There he is. That man I married a year ago. Friends meet Jason.
He is the man who packs my lunch every morning.
He is the man who makes me breakfast every weekend.
He is the man who will move heaven and earth in his schedule if I have a flat tire, just so I won’t stress about the repair.
He is the man who will relax on the couch with me on a Friday night, turn his attention from the tv, and start asking questions about my childhood because he wants to know me better. Even after three years of being in a relationship.
He is the man who has shown my daughters unconditional love even though he’s under no obligation.
He is the man who teaches me, through his example, to parent with a bit more levity and a lot more patience and understanding.
He is the man who will go to war with me if we don’t share the same opinion on a topic but will relentlessly pursue peace until our disagreement is resolved.
Do you know why I love this picture of that man? It isn’t just that he’s an absolute goofball capable of bringing a smile to anyone’s face. No, it’s that he is one hundred percent authentically embracing the moment with no reserve or hesitation. He is embracing life for all it has to offer. In return, he gives life his every ounce of his enthusiasm. He, and the moment are one in the same.
This has been a rough year. Blending two families with a combined five teenage children is no easy task. It is not for the faint of heart.
Marrying a woman who has been a single mother for eight years…The nicest thing I know to say is that there must have been moments where Jason probably felt like he was cast in the lead of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew (don’t get too worked up, neither of us truly consider me to be a shrew…I think).
We are adults. We have led established lives prior to our relationship. We have raised children and led families, independent of one another. We have a different approach to almost every single minute detail you can imagine. We both also have very strong stances regarding those details. Some days the bumps in the road have felt like craters. We both carry insecurities, fears, and labels that require strenuous effort to overcome.
Despite the conflicts, he is my everything.
I spent years finding myself and trying to find someone to journey with through life. Many heartaches proved to me that relationships were absolutely not worth the strife and heartache they brought into my world. After an especially devastating end to a long-term relationship, I vowed I was not going down that road again. I liked my life. I was a healthier parent when I wasn’t inviting in someone else’s influence. My daughters were getting older and they mattered more to me than finding companionship.
Then my friend Jason, became my best friend. My best friend Jason then proved to be my soul mate. Very quickly, my perception of what was right for my life shifted again.
Through the turbulence of this first year, I find myself and our relationship so much stronger. He is quickly becoming my lifeline in so many ways. I see in us that iron does in fact sharpen iron, and growth is never comfortable. What I have found is that with each conflict, we have pressed harder toward our goal. Our goal of unity and of a happy marriage. Our goal of seeking to understand one another. Our goal of not losing our individuality while still honoring our sacred bond.
He makes me laugh everyday…more often than not, I’m rolling my eyes at the same time. Apparently, that’s his goal (yes…my eyes are rolling just thinking about it). He’s teaching me how to treat others with patience and understanding that I normally would not extend.
I had every intention of writing this “happy anniversary” as a tribute to how amazing he is, and trust me, he is. But I think at this point, what’s really on my heart is how amazing we are, together.
Where there is stress – we seek to find peace
Where there is strife – we seek understanding
Where there is sadness – we seek to comfort
Where there is conflict – we seek resolution
He gives me space and grace to grow. He forgives me when I’m angry and hurt, as I forgive him. He teaches me daily about the person I want to become through his positive examples. He gives me space to explore who I am and who I want to be.
As I’m writing this, I’m preparing to leave for a week to go on a missions trip to Africa. This opportunity came up unexpectedly and quickly, a year ago I had no clue it was on the horizon. I struggled with a deep desire to pursue this dream and a deep sadness that I would leave him and our family for a week. I felt hesitant about spending money. I felt guilt for wanting to do this for myself when there are six other people in the family to consider. Worst of all, I’d be gone on my birthday and our very first wedding anniversary. I presented Jason with all my hesitations and doubts, him knowing full well the significance of this opportunity.
He thought of each objection that I proposed and sat quietly. I was sure he was weighing how to tell me that he didn’t think it was the right time to go. Instead, he drew a breath and said, “I keep seeing these posts (social media). They say, eat the cake, buy the dress, take the trip…”
Then he paused and drew a breath.
“…I really think you should take the trip.”
I think that might be one of the most selfless moments I’ve shared with anyone. My beautiful husband’s whole-hearted, sincere enthusiasm toward encouraging me to chase my dream. One more example of the first-class man I have married.
So, by the time you read this, I will be on another continent seeing a lifelong dream fulfilled and anxiously waiting to return to my family. My husband will be at home, keeping our life and family safe and secure while he allows me to seek who I am in this world. With all my heart I wish him the happiest of anniversaries, thank you Jason for all that you are in our lives. You are a gift and a treasure each and everyday. I am blessed to call you mine. I promise to always love you more.