Today, January 22nd, is the day I said 'I do' to Nathan 3 years ago. Sometimes I think back to the girl that walked down the aisle that day, and remember how different I used to be. I think - I hope - you change the most in your 20s, and for that reason so many people wait to get married until a little bit later (which is not a bad plan!). I chose to get married at age 19, before I'd held a full time job, before I'd figured out who I was or who I wanted to become.
I think that God had a good laugh when He put Nathan and I together. Apart from me, he's the most stubborn person I know (and I know he'd say the same for me). I wish I could say something trendy about us like "when I zig, he zags" or "he's the peanut butter to my jelly" or something like that, but honestly, none of that is true. In a lot of ways, we could not be more opposite. When I'm zigging, he's usually figuring out a better way to get from point A to point B than zagging. If I'm the jelly, then he's something weird that you'd never put with it, like cheese.
In my youth, I never would have chosen Nathan as the person I would marry. He doesn't watch sports, and I spend all Sunday on the couch cheering for the Broncos. He's the most athletic person I know, and I got a concussion trying to chase a ball at a summer camp. He's an engineer, and I do social media and photography for a living.
But ohhh how I say this with no hint of complaint or regret. As much as He must have laughed, God knew precisely what He was doing when I said yes to Nathan. You see, a stubborn person like me doesn't need someone who is exactly like them. What I need is someone to say no - as much as I hate it - and to challenge me, even if I don't want it. I need someone who will carry me to bed when I fall asleep watching football, and someone who won't let me quit what I'm doing, even when everything in me wants to.
Nathan is all these things and more for me. He's my biggest encourager, but he is brutally honest when I ask him to be. He allows me to be independent, and goes after what he wants in life. He doesn't just tell me to be patient, or kind, or loving, but he shows me every day HOW to do it.
So sure, he may not be what I envisioned as 'my perfect match' when I dreamed up my future husband in high school. But, in high school, I discovered that I'm different. I love a jelly & cheese sandwich (don't knock it 'til you try it). And, 3 years in, I've discovered that the person I thought I wanted wasn't what I needed at all. And for that, I give thanks.
Happy 3rd Anniversary, Nathan. With each year I am more grateful for you than I thought I ever could be. I love you.