Today is an exquisitely beautiful day-- the 4th anniversary of the day my Husband and I became one in the eyes of God.
My Husband and I were married in the morning. Why we picked that particular time, I haven't the faintest clue. Neither of us are morning people. It was a cold, rainy day that eventually even turned into a week-long, state-of-emergency flood. No one understood why we picked the 13th of May as our wedding day. We, however, knew why it had been chosen-- It is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, a title of Mary that has meant much to us both.
Our wedding, a traditional "Maronite Rite of Crowning," took almost an hour and a half. I might have taken far less than this, despite the fact that it was an ethnic, Eastern-rite Catholic wedding, but the Monsignor who was the officiant was determined to have it in both Arabic and English. We had not anticipated receiving two weddings for the bargain price of one. My Husband's great-uncle, a priest, intoned the liturgy in Arabic, and then the Monsignor would repeat everything again in English. ;-) We did not notice the time, however. Really, the whole Wedding Mass felt rather short. Time flies when you are staring into the eyes of your beloved.
I was extremely touched that so many of my family members came to our wedding, given the long distance and the fact that it was in a Catholic Church. For several of them, it was their first time ever having setting foot in one. Their presence was a testament to their love and well-wishes.
Circumstances tested our resolve, and only through the grace of God did our marriage last in a legal sense. I left my Husband for a time-- I skipped the country, in fact. Every day apart was pure agony. The invisible, indelible mark of Holy Matrimony upon my soul made itself feel very present. I physically ached for my spouse. When I came home, months later, it was with every resolve to be a good wife. I wish I could tell you that is what happened. It did not.
It took almost another year to begin practicing domestic discipline consistently in our home. My Husband was a tired, worn-out, stressed graduate student and I was a wife who wanted so badly to be taken-in-hand, but feared it at the same time. Things slowly began to progress, however. Soon, my Husband joined-- and I rejoined-- a DD group I had been a part of well before our marriage. We became active and involved. My Husband offered some advice. A friendship that ensured began to change our lives forever.
All was not roses, though. A job outside of the home caused me to backslide more than I could possibly express... More than I ever let on to anyone beside God, my priest, or my Husband. I seriously considered leaving my Husband again. I looked into annulments. I had enough money saved to live on my own. More than anything, I was afraid that a shocking revelation I had to make to my Husband would be the final straw. I do not know how my Husband took the news with such grace. It was the weekend of a major Autumn holiday in our country. We rode home, after having spend time with my side of the family, in near silence. It didn't help that I had had another major blow-up with my mother. Once we were home, I checked e-mail and so forth, which had been neglected due to my parents' lack of being techno savvy. I ended up chatting briefly with a dear friend. God knew how much I need it. That YIM conversation marked the beginning of my journey into being a Traditional Wife.
Soon thereafter, my Husband agreed to the spiritual direction for me. I was still horribly defiant, rebellious, and so forth. I fought the direction, itself, at times. I know it was horribly immature of me. However, it was not until the deeps of my heart and soul were "shaken up" that all of the impurities could come to the surface and be skimmed out. And so, I began to change. The changes happened in my heart long before it became manifest in exterior actions.
Last summer, God succeeded in breaking me during our trip to Lebanon. He further changed my life during my trip to South America. He has taught me much over this past winter. Today, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, my life is completely His story. I am not done growing. I have a very, very long way to go. Yet, I am more determined than ever to grow into a humble, obedient, Mary-like woman of God.
If you knew my Husband and me in everyday life, I am sure you could not help but see the deep respect between us. We also experience more genuine love in a single day than two people ought to know in a lifetime. Sometimes, I do wonder, is it possible to die of happiness?
Will my Husband and I "live happily ever after?" Perhaps. I am certainly inclined to think so. But, the point is this: we live.
Thank you all for being a beautiful part of our journey. :-)