I am thrilled to introduce a new series of posts on marriage. While photographing weddings gives me great joy, I have been wanting to create a space dedicated to marriage. A place with stories of what comes long after we walk down down the aisle. I pray that it is a source of grace and hope to you all.
Our first post comes from my dear friend Lisa Gungor. We have been doing this marriage thing alongside one another for many many years. I hope you all enjoy this little tidbit from Lisa's heart. Her and her husband are singer/songwriters and have two beautiful little girls. You should totally check out their music and their project called The Liturgists.
You dream about the flowers, the dress, the suites and the place; the people that will surround you and the person standing in front of you as you say a vow. You dream about all of the things this other person will fulfill, be, create with you – will you live in the city or county? Will the walls be beige or blue? Will you have kids, and if so will they have your eyes, his nose, your father’s temper, her smile? But what we don’t dream about is the hard stuff - staying up late for work way too often, getting up at 4am when a baby is screaming and poo is amazingly, everywhere; unable to pay bills or bridge the divide that has grown like a wildfire between you and that person you dreamed so much about. We don’t dream about the hard stuff. You say “I do” but really, you have no idea what will or what won’t come with those two words.
We want the other person to be strong and vulnerable, successful and humble, the knight in shining armor or princess we show off – the expectation is a grand one, pressure’s high. There are a multitude of lessons I have learned in my 16 years of marriage, one that has helped me the most is how to really see my spouse because it extends out to everything else. If I look at him and see how he has fulfilled or failed me, I’m not really seeing. The true essence of a person lies in the heart, accomplishments and failures will both come, happiness and pain will both come. But when we can see a person’s essence and accept them in both, be with them in both, then we are discovering what love is.
I have had more belly laughing and beautiful moments than I thought I would get (and I banked on a lot), but the most profound times of my life have not been found in easy, happy places, it has been in the thin ones - where the essence of who I am was mined and discovered by myself and the person I said yes to. When you are seen and known, it unlatches a truer, more grounded, more present, self. And so now this is what I dream of – to get up, face the thick and thin times alike with eyes to see past both into the essence of this other person I still say yes to.