There are many instances in my life when I have had to sacrifice the happy moments for the moments that I was obligated to do something not so happy. I can remember so many moments of my single life when I found myself in the midst of a crowd of people and the only thing I could think about was how lonely I felt. The concept of being known and knowing someone else was one I always thought would be more than just a powerful romantic ideal, but a joy filled opportunity to have some of life's greatest fun. And marriage has been just that.
Our wedding day was filled with love, romance, and a spirit of redemptive wholeness to all that we were as individuals and especially to all that we were entering into as a married couple. I distinctly remember looking at myself in the mirror as I was about to done my wedding day apparel and thinking, "My life will forever be changed after this day." And it was. It began in the context of true laughter and nothing but hope filled wonder as we walked towards one another and began our life as husband and wife. This all sounds a bit idealistic - even for me.
The years that followed our wedding day have done nothing but reinforce the idea that marriage is intended to be a dance of grace, transformation, and fun. We laugh the hardest when we are laughing together. We cry the deepest when we are crying about what has broken our heart. We worship the most when we have found ourselves having laughing about how our tears brought us to a new place of restoration and growth. Sometimes the pains of our marriage have been immense and sometimes the good times have been unbelievable. The one true quality of our marriage that continue to shape the way we perceive all that we believe about marriage is the true joy we find in participating in the relationship created by God.
I have survived some of life's most difficult traumas. There have been moments in my life when the loneliness of sin has isolated me to the point of utter despair. I even have some of those same moments in my marriage and yes, there have been times when the joy seems nonexistent. The hope I cling to is the difference I feel in the presence of my beloved. I root how I perceive marriage in how Christ view's me. When I am able hold fast to the Lord's identity for me, then and only then am I able to seize the opportunity to have a joyful existence with my spouse. Now when I stand in crowds, I meet the gaze of my spouse and realize that never again will I have to feel alone.