The Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Done

Sometimes I think about the fact that getting married is the craziest thing I’ve ever done. It’s certainly the biggest risk. How can two people ever promise to love each other for their whole lives? It’s imprudent at the least.

I mean, I stood up in front of all of my favorite people and a representative of the God I serve and made a string of the most absolute statements I’ve ever made in my life. Even weirder, I promised to love him all the days of my life! I vowed.DSC_0104

It may seem unromantic, but Paul and I have talked before about how we know there may be others out there we could’ve married. The concept of a soul mate seems a little far-fetched, or at least rather dull. (To be with someone because it was destined from all eternity? No room for free will there. And how does that work out when things get tough?) However, we acknowledged to each other that we were choosing to love one another, and were quite happy about it.

Then you look at our wedding vows and see that we promised to love each other. If love is a passionate, unstoppable force that sweeps us away and fills us with joyousness, we can’t promise it to each other. If that’s what love is, I wouldn’t have bothered getting married, because why do you promise to do something you can’t help? Marriage as a confirmation of feelings people have is useless. It’s a desperate labeling of something in order to make it legitimate. “We’re getting married because we love each other!” means nothing to me. There are bound to be times in all marriages when the spouses love each other because they are married to each other. We got married because we wanted to love each other more. And let’s face it: sometimes the opportunity to do so only presents itself when there are no other options. It can be difficult, but knowing I promised is beautifully important. Obviously you want to love the other because of who he IS, and that’s good to strive for. But as humans, we’re woefully incapable of such unconditional love. Sometimes, you do it because you promised.318432_625097632833_178756251_n

There was no “if” or “when” attached to our vows. No “I promise to love you when you appreciate me,” or “I promise to love you if you are being reasonable.” I’m not sure of many  other times in life when people make a statement more outlandish than that of the wedding vow. It almost seems ridiculous and irresponsible. Shouldn’t such a vow be as rare as the vow of silence or solitude? Shouldn’t only hermits make such absolute statements?

I’m glad it’s not so limited, or I would never have taken the opportunity. But I made the crazy choice and took the ridiculous vow, and two years later I’m so happy I did. Paul and I had barely dated two years when we agreed to get married and about ten months after that we did it. No going back. Sometimes I think, “we hardly knew each other!” And it’s true. But we knew enough. We knew where each person’s treasure lay and we knew where each stood on the important issues. We knew we were making a conscious choice to love and we both loved doing it. We knew there would come days when we didn’t love it and we wanted to promise to love anyway. What can I say? We were young and reckless. But I’d do it again.

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Mere babes

The craziest thing I ever did has worked out pretty well so far. It  has only been two years but I’ve grown a lot and loved a lot in those years. We were blessed with a brand new person whose existence we promised to love and cherish as part of those same wedding vows. And I’m so happy our love will grow stronger every year we choose to continue loving.

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I love you, Paul! Happy 2nd anniversary!

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6 thoughts on “The Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Done

  1. Melanie, wow. This is awesome.
    “Sometimes I think, ”we hardly knew each other!” And it’s true. But we knew enough. We knew where each person’s treasure lay and we knew where each stood on the important issues. We knew we were making a conscious choice to love and we both loved doing it. We knew there would come days when we didn’t love it and we wanted to promise to love anyway. What can I say? We were young and reckless. But I’d do it again.” This paragraph sums it up beautifully. After 31 years I know I have changed, and so has Unc. Jim, but the love we promised to each other hasn’t because it’s grounded in the Divine love that Jesus has for us. Thanks for sharing
    ~~Aunt Sue

    • Thanks Aunt Sue! It’s so true that love that finds its identity in Christ has the best foundation. I love looking to couples who have been married longer, and who have been through different seasons of life for inspiration. Thank you for yours!

  2. Fabulous blog-honest, insightful and committed. I will pray for you and Paul and your growing family–I think we should all be doing a lot more praying for marriages, it is difficult in these times, in this culture. I am happy that there are three of you in your marriage; you, your husband and God.
    I have been married 33 years. We knew one another 4 months and I don’t know how we survived the first ten years! I converted to the Catholic faith around our 8th anniversary, then met the priest (standing in your wedding picture) after 15 years of marriage and had the grace of receiving spiritual direction from Fr. McCreary. My husband converted to the Catholic faith just after our 25th anniversary, and 3 years ago–Fr. McCreary presided at our daughter’s marriage!
    I rarely read blogs, but I am sure glad I found yours today. Count on my prayers for your marriage.
    Be blessed abundantly,
    Debra

    • Thank you, Debra, for your comment! What a beautiful story you have, and how special that Fr. Bob is part of your life too! And thank you so so much for your prayers. God knows we need them!

  3. This is beautiful, Melanie! Such a blessing to read. So glad Maria linked this on FB… now I get to “blog stalk” you to keep up with the Shaniuk’s. 🙂

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