...I married my best friend.
Today as I think back through the last 4 years I am amazed at how our lives have changed. The day that we were married was a beautiful, yet cold evening. Daniel & I had both JUST turned 19 years old and he had been in the Marine Corps for a little over a year. We were separated all of that year except for maybe 10 days off and on. We decided we were going to get married 2 1/2 weeks before the actual day. My mom was terribly upset but even then, I knew what God had in store for the two of us. I could feel it.
Daniel was due to leave on his first deployment in March; just 3 months after we were married. Therefore the plan was for him to head back to North Carolina and for me to stay here in our little apartment. I was working as a teacher's aide in the K-5th grade special ed. room at a local elementary school and I loved my job. Ultimately, it is what got me through those terribly long 9 months of separation. So, as you can see, my mom had valid concerns. We were going to be newlyweds who got to see each other a total of 6 days in the first 9 months of our marriage. Yet we knew in our hearts we could do it...and we were determined to make it work.
I remember saying those vows to my soon to be husband, standing in front of all of the people who cared so much about us and thanking God for putting me in this situation. I remember being so grateful to have everyone I loved at such a special time in my life. Nanny was there and she was so proud. One of my favorite wedding pictures is of her hugging me and you can see her freckles so vividly. I look at it daily as I get dressed because it sits on my dresser. It's so special to me to know she was there for one of the most important days of my life.
When Daniel's deployment was 2 weeks shy of being done, I packed up my little red car and made the 15 hour drive to North Carolina alone. I was going to stay with some friends (who are now more like family) and look for an apartment that we would live in for the next year and a half until he was done with his enlistment. Again, my mom wasnt too happy but I was young and determined to be with my husband where I knew I belonged. Some of her last words to me before I left were, "Dont get pregnant while you're living away from us. You wont have any help." A month after Daniel returned home we were pregnant with Nora. God's plan is often different than that of our own mind.
I was thinking so much about marriage last night and how it is such a deep commitment and important union. I was thinking about how God makes it possible for two people who are willing to serve Him literally become one during such an occasion. I was praying and thinking about how if something ever happened to me, even right now, I'm not so sure I would want Daniel to re-marry. Now many of you reading that statement may think it is incredibly selfish especially considering our age. I think, however, that it is only fair that my husband and my children would have someone care for them that could live up to who I am as a wife and a mother. I pray everyday that I make that extremely difficult for any other woman to do. I hope that as a wife, Daniel would find it hard to find another woman who can pray with him and for him the way that I do. Spiritually, I pray it would be a complex process to find someone who has the heart and passion for the Lord that I do. I hope that it would be hard to find a woman that would teach his children and care for them the way I do. I hope that with everything I am and everything I do, I have set the bar high. And, if by some chance he were to find a woman that can compare even slightly to me in such ways, then I feel she would be worthy of his love and my children's love. But again, I pray that would be difficult to find. I would never want him to settle. They deserve the kind of love and dedication that I am daily striving to give them with the help and guidance of our Lord.
So after 4 years of marriage, 2 deployments overseas, 2 babies, 3 location changes, and a million friends made, and even more blessings--here we are!
Still young, still madly in love. We still fight every day, pray every day, kiss every day and laugh every day. We are devoted to one another like we always have been, only much greater. We are stronger, happier, healthier and more aware of not only ourselves but one another. He is still my absolute best friend, provider, and hero in so many ways. He can make me laugh more than anyone else, he can hurt my feelings more than anyone else and he can calm me more than anyone else. We have accomplished so many of our own heart's desires and yet I feel as if we have followed God's will for our lives with every choice we have made. I am proud of our marriage, our commitment and our journey. And yet, I still feel like it has just begun! I am so proud of the my role as wife. I love my life with this man and am so thankful that he chose me to take his name. What an awesome blessing!!!
Happy Anniversary Babe. Thanks for an Awesome four years and 80 more to come!