What we didn’t know

I didn’t really think much about it when I printed a new picture of us to take to work. I just really liked the picture of the two of us and wanted to have it close.
But as I opened the frame on my desk, I noticed the yellowed edges of the picture it contained. The picture stuck a little to the glass it had been there so long. I had to scan it for this post because the idea of a digital copy barely even existed then. 
And then I realized.
I’ve had the same picture on my desk at work as long as I’ve had a (professional) desk to put one on. 
All those years, spanning hundreds of pictures, and this was the one of us that stayed.
Something about the beginning that it represented made it worth keeping close.
As I replaced the old with the new, I couldn’t help but think about the faces in the photo.  I stared deeply into their eyes and thought about that day by a pond, taking fun pictures with the man I was going to marry.  (A lot more fun, now that I’d changed my “no” to a “yes”
And I laughed a bit about how naive I was that day.  How naive WE were. 
There was so much we didn’t know then.

We didn’t know that for a while he’d do laundry, while I worked long hours.

We didn’t know how much we’d both love his role working with teenagers.
We didn’t know ministry could be filled with such joy. Or heart-ache.
We didn’t know that I was just a few years away from a major surgery.

We didn’t know that pregnancy didn’t always come as easily as you hoped.

We didn’t know we’d go on to have four beautiful children.
We didn’t know that sometimes we’d have seven.
We didn’t know that it would take us YEARS to build a community.
We didn’t know that once we did, it would be with friends we love so deeply.
We didn’t know about the homes we would create in our apartment or houses.
We didn’t know that we STILL wouldn’t be living in Nashville.
We didn’t know about a Grand Canyon Backpacking trip or a week-away in NYC together.
We didn’t know that our trip to England would still be a “someday”
We didn’t know what tired REALLY meant.

We didn’t know how hard we would have to work to find time to spend together.
We didn’t know how much fun we could have when we found it.

We didn’t know we couldn’t WILL marriage to be easier.

We didn’t know how cool it could be to really work as a team.
We didn’t know that difficult could be so glorious.

We didn’t know for better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health.
There was so much we didn’t know then.
And I guess that is why I was ready to change the picture.  I love who we are RIGHT.NOW. 
I love knowing what we’ve learned, and how it has shaped our relationship.  I think for the first time in 11(+) years I see more of the promises gained, the hope of future, the blessings of time, than I do the sacrifices made, the dreams changed or the disappointments of life.  And I love knowing that there is so much more to come.  As long as the Lord gives us, I am thrilled to be learning beside this man.

I’m keeping this one close.

ABL
Updated: February 2, 2014 — 4:38 am

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