March 19, 2021

On the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Nathan and I received the sacrament of marriage at Saint Vincent de Paul Parish in Federal Way, Washington by the same priest who baptized me as a baby. That day was more wonderful than I had imagined it would be, with fifty or so family and friends in attendance, a beautiful ceremony with gorgeous flowers and a small reception following.

I was told by a family friend as I sat at the dining room table in the morning, my hair and makeup being readied, to take mental pictures of specific moments of the day so that I could look back on concrete memories instead of everything being a fuzzy blur of excitement and adrenaline.

I did my best, and I journaled after the fact about the day so that, years from now, I can look back and remember our small, intimate wedding during covid times.

However, my reflections about this day are not so much about the wedding day itself, but about all the days that already have and will come after.

I have only been married for six weeks but I have learned very quickly that first and foremost, marriage is about CHOOSING your spouse day in and day out: on the days when they irritate you, on the days when they bring you joy, and in all of the little and big moments in between.

The day I returned to the office from our honeymoon from Leavenworth and Portland, I received the news that I was being laid off due to budget cuts. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe the timing and that night, I drove home to our new home together, hardly even one week into marriage, frustrated and upset. My mind swirled with all that this could mean in terms of being able to pay our rent, afford our necessities, and save for our own house someday. Seeing as this job was my first out of college, I had no idea where in the world I would end up next. As I angrily brushed into the house, Nathan greeted me with open arms, letting me know that we would figure everything out together and that this had to be God’s way of telling me that he had something better in store. Nathan choose me on a day when I couldn’t even choose myself.

For several weeks after I walked around in a fog, feeling unable to contribute and trying to determine what direction to take next. Eventually, I figured I should focus on what brings me the most joy and also challenge myself to grow. Since then, I have been writing! I am working on a devotional that I hope to self-publish, and I began a YouTube channel called “The Faithfully Loved”. I am also in the process of pursuing potential freelance work in copyediting and online tutoring. Every day, Nathan and I make the decision to choose one another: we choose to love, to forgive, to surrender, and to ultimately lead each other closer to Jesus who has provided for us this far, and I pray will continue to all the days of our lives. Life is not easy, loving others and ourselves isn’t easy but know that I am praying for you as you work to do both in your own lives.

Semper Fidelis,

-Allison


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