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Year One.

Deep gazes and warm embraces were what we exchanged while nestled in our hotel suite located on the River Thames in southern England.

"Baby, a year, a whole year we've made it, and it still feels like a dream," I said with tears in my eyes.

Crouching down on the bed next to me, my husband leaned in to wrap his secure, warm, and safe arms around me. Mutual silent sobs and warm tears collided down our cheeks. We embraced for what felt like an eternity. Our spirits connected, dancing, rhythmically in sync while our souls rejoiced at the thought of finding our person till death do us part.

Individually, we had seen so much pain, hurt, and experienced failed relationships. And, what seemed to be a "just like that" or all of a sudden was actually 36 and 42 years in the making.

Neither one of us had a clue to what God had in store for us, but God did. He had been cultivating us for each other from the start; still in awe, even a year later, our tears were joyful.

Collectively we had heard how challenging the first year of marriage could be. Heck, it could've been even more difficult for us, seeing we had only known each other 11 weeks before saying I do. What would appear to have been on-the-job training as we hopped in was intentional pre-preparation on both parts. I had been preparing to be a wife, and my husband, as a single dad of three girls, was certainly ready to be a husband.

This first year has been the most exciting, hilarious, and adventurous year of our lives. Filled with spontaneity, dance parties, busy weekends, silly pranks, date nights, house projects, goal setting, volunteering, tons of traveling, lots of prayers, and intentional personal and relational growth, we're committed to serving and putting each other first. Healthy communication, mindfulness, vulnerability, respect, and our relationship with Christ have sustained us.

We're so much alike, and not a day goes by where someone hasn't finished the other person's thoughts. Our first year of marriage has been prosperous, happy, and healthy, a true blessing. If God decides to do nothing else in our lives, meeting each other after 36 and 42 years of waiting totally has made life worth living.


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