Here’s to Forever


Four years ago this week I sat dreamily staring out the car window as my parents, Eric’s parents, all our stuff, Eric, and  I drove to Chicago. We dropped all our stuff in our tiny apartment so that after wedding we wouldn’t have to worry about moving. I remember thinking about how perfect it would all be. Our cute little apartment, in our cute little neighborhood, with our cute little “L” passes. Don’t get me wrong, I knew marriage would be difficult at times, but nothing can prepare someone for really, truly, wholly joining your life with someone else.

We had an absolutely beautiful wedding, and an OK reception. I remember thinking, as the Age of Pinterest dawned, how much I woulda-shoulda-coulda done differently. Then I looked over at EK happily programming in our cute little apartment, and thought, “If it was all about the reception, why are we this happy?” If I focused so much on giving my guests the blowout of a lifetime, I might have missed the happy programmer in front of me who just wants me, and a God who says, “Be an image of my love in the world!” So maybe I’m OK with having an OK reception. This is not to say that those who had rockin’ receptions somehow missed the true meaning of their marriage. I’ve been to plenty of fabulous receptions for couples who totally get marriage. But for those of us who didn’t? Really, it’s OK. Marriage is so much better than even the most perfect reception.

A great article I came across recently was actually about preparing for marriage while being single, but it reminded me that the vows we professed on July 3, 2010 where not just for one day, but for a lifetime. They are vows to come back to and pray with frequently. In the Rite of Marriage couples promise four things to each other: they come freely, they intend to love each other faithfully and forever, and they promise to create fruitfulness through their marriage.


If I do not freely come to my marriage I am not being honest, and certainly not giving my whole self. This is not only bad for me, but hurts my spouse a great deal. Being free doesn’t mean I get to do whatever I want. Being free means giving up my will for myself, EK, or our marriage and, “trusting that God has my greatest happiness in mind (Knobbe).” And I suck at this. That is why prayer is so important.


Each vocation is just as unique as the individuals who make up each one, but what we all have in common is that we are called to love. Purely and without pretense simply because we all have been made by God who is Love.  With that being said, loving anyone is probably the most difficult thing we can do, because loving someone means you need to be vulnerable. We tend not to like doing that especially when we are mad. Which, oddly enough, leaves us exceptionally vulnerable. Being faithful to EK means loving him even on the days I don’t like him.


Commitment to someone is not an easy feat (see above about love). By making a commitment to EK, I am sacrificing my selfishness. That doesn’t mean I’m never selfish (see above about freedom), but forever is sure going to be a lot harder if I am. EK could probably tell you some pretty good stories about how four years already feels like forever. 😉 But seriously, some days forever doesn’t seem long enough when you are hanging out with your best friend.


One of the ways a marriage can be fruitful is by children. This is by no means the only way. Marriage is a reflection of God’s love for us. By being a good example of the vocation of marriage, a couple encourages and supports other married couples, engaged couples, and those preparing for marriage. Each couple is uniquely fruitful based on their interests, gifts, family, etc.

“And, after a happy old age, grant them fullness of life with the saints in the kingdom of heaven (Rite of Marriage, Nuptial Blessing).” I can only hope and pray for us to reach a happy, old age together. Here’s to OK receptions, beautiful weddings, and vows that remind us why we love. Here’s to forever, EK! 



Knobbe, Beth. “Happily Ever After Begins Now.” Living and Loving the Single Life.

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