Friday, July 19, 2013

11 years, already?

Around 12 years ago, I began dating Jeff.  It was a funny courtship, and at times there was confusion, annoyance, gentleness, newness, and overall happiness.  A very flirty and sweet Jeff turns to me and says, "What would you say if I asked you out on a date?" A very eager but confused Jackie said, "Are you asking me out or do you just want to know what I would say?"  So began our courtship.  Followed by a strange group date, where Jeff and I were both there but with different dates, a note on a car, an awkward face to face, an even more awkward phone conversation and a very surprising invitation to make me lunch! 

We officially went on our first date on July 5, 2001. We got married on July 19, 2002.  In modern terms that may seem hasty.  I was barely 21 when we went over to get our marriage license.  We were babies.  But, in my very core I knew that the decision that both Jeff and I made to marry each other at that time was what was right for us.  There was no denying it.  So, most might think this was quick and not thought out but we both decided that this marriage was going to be for keeps - forever.  I didn't realize how magnificently hard it would prove to be.  I didn't realize that marriage requires work and love and sacrifice and compromise - from both of us.  I would harbor a lot of resentment because I thought that I was doing all the right things yet I didn't feel like marriage should be so much work and communication for it to work.  If it's right it should just work, right?  Wrong.  At least for me.  I needed to communicate.  I had a hard time doing that.  I'm sure Jeff had his share of frustrations with me over that.  I feel like I've gotten better, but I still struggle.  I feel like the love I have for Jeff has grown, changed, evolved, transcended, intensified.  I have grown to depend on Jeff for a lot of my basic needs for happiness.  He provides comfort when I am unraveling, he stands unmovable when I need to hold on, he is annoyingly silly when I am annoyingly serious, he figures out all the percentages for me when we are shopping, he encourages me to think of myself when I forget.  Jeff is not perfect, nor am I anywhere near perfect, but he is perfect for me.  We are a good team and I love when we can do something together because we each bring the right strengths to the situation.  I could not get along as well as I am without Jeff as my companion.  When we are doing things, together with the Lord, we are solid and strong and together.  That is deepest love and I'm grateful to have it.  Some days are really hard but I know that our commitment to each other and the Lord is what keeps us united. 

So, my Jeff.  Thank you for taking a chance on me.  I know I have my issues, but I am grateful that you are so willing to help me have happiness.  You provide a lot of what makes me happy.  You are truly my best friend and I love you so much.