Two and a half years ago a young man sat across from me on a picnic bench and laid his heart out on the line. I’ll never forget him trying to engage my distracted self into a conversation about the future - about us. I’ll also never forget the way it hit me when I realized exactly what he was suggesting and just how serious he was being.
I can't imagine the look of shock on my face as I stared at him.
Russ was my friend.
When I was being the biggest grouch in the world, he was there to ignore my grouchiness. When I was following my own choices instead of the Lord’s, he was calmly praying for God’s will in life. When I smacked him with a ping pong paddle (that’s another story) he was there to laugh at my embarrassment. When our group was in the mood for a healthy debate, he was there to argue with us all. He was my friend. A good friend.
I never could have imagined that the Lord would take our friendship and mix it into the wonderful journey that is marriage. In fact, when the crazy man asked me to pray about pursuing a relationship, it was like an anvil being dropped on my head. Russ was right there all along just being my friend. It was an “Oh, there you are,” sort of moment.
And you know what I’m realizing more and more? The friendship that drew us together is the friendship that keeps us close together.
He can tell me when I’m being a pain. He can point out to me the other side of the story when all I can see is my own frustration and hurt. He puts up with my sad attempts at humor and laughs at my jokes any way. Because our love is rooted in our friendship it goes so much deeper than just romance.
I have heard about the hard adjustments some experience when they are newly married. For us, it was sort of like a piece of the puzzle fitting. We spent just about every day of two school years together as friends, three months apart as boyfriend/girlfriend, and three months engaged long-distance. Marriage, for us, was sort of like coming home.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been married two years.
It has been a beautiful, sorrowful, joyful, growing two years.
We have faced things (and are still facing things) no couple in the early twenties ever expects to face. I am so incredibly thankful to have his shoulder to cry on when my heart is repetitively broken. I have his hand to hold in that half-asleep dreamy state of three in the morning. I have his laughter to warm my heart. We’ve learned. We’ve loved. We’ll keep learning and loving and trusting God.
I’m so blessed, truly, with this man.
Happy Anniversary, sweet Russell.