A Tribute to Our Partnership, 3

Just short and sweet, for memories of three years ago, and persistent fruits and reminders of this covenant made ever since.

I am careful, careful to say things that may invoke the thought that you complete me. You do not. You are human, you are flawed, you do fail me. I am cautious, wanting to both celebrate and want this beauty for everyone I know, but also knowing full well how quick I am to make this union an idol, a replacement for other relationships in my life, with too many pictures close to home of failure after failure of broken promises, making ample room for fear.

Yet, it is in the close proximity of the daily with you that I learned how to mean the words, “I am sorry.” The image of Christ and His bride, the Church, giving me glimpses every day of what it looks like to be an active participant in both marriages, the dance of forgiveness and repentance on my lips needing to be as sure as breath. It is here, in the mundane, that I learned how to love someone for who they are and simultaneously want better for them; patience, savoring the sweetness of what it looks like to still be so young and also to be able to look behind to see the ebenezers of God’s continued faithfulness in working in the sandpaper strokes of our lives together.

We laugh after finally reaching the top of Pimetic Mountain in Acadia, two silly, stupid fights later having to climb rocks to summit, the hardest hike we’ve managed thus far. Haven’t we learned to give one another charity? We giggle this morning after ordering two large breakfast sandwiches only for me to still not be able to finish mine, James having to eat more than his share, that happy weight sitting on his adorable body. Haven’t we learned to split our meals?

We are still learning so much, unlearning some, relearning communication, service, and more we probably don’t even know about yet.

This fight is not just for us—may we find plenty more ways to die many deaths that our partnership might bless others. Today, we celebrate and feast, for God’s grace and loving kindness has brought us another year farther, and by His mercy, we pray, always and forever. If it weren’t for the Cross and Resurrection, I’m not sure I’d have a lot to say.

When I speak to you of love
I do not speak as I am
but as I am in love with you
which is better than I am, better
than I can hope to be.
— Wendell Berry, Sabbath Songs, 5/29/16