This Thursday July 12th 2012 happens to be the date of my 5th chemo infusion…it also happens to be Jonathan and my 4th wedding anniversary. It’s crazy to sit where we are now and look back on our wedding day. We had no idea what was in store for us…but nobody does. 🙂 Most of our close friends seemed to be buying houses and building families (and we also wanted those things) so it seemed likely that we would follow the trend. I never anticipated that the next 4 years would consist of: Losing jobs, quitting jobs, moving 3 countries and 2 continents, new jobs, keeping in contact with family and dear friends over thousands of miles, amazing new international friends, and now cancer. We’ve crammed a lot into 4 years and it has most definitely had its highs and lows…but that is the journey we like to call marriage.
I have received some funny reactions when I’ve told people here that I’m married: “But you’re so young!” “Interesting, marriage is so old fashioned.” “Good for you, personally I don’t see the need for marriage.” This is a sweeping generalization but from conversations I’ve had here a theme tends to be that marriage is an institution created by the church and is no longer relevant in relationships. Folks here (generally) believe that choosing to be together is enough they don’t need an outside contract to maintain the relationship…plus a wedding can be freaking expensive. In an era of skyrocketing divorce rates I can see the points they are making. A wedding itself does not equal a lasting commitment.
I can’t judge that perspective but I can say the reasons why we chose to. When we got married, it was important for us to celebrate our commitment to each other in front of God, our family and friends. These are the people who will help us to hold on to our
marriage when things get difficult…it wasn’t a commitment taken lightly (to wear a white dress and throw a party) and it has been tested significantly. We had the principles we wanted to build our marriage on engraved into the rings we exchanged. One of Jonathan’s good friends, Rick, created his own symbolic language called water tongue (Click the hyperlink to be taken to the website) Side note: I know at this point you want your own friend who has created a language, it’s OK you can borrow mine. He’s crazy talented 🙂…and in this symbolic language we have the following words etched into our rings:
They have all played a substantial role in our marriage and I wanted to include a sentence about how we are currently experiencing each one:
- Commitment: choosing the relationship even when life is difficult and unexpected
- Faith: believing that God is who he says he is and can work miracles
- Hope: Knowing in our hearts that life wont always be like this…hoping for a better tomorrow
- Love: As an action where we both make choices to show and extend love to each other and the people around us. Things fall apart when we rely on love as a feeling.
- Grace: Struggling to fully internalize the grace God has given us and to offer the same grace to each other in ways that we have failed
- Heal: A very practical one right now…in fully healing my body
- Laughter: To claim every opportunity we can to laugh and enjoy the blessings in life and not be bogged down by everything heavy right now
- Freedom: Attempting every day to live in the freedom God has given us and not be consumed with anxiety or fear
- Friend: Surrounding ourselves with good friends and family…and being a friend to each other
- Trust: Right now trust and faith are interlinked…we trust also that God is who he says he is and is at work in this situation
Happy Anniversary Amor…4 years down and many more to go.
P.S. but since this is also about a chemo infusion…please continue to pray that the IV goes in on the first time. 🙂 This has been one of the biggest blessings during this process.
P.P.S. This has been a fun day to look back on and remember.