We celebrated our 1 year anniversary a short time ago. It’s been a full year and barely a year and quite the year, all in one. God has richly blessed us but the romantic FB posts and sunset-on-the-beach pictures don’t tell the whole story, either.
I remember in those weeks before our wedding, this song was a theme and prayer for me: “We are two becoming one, may what He’s joined be not undone. May our love put Christ on display. When we’re weak and when we’re strong, when it’s hard to carry on, oh God we want Your love on display. We are two becoming one.” (Jonathan & Emily Martin, “Two Becoming One”). There wasn’t an opportunity to play it during our ceremony, but still it’s special to me, as it so well encapsulates our desire for this marriage of ours.
Two becoming one. It sounds so simple and mysterious and romantic and wonderful and straightforward. God’s sort of math, sure, but it can’t be that difficult, right? All the married people are laughing right here, I’m sure.
It is wonderful and mysterious and romantic and all that. But we’re messy broken sinners and it takes work to live out the reality of the unity God has wrought. How easily we want ourselves on display instead of Him. How quickly we want our own way instead of God’s way.
Is it worth doing? Absolutely. I remember a few years back, a dear friend telling me that marriage was both the best and hardest thing she’d ever done. She wasn’t wrong.
And yet, it is here that I am finding that His grace is still sufficient. His plan is perfect and His design for marriage is awe-inspiring and good, so good. The years I spent longing and hoping and dreaming for marriage . . . never did they grasp the beauty of what would be, even as they didn’t grasp the hard of what would be. It was okay not to know then, for I couldn’t have known. Not until I knew my Erik’s love could I know how fully and deeply I would surrender to his love and pursuit and how that would make giving myself to him one of the greatest joys of my life. The sacrifice, the giving, the submission, all of it is easy to do when I know that I am safe and loved and that no matter what, our commitment isn’t ever changing.
So. It has been a year. A year of learning and laughing and loving. A year of finding out “the way that ____ is done” isn’t the way that the other one does it. A year of discovering our differences and becoming more unified. A year of sinning and repenting and forgiving. A year of welcoming a little one and starting a business and not moving after all.
A year of two becoming one. God made us one, that early summer evening last June. I remember walking out with him as our recessional of “To God Be The Glory” played, giddy at the knowledge that we are actually, really, finally married, and that this was for life, and that we were now one flesh within this covenant of marriage. The task since then has been to live it out, to learn what it means to be one flesh, joined together, for the glory of God.
We put it above our bed, a beautiful sign with the phrase “And the two shall become one” along with our names and wedding date. A daily reminder to choose unity. A reminder of what is true: we have become one.
It affects every part of life, I am finding. From the little things like coordinating our schedules and choosing the menu all the way to big things like having a baby together and fighting for each other instead of against each other.
It means I listen to him talk about his latest grand idea, and it means he holds me when pregnancy or postpartum emotions get the best of me. It means he lays his life down for me and I submit myself to him.
And because this is my blog and I’ve never been shy about this topic on here, It means that we come together in intimate physical union within this sacrament of marriage, and celebrate the oneness that God has wrought – experiencing now the unfolded gift of what God really intended for sex.
It’s so, so much better than the way the world cheapens and degrades something meant to be so beautiful. Unlike sex outside of marriage where you are telling a lie with your bodies about a unity that does not in fact exist, we get to tell the truth with our bodies – we are one flesh. And if I’m being perfectly honest, being one with someone so different than you is often hard work in the daily grind – and sex helps. God knew that, and so He gave us this beautiful and vivid reminder: you are one.
It is a gift, this opportunity to put Christ on display through our love. And always He is with us. For He has made us one, and what God has joined together, let not man separate.
Here’s to a lifetime together of two becoming one, my beloved Erik. I love you and I would choose you all over again. I’m yours to hold and I know that you’ll stay here by my side. May our love forever put Christ on display.