I found this picture a long time ago. I have kept it saved on my computer knowing that it was special. I don't remember where the photo came from or why it was created, but in the one year that Kyle and I have been married, I think all these keys have unlocked various parts of my heart as well as Kyle's.
I think I've learned that, however cliche this may be, these really are the keys to marriage. To a happy, funny, joy filled, understanding, i'm sorry, i love you kind of marriage.
I love that faith is the first key in the photo. Kyle and I have tried (and try again every day) to put Jesus Christ at the forefront of our marriage. We trust that the Lord brought us together and we truly want to use our relationship to serve and praise Him. When I was growing up, I would pray that God would send me a boyfriend. I had no idea that God would not only listen to my pray but send me His best.
It's hard to believe that Kyle and I will have been married for one year today. It seems like only yesterday that I told Kyle that I would marry him,
that we sat outside the coffee shop where he proposed and we called our parents,
that we chose a date and a church and picked out our cake,
that we wrote our vows,
that we (I) stressed about the little details,
that I picked out a dress,
and Kyle tried on his tux,
and I walked down the aisle to Hootie and the Blowfish,
and we tried not to cry,
but did anywhere,
where we said "I Will,"
and we made a promise to honor each other, forever.
A couple nights ago as we were lying in bed, I asked Kyle if he thought we had grown as a couple this past year. He definitely thought we had, and I agree. We have both learned a little bit more about what it means to live (and share) life with another person. What it means to trust someone and love someone more than we love anything else. Yes, there is still a lot more growing we can do, but it feels so good to be with the man who I want to grow with.
This past year I have learned that in order to succeed as a couple (and yes I use "succeed", because in a world where divorce seems to be the norm, we both plan on sticking to the "until death parts us" part):
We must have faith in one another and in our creator;
We must be humble and strive to put the other first, even when it is no fun;
We must respect each other for who he/she is and who he/she isn't, and as the lady in this marriage, I must give my husband the respect that God says he deserve and needs (without condition);
We must be patient...oh my, this needs to be closer to the front of the line I think;
We must show compassion in on things, in every way;
We must have courage to face the hard days and the courage to know that God has sealed our marriage and He's holding our hands through it all.
And we must persevere. At first this seems like a strange key, but it reminds me of something our marriage mentors told us during our pre-marriage counseling. They said that, as much as we like to believe we might be soul-mates, we also have to remember that marriage is a choice. There will be times when your marriage is weak and things are tough, really tough. Marriage is a choice, and we chose one another. Good and bad. Forever.
So happy anniversary Kyle. I love you big and little, to the moon and back. I can't wait to spend all my years with you, for as many years God blesses me with.