9 October 2015

our first year of marriage

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happy anniversary to us!

this day, exactly one year ago, was undoubtedly the best day of my life.

the three hundred and sixty four days that have followed have been way more joyful than i could have ever imagined, and they have also been way more difficult than i could have ever expected.

yes, the truth is that for us, the first year of marriage has been tremendously challenging. full of true love and real joy and fantastic adventure, but also tremendously challenging. we have experienced profound pain through tough transitions, repeated wrenching discoveries of wild dissimilarities, the bitter fruits of our weaknesses, and times of dramatic despair. marriage has stretched me so far beyond i’ve ever been stretched before. it has been sometimes downright awful.

yet, as i look back on our inaugural year, i am amazed by how definitively the good outshines the bad and by the fact that i somehow love the boy more than i ever have before. as cliché as it sounds, i really do believe that the hollowing out has provided more room for beauty, that the harsh wind has made us stronger and better together, that the stretching is actually miraculous refining towards things precious and enormously valuable.

over the course of this last week, in anticipation of our anniversary, i have been thinking about our perfect wedding day, trying to remember every detail. i’m sad that there are already a few things that i can’t recall – what i thought the second i woke up, the exact image of seeing ian for the first time in the temple, everything that our sealer said. but i do remember so, so acutely that on that day i felt sterling, perfect peace, exponentially more dense and potent than i have ever felt before and i doubt ever will feel again. there was not one teeny tiny part of me that was worried, or scared, or unsure, or hesitant. that peace surged through my every vein. i’ve forgotten about that crystal clear feeling at times during the last year, but i can’t deny that it is in my synapses and my fibers and my cells and i believe it always will be. 

we have a really, really great love. it is deep and abiding and sweet and super tough. it has brought us powerful joy this year that i fiercely believe will saturate our lives more in each subsequent year of learning.

so here’s to surviving the first year – the grueling times and the blissful times – and many, many more to come with my ian. no matter what, i would and will always choose him. he’s my deepest love, my dearest friend, my favourite person, my very heart. he is becoming my soulmate.

28 comments :

  1. What a beautiful and honest description of marriage. Happy Anniversary.

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  2. Maybe the first year of marriage has sometimes been so difficult for you because you got married first and then moved in together. I think you don`t really know a person until you`ve lived together, right?
    Happy Anniversary!!!

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    1. Life is difficult. If she had just lived with him her first year living with him would have been difficult at times. It's impossible to know a person completely. The person you marry isn't going to stay the same person. You are also going to change. A person is different when they are 18,23,30,37,46,55,64,72.. People change.

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    2. You actually don't really know a person until you've sacrificed and given and served and loved them more than yourself. I don't believe living with someone has anything to do with that and so much heartache and pain and regret comes from living life in the opposite order that we were intended to live it. Unlike really hard times that ultimately are saturated with joy beyond belief, because we lived them the way God asked us to. Because He knew the design that would make us giddy with happiness.

      I love the commitment you two show each other, Ian and Charity! It is beautiful and good. And I love the honesty. I think the world needs more of it. Life can be so hard and gut-wrenching, but precisely because of that, it can be so beautiful and full of happiness. To the point we wonder if our heart might actually burst.

      Happy Anniversary to you both! Seventeen years later, I'm still married to the man that is my heart. I feel grateful to God each day that he and I have been through almost every joy and sorrow anyone can go through. And still love each other and the Lord. Oh man, life can be so amazing!

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    3. Hi Everybody!
      I didn`t mean to criticize Charian`s way of living and their decisions-at all. I can just really understand that they have been through good and through hard times, because tomorrow is my first anniversary of my marriage.
      Charity, I admire you for many reasons, and I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your life! And happy anniversary! I wish you all the best!

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    4. It's not unusual for people to wait until after they're married to move in together. In fact, I would say living together before marriage is a rather new thing that wasn't common 15, 20, 30 years ago. Many of those marriages from years ago have survived, despite a bumpy first year cohabitating.

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  3. Happy 1st Anniversary Charity & Ian - or Charian.:) (Not sure if I've spelt that right)

    Have a lovely day & year.

    Together Forever.<3

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  4. Brilliant writing! Terrific analysis of the first year! Love you both! Congrats on surviving and thriving!

