Jeff and I were really the first ones out of all our friends to get married. Apparently 24 and 25 are very young ages to tie the knot these days. In my family, I was by far the youngest. My sister and brother were both closer to thirty before they chose to take the leap with their partners. Part of that was foisted on me by this ordination thing I'm trying out (ha!), which prohibits any "marriage-like living situations" for me as a pastoral leader. Part of it was just knowing that Jeff was the end of the line for me.
A lot of our friends have asked us at one time or another what marriage means, or what it's like, or why we chose it for ourselves. It's kind of a hard question for me. I don't believe in love at first sight - at least not for me. Maybe for someone else. And I don't particularly believe in soulmates. Again, not for me. I don't think that Jeff is the only person on earth that could possibly be my mate. I just haven't met any of the others!
But there's something I realized around our second anniversary. There's a different kind of soulmate: the one you grow into, rather than just always being. Jeff and I are growing into those kind of mates. We will continue to do that for the rest of our lives. We weren't born knowing each others' thoughts or finishing each others' sentences. But we do it a heck of a lot more now than we did eight years ago.
To me, the best thing about being married is that someone is always in your corner. There's an old Indigo Girls song that talks about the beauty of a loving partnership:
So we're okay, we're fine /
Baby I'm here to stop your cryin' /
Chase all the ghosts from your head /
I'm stronger than the monster beneath your bed /
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart /
We'll look at them together then we'll take 'em apart /
Adding up the total of our love that's true /
Multiply life by the power of two.
That's really how I feel about Jeff. He is the ultimate problem-solver, helper, brainstormer. He helps me understand other peoples' points of view. He gets me to see alternatives to sticky situations. He gives me comfort and camaraderie when I feel like I'm all alone. There are still many ways that I'm my own person, and I'm sure there are parts of me he will never know and understand (and vice versa). But being with someone and experiencing life through a kaleidoscope that multiplies every joy and divides every sorrow is the most unbelievable blessing. I thank God for it.