“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28
Up into college, I was obsessed with love. I loved love. “The Notebook” and “A Walk To Remember” were my anthems (still great movies). Nobody could top Nicholas Sparks when telling a love story. I poured over The Hallmark Channel at Christmas time. If you named a movie, chances were high that I’d seen it. I always imagined that to fall in love, you had to have a story where the odds were against you and it would inevitably end with this amazing guy running through the airport to stop you before you left forever. That’s what all great love stories are made of, right? Hallmark does not lie.
Paul and I met in college. We were in the same friend group, so we hung out a lot. We went on a date together (Valentine’s Banquet, anyone?), and then it just kind of, well- stopped. We were still friends, but that’s just kind of where we left it. A couple of years passed, and I invited my good friend Paul to go to Thanksgiving at my house. Three months later, we went to the Valentine’s Banquet as a real couple, and nine months after that, we were engaged (all you girls that say he’s just a friend- I believe none of you 😉 ).
We were married in Texas in July of 2014, and we were so excited to start our new, married adventure together. Within about two months, Paul was laid off from his job, my new present from Paul chewed out our rental house’s floor, and we were evicted. All that loveliness happened within the span of about a week. Within a couple of weeks, God gave Paul a new job that allowed him to seamlessly keep working. By God’s grace, he never missed a paycheck. We found a cute little apartment, and we settled there for about a year before we bought our first house. To this new house we added a third dog (yeah, we were THOSE crazy people) and brought home our first, precious baby.
Two months later, we moved to Virginia to allow Paul to work in full time ministry. After months of searching, we found a cute little house, and we stayed there until we moved back to Texas where we now reside. Three months after we moved, we welcomed Baby Morehouse #2 into the world! Life has been a whirlwind of a ride since we said “I do!”
Why do I say all that? I say all that because our love story is nothing like I envisioned it to be. Hollywood always told me that love was dramatic and crazy. It was supposed to be what Nicholas Sparks said it would be (he’s divorced, by the way). Instead, we’ve had this crazy love that blossomed from a wonderful friendship. He didn’t run after me in the airport to stop me from leaving, but he did drive up to see me every chance he got (long distance for the win). Things weren’t perfect once we got married. We hadn’t talked much about money or the fact that I couldn’t really cook. I had a really hard time learning how to forgive and bury grudges. Moving away from my mom and dad was harder than I thought it would be. And yet, I find our story so much better than the ones in books. Marriage has brought me closer to God. I’ve learned to forgive and have patience. I’ve found that when I have a bad day, Paul is always there to help me (Eccl. 4:9). We’ve gone through every day since then together, and no one knows us like we know each other. Through marriage, God has taught me to love and be loved unconditionally (I Cor. 13).
This past week, we celebrated our five year anniversary. At a glance, it feels like only a week ago that I was getting my dress altered and finishing up table decorations. And then, at a second, deeper thought, I realize that so many beautiful memories and people have filled in the gap between saying “I do” and where we are today. Hollywood doesn’t capitalize on the long haul. They don’t show a faithful husband cleaning up the house on his day off. They don’t show a family crying together after the family cat died. They don’t make sell out movies about loving your wife by enduring all her Great British Baking Shows (Netflix, I love you).
Marriage can be hard, yes. But, marriage God’s way is always more beautiful than Hollywood could ever make it.