This past weekend, my wife and I rifled through our memories and found our wedding video. Eleven years and three kids later, we’re still going strong. Yet, amazingly enough, our kids had never seen our wedding video before. So we scooped some ice cream, sat down as a family, and re-lived that magical day all over again. (Well, almost magical. Everyone has a story about a moment in their wedding day that was more tragic than magic.)
Ours truly felt like a fairy tale wedding. It was outside; we were under an oak tree with the wind blowing and the sun gleaming through the clouds. The music, the flowers, the ambience—Oh! And the bride! You should have seen her! She looked like a princess; she still looks like a princess.
Going back to that day with our kids was so special in so many ways, but it really highlighted the true Hero of our story: Christ. Sarah and I have built something together over the past eleven years. We’re still building something together: a secret history with God. He is the muse of our love story. Our marriage is an ever-unfolding tribute to the Lover of our souls.
Watching our video resurfaced all those old feelings of our love. There were moments that I grimaced, like the extremely nerve-induced delivery of my vows. (It’s a wonder anyone could understand me, talking that fast!) But mostly, it made me beam with pride at our amazing story.
I glanced over at my bride and smiled many times. She’s still here. She’s the girl I married and she’s so much more. She’s the woman I’ve slain dragons with. She’s been the eyewitness to some of my most brutal failures; and yet, here she remains.
At the bedrock foundation of a solid marriage, there are often the unseen scars. From the courtship to the wedding day, there were battles. From the wedding day to eleven years, there were wars. The only thing that people see are a man and a woman in love with God and one another, but the unseen beauty of a marriage are the scars of battles fought together to get there—and stay there.
There are also unseen victory laps.
Celebrating our first home together, celebrating the first time the baby slept through the night, celebrating the appearance of the mysterious $100 bill that was carefully and curiously wedged in the pages of Sarah’s Bible during a time of financial famine. These are the moments that get a marriage through the battles! No one knows the intimate joys that I have with my wife over the battles we have fought and won together, except us. That is the beauty of our unseen history: that we take advantage of an opportunity to build something—not a façade, but something four-dimensional together. And nobody sees it or lives it like we do.
The defeats and victories form the bedrock of who we are as a couple. Now, we’re growing together, rising higher from glory to glory together with God. We’re forging new victories after new battles—adding more glorious layers to our beautiful imitation of Christ and the Church.
Be patient in your battles. Be graceful in your victories. Soon, you’ll look back at that glorious day that it all began and marvel at your unseen history with one another and with your Great God.