My Guide and A Light

Last week I was able to go out with this handsome guy to celebrate being married to him for nine years.

Ten years ago, when we started dating, I was just a baby.  I would say he robbed-the-cradle, but he was kind of a baby himself.  I was barely 18, just a few months out of high school, and he was 22, one year off of his mission.

We got married one year later, when I was 19 and he was 23.

Now there are some challenges about getting married when you are so young, for example:

  • One or more of the individuals (specifically... me) may have been coddled their entire lives and struggle with knowing how to do laundry, remembering to wipe the crumbs off of the counter after using the toaster, or making a decent meal for dinner.  
  • One or more of the individuals (specifically... me) may technically still be a teenager who is dramatic, egocentric, and overly-sensitive at times. 
  • One or more of the individuals (specifically... me) may not be in the habit yet of checking the mail, remembering to pay bills, or calling to make appointments.
(Sorry about all of that, Honey!  But you know I have gotten a lot better!)

It used to offend me when people would gasp when I tell them how young I was when I got married.  I would hear phrases like, "You don't even know who you are at age 19!" or "Think of all of the fun you missed out on!"

True, I didn't know who I was, but honestly, I am 28 now and I still don't have it all figured out (I hope I never believe I have it all figured out... how boring would that be?).  Plus, who says the fun has to stop when you get married?

(These are all out of order, but range from 2005-2014)

Taylor and I have both grown and learned so much about ourselves in the past 9 years.  We were raised very differently, and we have each brought our best knowledge and attributes to the table to teach each other. We have both changed from how we were when we met, but the change has happened together and in the same direction. We have become stronger and more intertwined with each other.  We definitely still have our disagreements, and we both have A LOT of room to grow, but generally, our views, goals, and interests in life merge.

*Just a side note for my daughter, Josie (so these words don't come back to bite me in 17 years) I am not necessarily advising anyone to get married at 19, all I am saying is that when you get married, you kind of have to be a child at heart - humble enough to listen to and learn from the other person.

Two strong words come to my mind when I think of my husband: GUIDE and LIGHT.  He truly is these two things to me.  The best place I can think to be is anywhere with him, whether that be on our couch watching a show, at a beach in Cancun, on a bench at church, or a in a car full of crying kids.  He is the person I want there when I am happy, or when I am sad.  He knows me so well.  He has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of me, and despite all of that, he sticks with me and has my back.  I am so blessed because of him challenging me and standing by me.

Besides trying to teach me how to swing a golf club, grill a hamburger to perfection,  or hook up the printer to the computer, he teaches me so much about the Gospel.  One of the gifts Taylor has is his unwavering faith.  So many times I find myself doubting and questioning simple concepts and he is there, to patiently and non-judgmentally explain things to me or help me along.  I can think of twice this happened to me just last week.

On Monday night I was reading some of my old journals.  Difficult memories were brought up, and I couldn't stop thinking about something that was very upsetting to me about my past.  I mean EXREMELY upsetting to me.  I was losing sleep over it and guilt crept all over me.  I felt like I needed to talk to someone about it, Taylor, my mom, maybe my sister.  But I just couldn't do it.  I knew thought there was nothing anyone could say that would make me feel better.  Finally, about in tears, I started explaining it to Taylor.  He cut me off because he knew what I was about to say, and within about three firm sentences, he had completely lifted that load.  He put all of my doubts and fears to rest.  He said just the right thing I didn't know I needed to hear.  I felt better immediately.

The other time wasn't quite so dramatic, but a good example of the day-to-day things he might teach me.  On our anniversary date, we were at a restaurant, eating outside in the most beautiful weather, surrounded by strangers.  We were talking about the Lasik that Taylor recently had done.  It was such a simple surgery, but it completely fixed Taylor's poor vision in a matter of a few hours.

We talked about how it was a miracle with modern-day medicine.  I laughed at him about how terrible his sight was before, and that if he had lived in Jesus' time, when there wasn't glasses, contacts, or Lasik, he would have been considered one of the blind.  Picturing the DVD he brought home with the video of his simple surgery, I chuckled, "So do you think when Jesus was healing the blind, all he was doing was reshaping people's corneas?"

Taylor took it more seriously and said, "One day science and religion are going to merge.  It will all make sense."  He explained to me about a meeting he attended with his mission president speaking.  The President started by telling an elder to close the door.  The Elder immediately stood up and closed the door.  The President may have needed the door closed, but more importantly he was teaching a lesson.  He explained that just as that elder followed his command without question, so does everything, down to the smallest cell or atom, follow Christ.  He created them.

 "31 For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal—
 32 First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work—"
They know that their Master has their best interest in mind.  They follow Him without question, whether that heals the sick, moves mountains, or any other myriad of miracles He could perform.  

Sometimes the world gets to me, and things like this sound crazy.  As he was talking to me, I listened, but I also kind of prayed in my head, Is this true?  Is what he is saying to me actual truth?  I looked at all of the people surrounding us in this busy restaurant, I looked at all of the cars buzzing around on the roads and in the parking lot, I looked over at the sky and the mountains.  In that moment I knew it was true.  I knew without a doubt that it was true.  I felt something stronger than the normal commotion of the world.  I felt a quiet assurance.  I felt the Holy Ghost tell me it was true.  

These are just some of the reasons I call Taylor my guide and a light in my life.  He helps me see clearly.  He helps show me the way.

Marriage can be tough, really tough.  It needs lots of nurture and polishing.  The effort shouldn't stop the day you get married.  Whenever we get into a weird rut or feel disconnected to each other, it means that one or both have some growing to do (but remember, you only have control of yourself).  There are ups and there are downs.  When it is down I remember our commitments and hang on for the ride because with effort, it has always come back up.  

I know nine years of marriage may not seem like a lot to others, and I know that some may still think I am absolutely crazy for getting married at such a young age.  Maybe I was!  But I have the feeling that as long as Taylor and I both keep our focus in the right direction, and are willing to continually change and grow together and for the better, we will be happily married for eternity.

Thanks for the nine great years, Hun!