May I Always Be Your Beloved

Let me preface this post: you are getting a glimpse into my relationship with Ben. It is entirely a letter to him, mind you nothing as personal as I would write in a private letter to him, but a treasure for me to keep, though I'd like to think this is for him. I just can't help but to write reminders of the love growing between us and to shout it out how worth my time working on a relationship with him is. No, I'm not about to paint a picture of all rainbows and butterflies (and no, I have never dreamed of a world where we all eat rainbows and poop butterflies. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? Oh well...Ben will :]), but I most certainly want to commemorate each year spent with my man. And so to that affect, feel free to read on, or don't. I take no offense at your decision. That is, of course, as long as your name isn't Ben and you're not married to me. (Love you, Ben! :])

THREE years! I can't believe it...time really does fly and I guess all the changes we've faced in the last three years only make time pass even more quickly, yet slowly at the same time.

From our Engagement Session. Photo courtesy of my good friend Sarah.
 I mean, we knew God had intertwined our lives together. The above photo a mere replica of a story I'll never forget after you proposed: the way we both found it strange your mom would ask us to pose with our backs to each other and we, without discussing it at all, both posed like this when we obliged. Ahh, yes: perfect. It was just further proof of how, from the outside, we appeared perfect for one another.

Another Engagement shot taken by my bestie Sarah :)
And yet, this journey we started, really a little over four years ago, isn't all happy moments like people think this photo is. (They don't realize the difficulty of pulling said photo off and some of the grumblings that went with it. Unless of course they have tried to be the models for a photo of this sort.) Which brings me to the thought of all the difficulties, trials, changes, arguments, losses, wins, joys, sorrows, and many other aspects or situations which comprise our relationship: our beautifully broken, constantly on the mend, hard work put in relationship.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Sure, the answer to being asked if I want to throw in the towel would be yes on some days. Those days harder than I could imagine, because who knew what we would struggle with; certainly, I had no way to know exactly what murky or dangerous waters we would have to navigate. My humanness gets the best of me and I wonder who is this enemy I thought a friend. How could I live with someone like you?

Then I'm reminded: how can you live with someone like ME?

When I turn it back to me I realize but for the grace of God. Love is a daily choice, sometimes easy, sometimes hard. Love means stepping out on a limb that could possibly break leaving me to free fall for who knows how many feet. Yet it is one of the best risks I have ever taken in my life.

When I think of the joy of becoming a parent, the deep grief of losing a child, the hardships brought by moving to a new city, let alone across state lines, the venting from any arisen family hardships, the sharing of every. little. piece. of. life. together, I'd rather no one but you. Not because you are perfect, but because where you are strong I am weak, where I am weak, you are strong, and where we both lack the Lord shows and reminds us just how awesome He is. Not because life with you is easy, but because life with you is oh so sweet and bonded more through all the hardships we face. Not because of any other reason than God has blessed me with the gift of living life with you. And a blessing indeed it is! Not because all you do is tell me how great I am, but because you challenge me in ways I know no one else to do, you call me up and remind me to keep my focus on the Cross.

I'll say it again...

...I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I know on the scale of newlyweds versus old marrieds (or whatever you want to call it when we reach those years where people are in awe of the amount of time we've lived together and stuck with it), we are but newlyweds. Three years is small in a grand scheme of hoping we make it to 50 years and, Lord-willing, 75. The trials we have faced may be nothing compared to what we will. The choices we have ahead of us, well, only the Lord knows what we will be face.

But there is one thing I do know about all those years to come:

I want Song of Solomon 2:16 to be true of our lives. I want to always smile when someone asks me about the tattoo on my left wrist. I want to always joyfully say, "Well, my husband can explain it better than I can but..." or "Hey, Ben, would you mind coming to explain this," then turn to the person and say, "My husband knows Hebrew really well. He does a great job of explaining it." (Yes. I actually brag about your Biblical Hebrew knowledge any time someone asks about my tattoo.) Plus, then we have to put our wrists together to show them: a reminder we are two but one. I want the tattoo on my wrist to bring joy to my heart knowing it reminds me of the commitment I made to you before God and a gathering of family and friends that I have kept for however many years. To say the words, "I am my beloveds and my beloved belongs to me," and know we have been through fire and back only to have been made stronger, refined.

Yes. That is what I hope for. Pray for. See in our future as long a we continue to pursue our Creator.

I love you, Ben! I am so thankful for the three years we have been given! Here's to many, many more!

May I Always be Your Beloved,

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