So, this is definitely a more personal post than I usually post, but I couldn’t see a way around it. Not with the month that we have. Not only are we expecting our second child, a baby boy, in just a few short days, but Josiah and I will also be celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary on the 10th. So, with two big personal celebrations coming up, it didn’t feel right to pass by without something a little bit more personal.
10 years ago I was a freshman in high school. I was on the cheerleading squad (for 1 season, I wasn’t very good haha), and living my best life. I always knew that I wanted to get married and have children, but if someone would have told me that by 24 I would be married with one child and one on the way I never would have believed them.
For anyone that has followed me for awhile knows that Josiah and I got married very young. I was 19 when we met, and we got married before I was legally able to drink. He was 23, and to me at that time, he seemed so old. We were young, naive and so in love. We felt on top of the world, and ready for anything.
I can confidently say that I wouldn’t do anything differently if I could go back and redo things. Yes, there have been seasons that have been very hard, and sure there are things that we may have been able to be more “prepared” for if we would have waited, but I know we wouldn’t be who we are as a couple if we would have waited to get married just for the sake of being older. We wouldn’t have the children we have now if we had waited. We wouldn’t have the life we have now if we were afraid of being a little unprepared.
I get a lot of people that ask me about getting married so young. They ask for advice, and I think a lot of times they are looking for affirmation that they can do it. I don’t have much to say usually, but I tell everyone the same thing. It’s the best decision I ever made, if we can do it, you definitely can, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.
Is that because I think we are such an amazing couple and can conquer what other couples can’t? Absolutely not. I say that because I feel like that greatest thing that I have learned through getting married so young is sacrifice. Every single marriage, no matter when it happens requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice, but when you do it so young, you are choosing to give up those pieces way earlier than most people your age.
It’s hard to be the “first” of anything in a group. We were the first of our friends to get married, and now we are the first of our friends to have children. With that comes some exciting and sweet times, when other times it brings isolation and loneliness. Life once you are married looks different, it has to. There are two people to consider for everything, two people’s schedules to line up, and two people’s expectations to meet. However, in giving those things up, and doing things a little unconventionally, you are gaining some incredible gifts that you would never have otherwise.
With all of that being said, I want to share with you all 4 of the biggest “gifts” that I have been taught through these past 4 years of marriage, and hope that it encourages, challenges, or resonates with some of you.
- You build your life together : Instead of having two lives with different friends, homes, and careers, you build one together. Sometimes I feel like I had an easier transition than others because it was all I ever knew. I went from my parent’s house, to college, to my apartment with Josiah. I didn’t have much “single” time (which has it’s ups and downs for sure), but because of that I didn’t have to change much once we did get married. Instead of finding ways to work one another into our lives, we just built our lives around our relationship together.
- The simple years : Josiah and I always reminisce on the first year of marriage and just how simple it was. We had no money, so we didn’t have to worry about what to do with it. We had no responsibilities, so we were free to do what we wanted. And we weren’t in our careers yet, so we had so much free time to just enjoy life, dream, and be together. Yes, there was financial stress, and in the moment, I would have given anything for stability, but now that I have the stability, it comes with him working a lot to provide that. I am so thankful that we had those simple times without a care in the world to look back on and hold on to.
- You grow up together : Josiah and I are very different people now than when we first got married. Not the core of who we are, but the kind of people that we are. Because we have known each other and been with one another through the greatest growing years of our lives, we have seen one another through the molding process. We have seen the struggles strengthen one another, and we have seen the hard decisions of life mature each other. We don’t have to wonder “why are they that way?” because we were there to see why.
- You build dreams because of one another : If we would have gotten married after I finished college, I would currently have my Bachelors in Elementary Education, and would probably be teaching somewhere. Many children are much better off since that didn’t happen, and I am too. Teaching is not what I was meant to do. I never would have found my love for writing and creating if Josiah hadn’t encouraged me to start a blog. It’s because of him that I now do what I love. His dreams and plans are very different from what they were when we first met, and I think he would agree that he is better for it now. We haven’t given up our dreams and hopes because of one another, but instead we have built them because of one another.
We still have no idea what we are doing, but one thing I do know is that I am so thankful for this path that we were put on. There are times that I feel like we are on the scenic route in our life and marriage. Slow and uphill, but beautiful. We definitely aren’t on the fast track in life, and things often feel like the odds are against us, but the beauty that we have seen and the flowers that we have picked along the way have made it all worth it.
Be proud of the life that you have made for yourself and the decisions that have gotten you there. All of our journey’s look very different, and there isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it. But that’s the beautiful thing about life. It’s ours for the taking to do with it what we choose.
Photography by Samantha Brooks