Laying in my bed a few weeks ago, I took a moment to rest amidst a busy Saturday of cleaning and cooking. Letting my body slowly sink into the memory foam, I breathed out deeply and allowed my eyes to start wondering around the room. I saw the furniture my parents gave to Andrew and I from my childhood room, I saw stacks of boxes waiting for me to dig into them, (do these ever end)?, I saw a vanity that really needed to be dusted, and then my eyes stopped. All of the sudden I realized I had been staring at one thing for over a minute; a large canvas picture of Andrew and I that is hanging on the wall next to our bed. On it is an engagement picture in which we are almost kissing; leaning intimately into each other and we each have on our face a very soft, tender smile. Around the picture on the wall are the words “Always Kiss Me Goodnight.” We have made this saying our rule and have followed it every night before bed no matter how tired we are. As I thought of that sweet commitment, I smiled, but then my gaze became hazier and my mind started to drift as I looked away from myself in the picture to my husband.
My eyes locked onto his face. I started thinking back to what it was like when I wasn’t dating him. He was one of those handsome, studly, Godly men on Moody campus, but weirdly enough I was not interested in him at first. He was intriguing, but very hard to get to know. He was one of those guys who was very careful emotionally with women. He would talk about theology, but stayed far away from personal information, one on one hangouts, hugs, etc unless he was interested in getting to know someone as more than a friend. I remember that even though I didn’t know him well, I started respecting him from afar. His character preceded him, and that was what eventually drew me to my husband.
I became lost in my thoughts. There Andrew was; only a few years ago a complete stranger, “and now…..I’m married to him?!” I tried to think of what it would have been like for someone to tell me a few years ago that I was going to marry Andrew Hanna. I would have been shocked. I never would have imagined it. Not that he wasn’t husband material, but I just never figured we would date; we were both interested in different people, and then BOOM; God brought us together; completely doing all of the work. I kept staring at that picture on the wall and my heart raced. I thought, “Do I really know him that well? We sure have been through a lot together, but I feel like there is still so much about MY HUSBAND that I do not know yet. Husband? I have a husband? This all happened so fast. Here I was thinking that this would never happen; that somehow getting married was too good to be true; it would never happen to me. And now I am married; to that man in the picture; to Andrew Hanna.”
I became fearful for a moment; thinking “did I marry a stranger?” I know him, but at the same time, I’m discovering new things ever day. How can you marry someone and put so much trust in them that you commit to spend the rest of your life with them? You commit to go through things that neither of you have experienced or can expect. How do you know how they will react? Who they will become? My mind ran wild. Then it stopped, and a huge smile came across my face. I remembered the comforting words of my wise Father, Jay Childs.
My older brother got married about 7 months ago, and at his wedding, my Father spoke the stranger that one joins to when they marry. At first I found this to be an odd message. After all, I’ve dreamed of being known by my husband better than anyone in the world. But now that I am married, I think I am beginning to understand.
The basic premise of his message was this. We are constantly changing. From day to day and year to year, we really are never quite the same people. Traumas change us, joys change us, we move, we get new friends, we experience new things, and this continues to happen over and over in life. Just as I have been changed as a single person, I will be changed as a married person. It is out of all of our control. The person I will be married to in 10 years will be vastly different from the man I am married to now. That could be terrifying, except that I know Andrew loves the Lord and will humbly allow the Lord to mold and make him into whoever is best for him to be. I have committed to marry someone who will constantly be changing, and that someone has also committed to stay true to my fallible, ever changing self. There is tremendous comfort, responsibility and beauty in this realization. We will grow and change together and through all of these changes, we have the opportunity to love deeper and know each other better than ever, or to grow resentful, distant and hate-filled. Since marriage is a forever thing, I want to take this new realization and use it to make this “forever” a beautiful, rewarding, God-honoring and humanly bonding one. Why wouldn’t I take the time, energy, and emotion do that?! I see no higher calling.
I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this stranger I have married. I trust him; but more than that, I trust the Lord who brought us together. As long as we continue in Him, we will be molded and made into who He made us to be as a couple, and I trust that. I trust God. I cannot wait to see who He makes Andrew into in each season of our lives. I Praise God that He allowed me to marry a man fully devoted to Him; not a perfect person, but one who strives to honor and serve the Lord above himself and above me. I know that all else will follow as I fall more and more in love with my handsome stranger.
I guess a picture truly is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, 1009. 🙂