Reflections on my sixth anniversary of marriage.

Another year has passed. Sarah and I have now been married for six years.

No one knows me like my wife does. She’s seen me at my worst and yet she chooses to be with me. To love me. To grow with me. To challenge and encourage me. She pushes me to live into my values. To be a wholehearted person.

I am a better person because of her.

. . .

One of the scariest parts of marriage is that you commit your entire life to someone else without knowing what the future may bring. That’s why we make vows to each other. That’s why we say “in sickness and in health” and “for richer or poorer.” We’re in this together, in the good times, the bad times, and all the times in between.

This week Sarah was in the hospital due to viral meningitis. It was so hard to see her in pain and not be able to do anything to relieve it. It’s a bit disorienting when you’re told that as a married couple you are one flesh, but then can’t truly understand what your spouse is going through. I was hoping that simply being there for her and attempting to be her advocate was enough for her. It was all I knew to do. It was at times scary, though.

. . .

We’ve lived in Omaha for about a year and a half now. We moved here for a number of reasons, but perhaps one of the greatest reasons was to be closer to family. My brother was a junior in high school when we moved here, and today he is graduating from high school. As far as he can remember, Sarah’s always been around. Something I think is pretty neat.

. . .

Moving to Omaha has been nice, but it hasn’t been everything we had hoped it would be for us. Despite having most of my extended family scattered throughout the Omaha area, we’ve felt fairly isolated. We haven’t found a church that we feel that we can call home. I haven’t really made any meaningful or lasting friendships. And despite applying for a number of jobs, I’ve been repeatedly rejected. But throughout all this, Sarah has been by my side the whole time.

. . .

Marriages are not to be taken for granted. They are a serious thing, and they take serious work. Like the physical things of this world, they are susceptible to entropy. We’ve had to work not simply to make sure our marriage is flourishing, but also to simply sustain it.

. . .

Over the last six years Sarah and I have experienced a lot of transitions, changes, twists, turns, pressures, disappointments, and surprises. If marriage is a marathon, then I picked the right running mate because I’ve found that come rain or shine, we’re running in stride with each other. We may not always enjoy it, but we are there together. Teammates. Partners.

When I first met Sarah in high school, she experienced heart arrhythmia. I remember putting my ear to her chest when we were first dating and hearing her heart beat in a strange sort of samba-like groove. For most of my life I have had a resting heart rate that was well above average. But in the course of six years of marriage my heart has slowed down and Sarah’s heart beats with regularity. Although I haven’t personally tested this, I wouldn’t be surprised if our hearts now beat in sync with each other. Studies have suggested that this literally happens between those that are close to each other. Two hearts beating as one.

Sarah tempers me. She restrains me.

My goal is to give her a sense of consistency. I don’t ever want to skip or miss a beat.

. . .

Despite my best efforts, I know that I take Sarah for granted. I take our relationship for granted. Although we may disagree about things like how laundry should be done and the value of the snooze button, when it comes to the big areas of life, we consistently find ourselves in agreement. And I know I take that for granted.

Our personalities are dramatically different from one another, but our values are the same. Our dreams are the same. Our passions are the same. Our faith is rooted in the same things. And that gives me confidence going into our seventh year of marriage, whatever it might bring.

We’ve come a long way in six years, and we still have a long way to go. I know it sounds cliché, but there truly is no one else I rather do life with. It’s a joy and a privilege.

I love you, Sarah. Thank you for loving me and showing me how to choose the way of grace.

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