Joanna Sue Photography » Lifestyle photography based out of Raleigh, NC

Year 1

It’s been a year–365 days of waking up next to him, paying bills with him, praying with him, fighting with him and learning with him. The learning is fun, but often difficult; sometimes it is downright painful.

I firmly believe that the strongest marriages are companionate marriages (Google it or if you are Pride and Prejudice buff read this this). Before we got married, I knew I wanted Jesse to be my whetstone (that’s the thing with which you sharpen knives). I wanted him to push me, inspire me and help me grow to be better. But if you have sharpened anything before you can well imagine that process causes friction and even pain.

This past year, we have had our moments of sharpening, positively encouraging each other to be better people, but too often they were moments of stabbing and slashing–of two people being ugly, fighting to be right, to be the biggest, to be first. In fact, a little bit of that stabbing/slashing thing happened on our way to our first anniversary trip to Gatlinburg. It might just be me, but our best (and when I say best I mean loudest) fights are in the car. There is something about no one being able to hear you, and the strangers that happen to get the idea that you’re not the happiest pair can be easily passed so you never have to see them again.

It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I just wanted Jesse to stop trying to sharpen me and realize how right and how perfect I was. Fortunately there were lessons to be learned in those mirky, towering mountains we climbed. It rained the whole weekend–not exactly what we were expecting, but regardless, we forced our damp, ear-popping, oxygen-deprived bodies up the mountains to catch a glimpse of those great Appalachian peaks.

As we stood on each lookout, the mountains grew bigger, grander and more noble, and acknowledging their majestic scale was irresistible. For a moment I forgot how important I thought I was. It is right to feel small when you stand toe to toe with glory…with something much greater, something that is right, perfect and first. When I try to be so big and haughty, I slash and belittle rather than sharpen and bolster. I deem myself infallible and as a result become impenetrable to the bettering, healing, sharpening wounds of my best friend.

I know these pictures do not do it justice, but I hope it gives you a glimpse of a majestic humbling. It is a good thing to be reminded how small you are.

So I endeavor to remember and to love like I believe it.

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