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Year One

Year One

Do you remember, the 24th night of September? - Earth, Wind, and Fire (sort of)

I do. I remember it clearly. 

I remember my brother ironing my dress as I had it on. I remember my heart pounding as I saw my family enter through the church doors. I remember my friends on stage as I walked down the aisle towards my husband. I remember the uncontrollable tears as I glanced at my dad and saw his. I remember the simplicity of the balloons. I remember the endless flashes of a camera. I remember the food I didn't eat. I remember the cake I wish I had more of. 

And, I remember Jeremy. 

I remember gasping when I saw him for the first time. I remember him mouthing “you look beautiful” as I stood face to face with him at the altar. I remember him holding my hand the tightest he has ever held it. I remember our first dance as we held back our tears, challenging each other, who would cry first. I lost. I remember the night ending and saying goodbye to guests. I gazed at him from afar thinking, I can’t believe this just happened, we did it; we’re married. 

Spain for our honeymoon in just a few days, a home already in place when we return, and new job positions waiting to be settled into - all expectations of an ideal marriage was at its peak. 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of my aspirations, and the goals I want to accomplish, I always automatically think of the outcome. I envision myself with the thing I long to have. The middle is rarely in my daydreams. When I thought of our marriage, I thought of me preaching and Jeremy doing art as we travel the world. I knew marriage was going to be tough because that’s what couples would say, but secretly I thought we would be the exception. Since we dated for five years prior to our wedding, I thought we would have things on lock. I knew we would have fights here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

Our first year of marriage was far from ideal. Within three months, we were forced to move out of our home (we loved that home so much) and the job that was promised to Jeremy was not fulfilled. The two things that would be the source of our security were taken away. In addition to the unforeseen circumstances, imagine going through it with someone who you just married. 

It’s one thing to be in a relationship when your hair and makeup is perfectly done, where food is prepared for you, and money is just given to you (shout out to my Cambodian weddings). It’s a whole different thing when life happens and you are forced to live it out with someone you love.

Marriage is honestly one of the most humbling things I am experiencing. Why? You are no longer living for yourself. We find ourselves constantly (reluctantly) having to yield to one another. There is no room for pride. Being in such close proximity, we are forced to see the ugly. And dude, did it cause fights, serious fights. I don’t know what bothered me more, seeing the humanity in him or realizing the humanity in me. I knew I had things to work on, but I was ok with it being kept to myself. But as I allowed it to continue, it ended up causing strain in our marriage. There are things my husband will not allow me to get away with. So, when I surrender and intentionally face my shortcomings head-on, something cool happens. Growth happens. 

My husband and I believe in God for big things. We know that what He has in store for us is more than we can ever ask, think, or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) And all we wanted was to be “there.” And because of our impatience and frustrations, we made hasty decisions settling for what we thought was good, but ending up not being from God. That decision almost cost us our home and my job. 

God is so good. No matter the ordeal, the disappointments, and the foolish decisions, God is still faithful. One year later, Jeremy and I are in job positions better than where we first started. We are able to stay at our current home where we are surrounded by a community that we love and truly supports us. And, I’m in a place that I haven't been in in a long time, a place of contentment. 

“What is your rush?” my God says to me. "The good stuff happens in the middle. The changing, the molding, the becoming - all the discomfort are things that challenge you to be more. There is already a set time for all that I have promised you. (Ecclesiastes 3 and 1 Thessalonians 5:24) You rushing will not make it happen any faster. Take advantage of your now." 

This past year honestly felt like months. Marriage is already going by so fast. Why would I want to rush time even more? 

God is intentional. He has placed Jeremy in my life for many reasons. In this season, I have learned that my husband is here, to help me, look more like Jesus. 

And man, do I love him for that. 

- Mal


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