2016 was a busy year for us. February 3rd Aaron called to tell me he loved me (for the past three years…), we were engaged by July 6th and happily married August 11, 2016.
It was a quick (15 minute) and laughter-filled ceremony at the courthouse in Kenai, Alaska. I wore an outfit I had bought in Nepal earlier in the summer and Aaron wore one of his Indian shirts. We met Patrick, the man who married us, only as we were trading vows. It was his first time officiating (and our first time getting married!) and I was convinced he was more nervous than we were. My parents signed the license and we went to have dinner by the ocean.
Our day had no “frills”. There was no music, no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no big spot light on the married couple. We kept it simple. I’m smiling as I remember that day; it was just us saying things we already knew, vows we were ready to keep.
You might ask why we didn’t tell anyone, or why we did it so soon.
To give you the brief version, Aaron and I were planning on driving to Massachusetts and from there he would go to bootcamp in Texas. He didn’t want to leave me in a new part of the country with out any support. If we were married, I’d have some military benefits that would help me as I settled in. We prayed about it, talked with our parents, and felt peace. It was a risk, but a good one. We didn’t expect to see each other more than a few weeks, until he shipped off for training. So, we kept quiet.
But he didn’t go. Aaron never got the chance to go to bootcamp. We were in Denver on our way to Massachusetts when he got the call he would be generally discharged. With a huge road trip in front of us, and no jobs or apartments waiting for us, we wondered what we’d find. The hours spent in that car provided a blank slate. Nothing was promised to either of us, no where to be, no where to go. We argued, we laughed, we cried, and we tried eating at only Whole Foods. (#honeymoon)
On the road we met and reunited with some absolutely amazing people and places. Air Force Academy? Chicago style pizza in Chicago? Washington D.C.? Times square on a Saturday night? Boston in the fall? Are you kidding me? What a ride!
Our marriage began with many challenges, no doubt. Some seemed nearly impossible. (e.g. commuting from New York City into Boston and back for a couple days so Aaron could go to class…) I could describe them here, but I might as well write a book. We made the best of what little we had with prayer, three square meals, and lots of laughter. (That’s a recipe for success for most any day if you ask me…) It turns out, our biggest disappointments became our biggest blessings.
We’ve been living quietly in Rockport, Massachusetts in a beautiful loft looking out over the beach. I am so grateful (and absolutely blown away) for our little piece of rest, here next to the Atlantic. Once the apartment details fell into place, we watched as all the pieces of the puzzle formed a beautiful picture. We found solid (secret) marital counseling, someone gifted us a lovely (secret) honeymoon, and we both found work!
Nontraditional, wild, speedy, different – all good words to describe our story. It’s 150% better than we were planning. I’ve learned obedience often looks risky, overwhelming, or even stupid. The Lord knew bootcamp or YWAM wouldn’t come; He wasn’t surprised at our frustration, yet He’s provided faithfully for our needs and our heart’s deepest desires!
Giving up control and surrendering our plans to the Lord – literally the best decision we made (and continue to make). I hope you consider doing the same.