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  5. Although I'm not a fan of the term "soul mate" I love that you finished this by writing about "becoming" soul mates and not "finding" a soul mate! Being and having a loving partner is about making the choice every day for it to be so and following up that choice with actions. I appreciate that your language reflects that.

    For me the largest challenge of the early years, and the biggest lesson of marriage, is that although my husband and are are in love and intertwined in so many ways we remain two totally distinct and separate individuals. His choices, thoughts, and behaviors are his and mine are mine. It's ok, and sometimes great, to like different things, choose different activities, and have different perspectives. I don't expect him to solve any problems/issue for me; that's my job and I don't try to "fix" him.

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  6. If you think the first year was difficult, you just wait. Your first year was a continuous whirlwind of trips and more trips. It wasn't real life. Wait until it's just you and him, by yourself, with no exciting trips looming on the horizon. Real life is day to day living, at home. You have not experienced that. Can't wait for the over-the-top hyperbole we get to see in about 6 months. BTW - if you are that way in real life, I can see where he would find it rather annoying for someone your age.

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    1. Anonymous: We know who you are! Da Da Daaaa!

      Although your comment did have me lol. It's not mean it's just someone thinking out loud. People do need to laugh at themselves along the way. These two are figuring it out as they go. (Go figure just like the rest of us schmucks.)

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  7. Egads. The meanness of people commenting here is really striking. Honestly, if you don't like Charity's writing style or approach to life - that's totally fine. Different strokes for different folks. But why not live and let live? Why the need to criticize her? It's really not your job.
    Congratulations on one year of marriage. I think your description is characteristic of a lot of good marriages - really really hard and really really good. (Although I do think that some marriages operate differently than that). Here's to a lot more learning and loving and growing in the years ahead!

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  8. It's also not your job to police Charity's blog for mean comments. Live and let live is good advice for you as well.

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  9. Charity- I find it hard to believe it's already been a year since your amazingly gorgeous wedding and celebration! Congratulations to you and Ian on a year filled with so much growth and experience. I love that you keep things real, and I'm so happy you have been able to have so many wonderful adventures together. I know you will have many more.
    Steady on.

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  10. I find it harder to like your spouse on trips than day to day, haha! Thanks for describing perfectly what's in my heart as well. It's so nice that I can just print out your blog and paste it into my journal :). Love you and miss you!

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  11. Such a lovely post. Thanks for sharing. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

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  12. The first year is definitely difficult, there is a lot of adjusting and learning. I've been married 8 years now, and while the 7th year seemed to be another difficult one, we have figured out how to travel without arguing. Always a silver lining, right? :)

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  13. Great post! I appreciate how honest you are about the difficulties of differences in marriage and all that. I have a similar story as you and can resonate with what you said. Marriage is the best and sometimes hardest thing. I also follow shawnis blog too and enjoy both of your perspectives. It would be interesting to hear more on you twos thoughts of dealing with differences and marriage. Anyway keep it up. I enjoy the blog!

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  14. The first year of my marriage was similar, as have been many other years since - and twenty years later, i'm fine with that. Marriage is an ongoing work of art, a labour of love. Congratulations on your first year of many x

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  15. Yay for your anniversary! We have reflected a lot on your wedding here at our house the last week too. It was great! The amazing part about marriage is, if you both work on it really hard, the hard times get a little more complex as life does but your love and ability to handle them together also increases. Each year for us gets harder and lovelier all at the same time. Your both great. We love you!

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  16. Beautiful, honest and real. "Just you wait" comments just thrill me to pieces! We've heard that a few times in our 31 years of marriage plus six children, and I adore the challenge of crafting a life with my husband that is full of both simple everyday adventures as well as big lifetime goal setting. I know with your passion and enthusiasm that your marriage will thrive in the "ordinary", but when you view each day as a precious divine gift there is no ordinary, only extraordinary gratefulness. Grand adventures await you in the little moments, the unexpected, the doldrums and in life's greatest celebrations. You and your husband are a witness to other young couples that practicing chastity and concentrating on building a foundation of healthy communication before marriage, yields so many more blessings in the long run. Blessings to you both, and may you enjoy a long and passionate life together through all its ups and downs, twists and turns and tiny and glorious adventures!

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  17. Love how real you are! Marriage is hard work! I love your blog!

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  18. The first year is TOUGH! So are other years, but getting beyond all the transitions of the first year with love and closeness is a beautiful feat. Onward, with joy and resilience!

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