Five people in one lifetime

On a Sunday night at my parent’s home, once the dinner plates were cleared from the table and my car was packed to go home, my sister handed me the card my father made my mom for Mother’s Day. In it he wrote a poem and a message that told my mom she was beautiful, strong, intelligent, needed and loved.

I told my mom “it is incredible that you both have made it through so many seasons of life, that individually you’ve re-branded over and over and still chose each other.”

This is especially relevant to my life this past year as I have navigated my first year of marriage while simultaneously come into adulthood, figuring out who I am post-undergrad and who I want to be in the season of life to come.img_8401

One thing I don’t think we talk about enough is the transformations we go through, voluntarily or involuntarily based on our life, and the circumstances around it. And, even when changes come from happy things like marriage or children, or pursuing dreams, our humanity makes us malleable. As Stanley Hauerwas says, we can be five different people in one lifetime.

I like to see every new season is a chance to re-fresh, to focus on the positive and opportunities afforded. When I went to college I gave myself two goals: workout more and graduate cum laude. When I moved into my first apartment I said, “you’re going to learn how to cook.” When I started a new semester I said “you’re going to do better in XYZ this time.”

When we got married I felt like I was between doors. I graduated and closed my door from undergrad, but I held myself in this purgatory between closing that door and opening the marriage one. I wasn’t intentional about how I spent that time. I got lost, stressed and overwhelmed.

Then, we go married. It was a perfect day with beloved people. We laughed and danced. It was heaven. I closed a door and opened a new one. But, I was still struggling to find direction and my new footing. And, so was my new husband. That has been the biggest challenge this past year. We have grown into new people.

I knew marrying Rob would be my greatest adventure; I knew life would never be boring. But, when we were sitting at the VMAs on the night of our two-month anniversary of marriage waiting for him to go on stage, I laughed at how greatly I underestimated God, Rob and myself.

We ran hand-in-hand toward doors until they were shut in our face (sometimes repeatedly). We have grown, and we have identified areas of growth. We have hurt. We have felt hopeless and broken. And, we have said yes over and over.

Sometimes the “yes” was exasperatingly huffed or begrudgingly mumbled. We are human. But, that is what is so beautiful. There is something between us, a love so deep that we can go through the most trying year of our lives and make it out ok on the other side.

So, on our anniversary I want to say, as a new version of myself, what we’ve been saying to each other since day one, “for all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!”