Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On flowers and bikes and five years of matrimony.

July 29th will be the 5 year anniversary of our marriage. If you had asked me on my wedding day, a 21 year old bride, what I thought life would look like in 5 years, I would have shrugged. At 21, I could not think that far into the future. There is so much wisdom that comes with age and life experiences, that at 21 I thought I knew everything and at almost 27, I can tell you that I know very little. What I do know is this- our love has bloomed and blossomed at a steady pace from the day that we met. There has not been a single moment that has gone by that my love for Omar hasn't increased, and vice versa. At 21, I would have said that is the definition of successful love.
 I now know that it is not. 
It is the moments that we have struggled and fought to sustain the promise we made that have created the roots that ground our love.
A pretty flower can only survive so long once it is out of the ground, it grows and is beautiful, then it slowly dies. Above the surface, our love has continuously blossomed, bringing beauty and light to the world around us, but without our roots, the beauty is temporary.
Deep reaching roots are the definition of successful love.
When Omar and I got married, we had dated for exactly 1 year. We had only been dating for 1 year, yet we promised our entire lives away to each other, not knowing the cost. We knew very little of sacrifice and forgiveness. We only knew attraction, that there was an undeniable connection between us, and how to hear the still, small voice of God pushing us towards the alter. 
In the last 5 years, I have learned to love another person. Not superficial adoration, but true, unconditional, undeniable, worth dying for kind of love.
There is nothing I wouldn't do for Omar.
There is no place I wouldn't go and no sacrifice I wouldn't make if it meant he would benefit from it. There was a point in our marriage where I was moments away from filing for divorce, that I thought God had abandoned us, that I hadn't heard Him clearly when He told me to say "I do." It was in that moment that God moved in ways that I had been praying for for years. He brought about a repentance that I had only read about in books, and caused us both to reexamine everything we knew of Him and one another. He filled our lives with people who were present in the storms and valleys, when things got unbearable, there was not a single burden that we carried alone.
We were covered in prayer and surrounded by tangible love.
Recently, we bought bicycles with hopes to someday do a triathalon. The most fun part of cycling is coasting downhill, however, it is not possible to go downhill without having to go uphill. Uphill rides are extremely difficult, there are moments when I cannot breathe and my legs feel like they are going to give out. There is a stark contrast between the ease of going downhill and the effort it takes to go up. Downhill is fun and freeing and I used to think that was what marriage was about. In the moments when I have nearly given up because the intensity of the uphill pedaling gets to be too much, it is there when I meet God. It is those moments when I cling to Him, when He is the only thing sustaining me. There are little to no benefits in going downhill except that it feels good in the moment. My muscles, my confidence, my improved heart health, my strength and my mind only benefit from the uphill climb, the unbearable moments of clinging to Jesus and pushing forward even though it feels like I cannot.
5 years feel like an incredible victory. Growing up with Omar has been the most significant part of my life thusfar. Through the joys and the trials, he has taught me more than any other human being. He challenges me to be more, to do more, to push harder and to overcome. He constantly holds a mirror to the brokenness and beauty inside of me, and helps me to see my soul clearly. He does not allow me to give up or give in, instead, he is behind me, yelling for me to keep pedaling, to keep going, encouraging me and calling things out of me that I cannot see myself. Our love is deep rooted, and strong, and though we will face many more uphill battles, we will face them together.
"We're dancing in the minefields,
We're sailing in the storms, 
and its harder than we dreamed, but, I believe,
 thats what the promise is for.
So, when I lose my way, find me.
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days,
when I forget my name, remind me.
Because we bear the light of the Son of Man,
so there's nothing left to fear,
So, I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
till the shadows disappear.
Because He promised not to leave us
And His promises are true.
So, in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you."



Tammy said...

Excellent post, Allie. You've grown into quite an admirable young woman.

Rebecca Louise. said...

A bit late but hope you had a great day!!!! Here's to 6 years!

Chelsea said...

This is beautiful allie!