There is something about writing a blog for this piece that is so difficult... Because I feel so much and no words measure up, because I can't seem to channel all the beautiful and honest and raw things I want to say into something concise, and especially, because summing up within the bounds of a few paragraphs all the reflections I have on my first year of marriage feels utterly impossible.
The first year of marriage. Its all the normal things most people say.. Beautiful, hard, challenging, surprising. Its a swift kick in the gut and a leaping heart at the same time. It reveals all the things about me that I don't like, ones I knew existed, but many, many more I never realized did. It ushers me into a brand new season of self-discovery, who I am determining what kind of wife I'll be, just as being a wife creates a revised version of myself.
Derrick Collins is the most precious man I have ever met. He is the extension of God's grace and faithfulness to me, over and over. He has endured my fears and panic, and has graciously dealt with the classic feminine control and manipulation resulting from my poor management of those fears. He is all the things I never knew I needed— patient, merciful, playful, SO forgiving, so relentlessly loving.. Lucky for me, he also loves works in progress, because I am a classic one. (Which is a huge reason I decided to leave this painting as a work in progress.) He is my treasured gift.
Surprisingly, I completely underestimated how the vulnerability of marriage would send me reeling. I have always been an open person, quick to relate and connect. But being married is sort of a terrifying way of being known. Well, it CAN be terrifying.. until you accept that being known this well doesn't result in being shut down and turned out, but instead it actually, somehow, in some freakish way that can only be a quality of God, makes you MORE loved. Derrick loves me like that. He gives me a glimpse of how Jesus sees me and feels about me and it is needless to say a very humbling, bumbling, shake at the knees experience.
Almost a year ago, just over a few weeks married, I was journaling while looking out the window onto a barren winter scene and wrote this:
There is something beautifully raw about this winter day. The tree limbs and branches aren't hidden by their leaves any longer, and they serve as no sorts of shields for the buildings behind them. All is exposed in the true, clear sun as its light pours over the tundra-like land. Somehow, the light makes everything both utterly naked and yet honestly beautiful at the same exact time. Marriage is so much like this winter day. Everything is in sight, out in the open, exposed to its very structure. And yet, beneath pure radiant light, it is the most breathtaking thing. There are no leaves, no outer coverings to protect, but this also means that everything down to its core has a unique opportunity to be flooded with good, true light, more than ever. And just like the land, we don't stay so exposed forever. Soon, all will be covered again in white clothing. The righteous beauty of Christ will line the exposed skeletons of all that we are, covering us so perfectly that who can tell where one begins or the other ends. Beneath the blanket of his snow-like Spirit, we are a perfect one.
Happy One year, My true! I am excited for the season we are in and so many more years ahead. <3