On Sunday Nicholas and I will celebrate our first year of marriage. For the longest time I heard that the first year is the hardest for all the change that it brings to your life. Little did the two of us know that the day of our wedding North Carolina would shut down and we’d basically be together for the next year almost 24/7. Between several months of government suggested quarantine and both of our jobs transitioning to work from home, we’ve spent our entire first year being married without the harsh reality of “normal” on our side. So what have we learned? What (other than a pandemic) did we not expect in this first year? Allow me to enlighten you.
Faithfulness of God
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time then you’ve probably already pieced together the amount of mental health issues I’ve struggled with over the years. Truth be told I’ve only been talking opening and publicly about them since starting this blog in January of last year. That being said, being stuck in your house all day every day for months at a time isn’t really the best environment for someone who slips into depression easily.
Wow oh wow did Nicholas show up for me. Countless days he’s taken care of our dog, made me coffee, been quite as mouse while I sleep for two or three hours longer than him, prayed over me, took me outside when I didn’t want to move, held me while I cried, made me endless meals, made me laugh until my stomach hurt, built me up and encouraged me and the list goes on. The truth is, when you get married we tend to skip over that “In sickness and in Health” part thinking sickness won’t ever come. I have zero doubt that if I, God forbid, ever got an even more life altering illness that He would show up in the same way, but little did my sweet husband know on March 14th 2020 that he would be sacrificing so much so early.
Yes I’m taking a moment to share how amazing my husband is, but the truth is that it boils down to just how good God is. Friend, this lesson is about waiting on God’s perfect timing to put you together with your perfect mate. Chances are not many men in this world would do all of those things for weeks and sometimes months on end just because his wife was feeling “not herself”. That means waiting for the man that God has planned for you, means he’ll put the person in your life that WILL do these things and self-sacrifice to take care of you. God is FAITHFUL and will continue to show up over and over in your life if you just take a moment to be grateful for little things, like coffee in the morning from someone who loves you. This experience has shown me just how important it is to trust God’s timing and His plan for my life, including pairing me with my perfect match.
Communication Is Awkward But Not Hard
I said it. Communication is NOT HARD. It’s not. You do it all day long every day even when you don’t realize it. Your body language is a form of communication. You typing on instagram is communication. It’s when you have to confront someone or be honest about your feelings that it becomes “hard”. The truth is, it’s not hard in those moments either but it can be kind of awkward. If you’re like me and Nicholas at ALL then you’re a person who doesn’t want to disturb the peace. Nicholas is superrr laid back (until he isn’t but that’s another topic for another day lol) and most of the time doesn’t have his feathers rustled very easily.
Fun fact and side track for a moment. Nicholas and I dated for 8 months and got engaged, were engaged for 8 months and got married. The reason our relationship was able to escalate so quickly is communication. We’ve had soooooo many awkward conversations I’ve lost count. But what those have led to is intimacy (not that kind) which has allowed us to escalate the process of getting to know one another.
So choose your hard. Either it can be hard to be in a relationship because you don’t communicate how you feel or what you’re thinking. Option B, you can choose to speak openly, honestly and effectively and have a few “hard” conversations here and there but an amazing relationship full of joy and happiness with your needs being met. Choose your “hard”.
Pick Your Battles
Nicholas and I haven’t had very many arguments and don’t really get on each others nerves that often. But when we do, we really do LOL. Going off of what I said above however, we choose our battles wisely. I don’t go around nit-picking and nagging him about every little thing that he does that bothers me but when it’s something really big that I need him to actually address, then I bring it up. The great part is, that he does the same. No doubt living with another human being is challenging. We just naturally get on each other’s nerves. That’s just part of being human but you have to be careful about how often you’re finding yourself bugging that other person.
For example, I’m a total clean freak and constantly am cleaning and organizing. Nicholas is not. You can probably imagine how that becomes a slight issue sometimes. I choose over and over to enjoy the way God made my husband and not to bug the crap out of him about something that really is just the way God made ME.
Now to give Nicholas some credit, he knows this about me and usually does a great job at cleaning up after himself or helping me clean every week (thanks boo).
What Being A Partner Means
I don’t think I really knew what marriage would be like until now. Even the entire time up to this point I haven’t really stopped to realize that I have a partner in life and what the significance of that is. See when God created Eve for Adam, He said that Adam needed a helper (or help mate) and that Adam being alone was not a good thing. God created spouses to be one another’s helper. I am here now to help Nicholas become the best version of himself, to grow closer to God, to take care of things that he’s not able to do, to care for him whenever he’s not well or overworked. I’m here to be strength where he has weakness and vice versa. It’s not about us COMPLETING one another, we are only complete with God. Nicholas was not half a man when I met him and I wasn’t half a woman. We simply came together and now can do things that we wouldn’t have accomplished on our own.
Even though this list is short, this is a lot to unpack in one sitting I know. At the heart of this blog I can honestly say that what we’ve learned the most if just how perfect God’s plan and timing is. We would BOTH encourage you, if you’re single or dating and want to get married, PLEASE trust in God’s plan. Commit your singleness or your relationship to God and fully trust that He will take care of you.
If you’re married, let this be a chance to remind you of WHY you got married and remember what that first blissful year was like. Allow it to remind you to press on in the hard days and to love even deeper on the good ones. Marriage is a blessing that many never have, and Nicholas and I both were not sure was ever going to be for us and yet here we are. Let’s always take each day as a gift from God and trust that He’s here for us in all things.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. I know that you read every single blog (even the girly ones about hair and fashion) and you’ll never truly know how much you mean to me. You are my everything and I could never express my gratitude for all that you’ve done for me in just one year of marriage. I love you forever babe.