Thursday, January 22, 2015

17 year olds, butterflies, and choosing each other 10 years later

Photo from the first day we met, at a church winter camp - 
taken with a disposable camera, because those were all the rage in 2004.

A funny little milestone passed a few weeks ago: 10 years since the day Brian and I met. We were both 17, he was the new boy in the youth group (I know, I know), and I was smitten the moment I laid eyes on him. His dark curly hair and those clear blue eyes, you guys, I was a goner. He was charismatic and charming, and when I came home from that church camp (again, I know), I wrote in my journal about how I wanted to marry him. So many cliches and high school hormones. The joys.

The memories feel magical. Boy did my heart beat fast when he asked me to be his girlfriend, and then two years later, his wife. The first time we kissed, yowza! (That's actually a pretty funny story.) But today, with a few more years of real life under our belts, I wouldn't trade places with that young, slightly naive, head over heels version of myself. I'm so happy to be where we are, right now.

Ten years later, we're 27-year-old Brian and Mackenzie, who've experienced incredible highs and some valleys, too. We've fought, we've traveled, we've started a family. We've championed each other and we've been selfish. We've cried, we've clung to each other for dear life, we've prayed desperately and prayed gratefully. I've been at my worst, and well, I'm sure he has too, but 9 times out of 10 he's just a better human being than I am. Through the late nights with our boys, and the laughter with beloved friends, the rejoicing and the grieving- there is nothing like staring into the same pair of eyes, day after day, and continuing on together. It may sound all kinds of cliche but man do I ever mean it: commitment - is there anything more sexy, more "makes my heart beat fast" than that? No, I don't think there is.

Being chosen, day after day, even though I have giant bags under my eyes because our chillens never sleep, and even though I forget to fold the laundry, and even though I can be a big jerk - being chosen in the middle of all that, that's love. Butterfly-stomach, passionate romance is awesome - and there are definitely moments that Brian and I feel that way towards each other. But even those fun feelings pale in comparison to when I watch Brian choose me again, day after day. He knows my dark, he knows my worst - and yes he still chooses me. "Grateful" doesn't even begin to cover how I feel. And even when its hard, and even when I would rather be right than be nice to my husband, and even when we hurt each other's feelings - I am incredibly humbled and grateful for the power of when I keep choosing Brian, and he keeps choosing me. Our marriage, this choosing kind of love, is a gigantic, beautiful, GRACIOUS gift from God. He's makes it possible, because He started that choosing kind of love. He came up with it, and He continues to choose us day after day. We just look at Him, and try our feeble, messy best to do the same.

I'm a floored-in-awe kind of grateful for the gift of looking into that same pair of blue eyes, still ten years later. And can I just say, Brian, you've got even better looking with age? I can't wait to keep choosing you, and I'm so incredibly thankful that you keep choosing me. High five.

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