Marriage. The shedding of absolute independence for the sake of something more amazing, more profound – the intertwining of two lives.

Five years ago, I peeked around the corner of the Living Waters dining hall and saw my husband-to-be anxiously awaiting my arrival on the waterfront. I never could have guessed what life would become from that moment on.

The thing about intertwining lives is that you find yourself taking on qualities you never thought you’d possess. There’s those odd Friday nights when Ryan tells me he wants to stay home. He doesn’t want to be social. I always tilt my head to the side and wrinkle my forehead in confusion, wondering when he took on some of my introversion. And odder still are the days when I tell him I don’t want to stay home or spend time alone. I want to find friends to hang out with. He grins, knowing that his extreme sociability has worn down my constant desire for alone time. We speak similarly. Walk at the same pace. (Unless one of us is irritated. A sure sign of a Lilly fight is one of us outpacing the other.) We can predict each other’s actions and attitudes with ease, though thankfully, there’s plenty of room for surprise.

It’s not a box, this settling into marriage. It’s like putting on an old familiar pair of jeans. They’re a little tattered, but that’s what makes them fit perfectly and seem so comfortable. They’re what you choose, even over any prospect of new or fancy. The small tears sometimes grow, often quickly and in multiples. But still, they’re favored, chosen, cherished.

To my husband:
Our marriage is like the best pair of jeans a girl could hope for.

I’m daily amazed at the kind of husband you are – devoted to me with moment-by-moment determination, gracious beyond what’s humanly possible, joy that’s never squelched, truth when it needs to be spoken. I’m proud to be your wife, thankful to be given the honor. Thank you for the past 5 years! I’m looking forward to so many more.

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