Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One Year to Beyond: Hardest Moments

Your first year of marriage can be full of so many things; funny moments, sad moments, silly moments, joyful moments, celebratory moments, and hard moments (plus many more). 
Many of you, like myself, were probably even told that your first year of marriage would be incredibly hard or just difficult, an adjustment/learning period.
I feel so blessed to say that Kevin and I truly haven't experienced marriage to be all that difficult. We've fully enjoyed our first year and marriage is simply the best! 
Through dating we worked hard to know each other on every level, Kevin saw me at my lowest lows, my highest highs and everything in between. We saw each other in incredibly difficult situations, like our moms going through cancer (more on that tomorrow), and rejoiced with each other in joyful moments. Our two and half years of dating prepared us well for marriage, and of course as I've said many times before, pre-marital counseling was incredibly beneficial as well.
Eating the top of our wedding cake, one year of marriage
down and a lifetime to go! 
All that to say, we felt pretty prepared for marriage, we knew each other well, we knew how each other lived, we knew each other's expectations, and above all we knew and worked hard to put Christ first and center of our marriage, the absolute best and most important thing you could EVER do for your marriage.

BUT we are humans and as humans are all imperfect, we had some hard moments this past year. Here are a few:
Puppy Blues
Plans to get a dog was always on our minds since even before marriage. Post honeymoon I was ready to jump on the puppy searching asap but as things worked out, the timing just wasn't right. Then we got to a phase where we were just really enjoying the freedom of going and doing whatever, and it was okay to not have a puppy. Then September came, the goal month for looking for a puppy and my car took a turn for the worse just before leaving our puppy fund depleted. Enter December: one of my coworkers had left for maternity leave in October and the other was part-time and working deeply in a project off campus this equalled out to a lot of me having alone time in the office, add Saturdays into that mix, Kevin works Saturdays so I was alone then too, and you have a super lonely gal...this led to serious crying sessions over puppies I found that for whatever reason didn't work out each time. I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back I realized it was my loneliness that led me to some rather heartbroken, sobbing, self-pity fests about puppies. We called it my somewhat depressed time... but you know what? God answers our prayers even about dogs, so read the celebratory end to this hard moment HERE.
Kevin and I were eager to join a small group at our church that brought together young couples such as ourselves. We found one, got plugged in and actually really enjoyed the teaching but didn't really connect to the people. As 2012 was coming to an end, so was our group. The leader was moving onward to another church and asked over and over again who might be willing to keep the group going. Kevin and I had plans to find a new group so we never offered...but God always has plans better than ours and leading our own group basically fell into our hands. It wasn't anything we planned on, anything we were or still are talented in, and it's incredibly outside of our comfort zone but it's been amazing. I encourage you to read that whole story HERE.

Car Death
As I explained earlier my lovely Oldsmobile decided to call it quits on us toward the middle of August. Oh that car...I, or daddy, had "fixed" it many of times before and to be truly honest I was fed up with it, tired of it, sick of it, basically just was done with that car. Done with fixing it, done with it breaking down on me in the middle of the road, done with it refusing to start, done with taking my time and energy and tears and money, well again dad's money because I didn't have nor was willing to put the money into it. So when it gave out again in August I was really done with it. But we did try and fix it, with a friend's help and a long night with a flashlight...and still no such luck. It sat in the parking lot of our apartment for about a month as we lived with one car, me catching rides to work with a friend and waiting for Kevin to get off to get home. It was working okay but we knew it wouldn't work forever, we knew we would be buying a car but the $$ just weren't quite there. And it was hard. Hard because I didn't want another "junky" car (I guess it's unfair to call my oldsmobile that as when it did operate, it operated quite well and I automatic windows and seat moving and AC worked great...) but our budget didn't really have the wiggle room for anything much fancier than $6000 really, and even that made Kevin's heart rate rise. So we prayed, we organized, we
searched and we waited (which is OOBER hard for an impatient person like myself). God came through yet again and though we might have learned the hard way of car buying from a dealership, we certainly weren't screwed over and got a great car and at a pretty good price. Again, I encourage you to read our celebratory post on God answering that prayer HERE, it's short! (oh and ps: we sold the car for $200 bucks to our maintenance man, he fixed the car right up and drove it down to his mom in Alabama... I swear it would have cost us much more to pay a mechanic to figure out what needed to be done for it on our own).

So there you have, three hard moments. Those are the ones that stick out the most, and yet again weren't even all that hard. Trust in the Lord friends, trust and rest in His purposes, plans and leading...I can guarantee you it's far better than your own plans and goals. 
God can do anything you know, far more than you can ever guess, imagine or request in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20

From our anniversary weekend, recap to come at the end of this series!

Your turn, link up with me and these other fabulous ladies...and tune back in next Wednesday to share and read unexpected lessons/couple growth from the first year of marriage.

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  1. Oh how I feel you on the car. I got my first car, a 97 Geo Prizm in 2003 with over 100K miles on it. I hated it, and like you, I was "done," quite often. It needed repairs all the time (including a transmission replaced twice because they messed up the first time), and kept me from visiting Sean many times when we dated long distance. Ugh. Didn't get a new one til September 2010 after our wedding.

    1. All that car talk...I forgot to tell you I also share in your puppy blues! Sean and I decided we wouldn't get each other wedding gifts- a puppy would be our joint wedding gift. Clearly that worked out great ;) Love your Paisley though and hoping one day soon we will finally get our chance!

  2. Ah car death... Thus a had one! Loved hearing your post and how you have grown in the first year of marriage!

  3. Adam and I thought our first year went pretty smooth too! We dated a while as well and saw each other through so many ups and downs that even our priest was surprised when we talked about it to him during pre-cana. I am so with you on the marriage counseling through church, it makes a huge difference! And even 4 years in, things we learned during that time are still helping us become better and love each other more and more!

  4. Oh my gosh. I'm trying not to laugh but "Car Death" is pretty funny! (The way you worded it!) Thank the good Lord that I married a mechanic. I am cursed with car trouble, but ever since being with Scott... *knock on wood* it's kind of cured my curse! But man do I know what that is like. Been there done that girl! =D

  5. Totally true that God is so important in your marriage, especially in the hard times! I strive every day to keep Christ at the center of our marriage, but it's tough, and I feel like I fail alot, but I will always keep trying! So awesome you guys are leading your group at church!

  6. Ah car challenges. We avoided those by hubby getting a job with a company car two weeks before the wedding. If he didn't have a company car then our big challenge would have been finding the finances for a car for him. We don't have real public transport where I live so a car is a must have.
    Very exciting that you're leading the group!

  7. I didn't know that you wore your wedding dress on your anniversary! Did I miss that blog post?
    You guys are blessed in having a good first year, and being able to overcome the challenges that did come your way and learn from them together!

  8. Oh yea, car troubles! That was a problem for us as well! :) Love this post girl! :) Oh and the pictures are awesome! Your gorgeous as usual ;)

  9. ugh car troubles! I completely forgot to add that one. Love your post and the first picture of you guys, so cute :)

  10. We really enjoyed pre-marital counseling! It was really great to get to talk about important things before getting married. Love the pics of you guys :)

  11. This type of post floating around in blogsphere was my main goal and desire when creating the link-up for the other Brides out there! I hope other women feel just as inspired by marriage as I did when reading your post!



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