself. Lack of control is not bad, but that’s not what we’re taught, and we’re taught wrong. There is always heartbreak. But there is beauty, even there. Marriage is made up of a series of love, heartbreak, and healing is just on the other side. Patience.