We met at the downtown coffee shop. As I drove there, I blasted “Beautiful Surrender” by the Jonathan & Melissa Helser through my car speakers and prayed a lot. It was my first date in two and a half years. After our impromptu (a story for another day) four hour conversation days before, I had a feeling that being together would at least be fun, but my heart was still nervous to get my hopes up too high.
All I really knew was that this dimply barista boy was majorly precious and insanely kind.
We’ve been married for two months and honestly, I didn’t really imagine marriage could be this good. Life has been hard. Life has been repeatedly beating us up with everything from financial struggles, grieving, and health problems. Yet he comes over to me during the workday just to give me a hug or a kiss. He tells me I’m cute when I look like a total mess. He shows me grace when I keep screwing up.
God truly gave me an amazing husband – one that I could never earn or deserve, but one that my heart desperately needed.
He was hidden in plain sight, working just blocks from my college apartment alongside the majority of my roommates. We had both written off finding anyone in Fargo, feeling as if we’d already met and friend zoned everyone in our circles. And yet, at the perfect time and in the perfect way, God nudged us towards each other.
And yet, here we are. In a million other areas of life right now, I feel a little lost and confused. I’m still reeling a bit from the chaos of the last year – going fulltime in my business, my parents divorcing, and dating + marrying Caleb. Despite all the doubts and overwhelm, the one area I know I’m in the perfect place is in being Caleb’s wife. I wouldn’t trade the craziness of planning a wedding in 5 months over busy season for one less second of being married.
While I hope that not every year with Caleb is quite this eventful, I hope that every year is just as sweet.
I hope that our love grows deeper with every passing day.
I hope that I always obnoxiously kiss his dimples and he always is a fan of my booty.
I hope that we keep learning how to process life as individuals and a team.
I hope that our love of coffee, Jesus, and people continues to fuel our fires.
And at the end of the day, I don’t just hope: I know.
It was the Typology podcast and one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, was being interviewed with her husband Aaron to talk about the Enneagram and relationships. The host asked them both, “what’s the point of marriage?”
Shauna spoke about the commandment to love your neighbor. She said, “Aaron is my number one, forever and ever, all the time neighbor. I am the person God is going to use more than any other person on earth to teach Aaron what it is to be loved and to be seen and to be known.” That resonated with me (no surprise – everything Shauna says resonates with me… most likely because we are both 7s). Your spouse is your greatest opportunity to show love and that is a responsibility, honor, and calling.
Learning to love someone deeply and truly is something I’m actually not great at. I tend to be busy, scattered, and self-focused. I can charm people well and make them feel special, but that’s not the same as doing the hard work to put others first. This year, I’ve learned so much about what it means to set aside the world for the ones closest to you. I learned to put aside my agenda and just show up. Sometimes I don’t need to change things – I don’t need to be a force or a fixer or a catalyst – sometimes I just need to be present.
This is what I get to keep digging into in marriage. We both get to lean into the refining process of laying aside ourselves for the sake of the whole. What we have just started in this one year of getting to know + love each other will be amplified over the decades we spend side by side.
Boy, I love you and I like you. No ragrets. 😉
(P.S. “Caleb the Latte Boy” is the nickname he got because of this gem. )