I thought I was so brave when I said "I do" 15 years ago today. Getting married, venturing out...moving away...I thought myself so courageous. Now, 15 years later, I've learned a little something about being brave.
It's not about being risky or throwing caution to the wind. It's not about recklessly falling in or taking a chance on love. It isn't being adventurous or fearlessly optimistic. No...being brave has meant one thing in the last 15 years:
To choose again and again to love as Christ loves; to choose to press on in faith.
It did not take courage to step out onto that aisle. It takes courage to take the hand of another sinner, and to be transformed and molded by not letting go.
The man I said "yes" to 15 years ago has done many courageous things. He has endeavored and conquered much that most people would never attempt for lack of will or determination. There is so much I respect and love about him.
But, the most courageous thing I believe he's ever done is to love one woman sacrificially-- to show strength through confessing weakness, to hold his family together by letting himself be broken before the Lord, to forgive and honor when it would have been easier to keep score.
Being brave is not putting confidence in yourself; being brave is confidently putting yourself in Christ.
So, as I reflect on what it is that we celebrate today on our 15th anniversary, it is this: That two sinful souls who were incapable of loving perfectly, chose to be BRAVE. We chose each other day after day for 15 years. It's not magic, it's not recklessly romantic; it's being brave, and loving what courage looks like as it forms in the other.
There's so much to celebrate, because in the last 15 years, Christ has formed so much in and through us, as one.
*Portrait by www.fullyalivephotography.