In four days, you'll be married. A lot will happen between now and then. Your friends and family will arrive in town. You'll be whisked from place to place for all the dinners and luncheons leading up to the Big Day. Much giggling and anticipation and primping will go on, and this day you've waited years and years for will finally arrive, and you and Josh* will be married.
Two years ago today, June 3rd, 2006, I married my Josh. The event was very different than all you have planned- but we've always known we are different. Our events reflect ourselves and the relationship we're celebrating. I wouldn't have changed one thing about our day, and I'm sure you'll feel the same about yours! (Well, unless it rains.)
I challenge you for a moment, in the midst of the chaos and social events and preparations, to think of what YOUR next two years will look like. You've watched Josh and I, and we both know you and your Josh will have different adventures over the next two years. We moved to the suburbs less than half an hour from both our parents- you guys are headed to the Big City a few hours away, living the high life in a high rise. We chose to settle down in our psuedo-farm, and you guys will be jet-setting all over the country. Our lives will continue to be different, as they always have been.
As different as our circumstances will look, however, you will face many of the same things we have over the last two years. You'll have to figure out how to manage your newfound salaries. You'll have to learn to pay bills, deal with insurance, and make spending decisions together. You'll have to decide what church to attend in the new area. You'll have to decide together how to decorate the new place. You'll have to cook. You'll have to both figure out how to balance Couple Time with New Job time. You'll have to figure out what chores each of you are good at or don't mind doing and share responsibility in the home. These are all experiences every new couple has, and you guys will get comfortable with your own "groove".
Figuring out who takes out the trash or who cooks dinner or who sends the check to the electric company will all fall into place- as long as you guys communicate often and well. Communication, frequently and respectfully, has been the biggest part of making us a Team. When we listen to each other, feelings don't get hurt, no one gets misunderstood, and problems get solved better and faster. It will be especially critical for you guys, if Josh ends up traveling a good part of the time. Keeping up with each other, taking time each evening to reflect on your day and be a part of each other's lives each evening after the rush and stress of work will be so important.
This morning Josh said to me, "I need you. That's what I've learned over the past two years." I can wholeheartedly agree. At my first anniversary, I looked back and saw that Josh had allowed me to blossom- to become more of who I am. This year, I look back and see how we've spent the last two years becoming one. We're more a team today than we ever have been, and I know we will continue this mystical becoming-one, team-making process for the rest of our lives. We need each other more than ever before. We work together and alongside each other to get mutual and individual goals accomplished, and it is a joy to serve one another. On your wedding day, Caroline, you'll be starry-eyed, head-over-heels in love with your Josh, absolutely certain the two of you could never be more in love. And then! After the wedding day! During the following months, you'll be amazed (as I was) how you can become even more in love than you are right now.
Marriage is great. I highly recommend it. I'm excited for you.
Your big sister
Our wedding day, 2 years ago:
* Both my sister and I have our respective Joshes. It is confusing and will continue to be for the rest of our lives. So be it, we're in love.
What advice would you give this soon-to-be-married couple?