On Friday, Mr. Poon and I celebrated five years of marriage. I can’t honestly remember what I pictured for our future as I walked toward someone I only partly knew and trusted that God would be faithful. During the last five years, I have found that person to be much more than I ever could have imagined. Here are five people Jason has become to me since we exchanged vows in May of 2007:
Jason is my partner in parenting, in ministry, in managing the household – everything. Of course there are areas in life where we divide-and-conquer but our preferred mode is collaboration. I have often told friends how blessed I feel in this regard, since I didn’t even know to look for this in a husband. I didn’t know myself or the future well enough to fully grasp how important it is to feel like you are a true partner with your spouse.
Being Jason’s partner in life has been amazing and so much fun! Feeling like we’re in it together, whatever “it” is, has become more and more important and every day I am thankful for how wonderful it is. Which leads to number two…
Jason is always on my side. Period. I am always on his. Period. There is no earthly relationship that ever takes precedence over ours and our unflinching commitment is to each other, in any situation. When my mother was alive, I had a rule that she would never hear me say anything negative about Jason, nor would I listen to any criticism of him if it were ever offered. (Which it wasn’t, thankfully.)
It is particularly painful to realize that your spouse is more committed to his/her parents/siblings/friends/whomever than to you. While we are not perfect, we reaffirm often that our number one priority is the family God has built with us. Particularly in the times that it has really mattered or where I felt especially vulnerable, Jason has always made it known that I come first. There is no security like it, and I praise God for its sweetness.
I don’t think anyone believes in me more than Jason. Whether as a mom, a minister, a wife or a friend, he is always looking for ways to help me live out who God has created me to be. If I went through life being anything less than the fullness of who I was meant to be, Jason would see it as a deep loss; thus, he is committed to helping me have whatever I need in resources, time, opportunities to make my best contribution in each season of life.
Marriage is unavoidably wounding, yet profoundly healing as well. A great source of sadness for us is acknowledging how we’ve managed to wound one another in our short five years of marriage. It sometimes comes out in the way that we fight, or maybe our lack of confidence in approaching our spouse with a grievance.
Despite this fallen reality, our marriage has been extremely healing, even more than I expected. I have celebrated Jason in ways that he never believed he was worthy of. He has given me a security of love that I didn’t think existed outside of perfect performance. In this, our lives have spoken the Gospel over one another: “You are loved. You are accepted. You are cherished.” This is a piece of God’s kingdom come to earth and we treasure the gift.
Being in intimate relationship with another is having a mirror put up in front of you. There are so many things about myself that I could never have seen without first seeing how someone else is both like and unlike me. Culturally, I take so many things for granted because they are simply how I have always seen the world; I am blind to my own lenses. This changes when I live with and rub up against someone who has entirely different lenses, and who has his own way of viewing the world.
This is sometimes a painful process, though I can also say without a doubt it is one of the most striking strengths of intimate relationship. We are better together, as we each reflect God and His story in different but complementary ways. This is not true just of marriages; it is true of all of my deep relationships.
Five years: all hard in their own way, but each sweeter than the last. Jesus, may it always be.