Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Man I Married

"That's the person I'm going to marry" -- I've heard people talk about having this thought when meeting the person who would eventually become their spouse. I'm not one of those few. My husband and I met on our first day of college classes. It was a new environment, a new experience, a new challenge, and I was focused on all of that. I wasn't looking for a boyfriend, and certainly not for a husband.

Mark and I got to know each other over time. We took the same calculus class, played in the same band, enjoyed some of the same friends, had majors in the same building. Friendship developed. He started leaving the science building about the same time my Monday night lab ended, then he eventually waited more boldly just outside the lab room so he could walk me back to my dorm.

I liked his sense of humor, his quick mind, his creativity. He worked hard in his campus job and I respected his determination in tackling the various challenges he encountered there. When I accidentally deleted my entire hard drive, he told me how to fix it rather than dwelling on my mistake. I appreciated when he helped me in various ministries leading kids, especially because I knew it was a new experience for him. He even went roller skating with me and a bunch of 3rd/4th grade girls. I was drawn to his patient gentleness with the children. He treated his parents and mine with respect.

Eventually we began "dating" -- nothing fancy, mostly just more intentional about spending time together, and more honest about acknowledging the love growing between us.

And eventually, he proposed. He was not formal or flashy about it, and I did not squeal my response. It was just a simple, joyful interaction. Of course we wanted to get married!

It's been fifteen years, and through trial and error we have learned some things along the way. Now he lets me know when he'll be later than planned, for example, and I'm better at the balance of attentive nurturing and letting him rest when he is ill. We've established a mutually agreeable -- and flexible -- division of household tasks. We have learned to communicate more effectively. And when something breaks down between us, we have learned to offer grace.

I love my husband, and I am glad to be married to him.

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