and why not tonight?  we're all adults.  all ready for this.

seven years ago today, (September 18th, 2004) i got married.  married.  i don't even know how many people we invited, but it was a ton.  all of our family.  both of my work offices.  his education cohort at the university.  our entire church. my friends from undergraduate school. i had a stunning white gown; he looked dashing in his very formal, traditional tuxedo.  we were jubilant and ready and in love and we laughed and loved and our church came together to put it all together.  we had the happiest of ceremonies - performed with abandon and enthusiasm.

people would tell me later they had never been to a wedding that was so ... happy.

as young marrieds, we were in charge of 1st through 6th grade children's ministries.  we lead a church mission to Mexico.  we moved to the vineyard town so he could take his first job teaching english as a second language to elementary school children.

he was young and vibrant and impulsively impish.  the life of the party -- the one you could count on to be just a little bit naughty.  or a lot naughty.  you just never knew what that crazy boy was going to do next.

maybe that is why three years after we married, we were divorced.  that quick impulsiveness never went away, but morphed into something terribly and horribly heart breaking.  no thinking about consequences.  living for the here and now.  wrecked a marriage.  maybe two, but i couldn't keep track of the other marriage for too long for fear that doing so would stir up a sense of revenge within me.  it wrecked my faith in jesus for a long time.  (i remember clearly the moment when i felt i could start walking back to jesus.  it was when my counselor asked me what i thought god thought about my divorce and i blurted out, without thinking, immediately, "god HATES divorce!  and i did it anyway!" and promptly started sobbing. [nevermind that i had a biblical out.  nevermind i had consulted two pastors and my closest, most reliable friends.]  my counselor handed me the tissue box and said quietly, "god doesn't hate divorce in the context that you did something bad and you will now be punished.  god hates the effects of divorce on his children; he hates to see you hurt like this.  you didn't do anything wrong.  you're not being punished." oh, how i wish i could tell that to all of the darling daughters who are in that same spot. something really very ugly broke off of me at that point, and i was able to start standing up to people who looked down on me and said, "love hurts.  you have to love through the hurt.")

seven years later, on september 18th, i am planning a new wedding.  a new marriage.  a new life.

it's more than a bit scary.

i know now, really know, really, really know, what marriage is like.  i know how hard it is.   i know the exact, unmistakable, ear splitting sound of a heart breaking when marriage doesn't work out.  (such the understated euphemism "doesn't work out" is).  it is a risk.  it didn't feel like a risk seven years ago.  it feels like a risk right now.

and i know how amazing it is when it really works out.  when you have a partner you adore.  when you have a partner who is your true ... partner.  at its best, marriage is, perhaps, one of the greatest gifts in the world.

i tell shoes all the time that i do not think i would be doing this again if it wasn't him i was marrying.  i don't want just another marriage.  married just for the sake of being married?  no thank you.  i certainly don't want just another wedding.

it's shoes.  i want shoes in my daily life.  i want to come home and talk about work with him and walk the dog with him and adopt children with him.  i want him to forever poke gentle fun at the way i worry incessantly.  i want to forever turn around and see him standing there calmly.  i want to forever hear him chuckling the chuckle he has when he thinks he's being a little bit evil.

and so, ironically, i think i have something to thank my first husband for after all ... seven years after the wedding date and four years after the divorce. if he and i hadn't shared at least some genuine love, at some point, i think i would write marriage as an institution off ... forever.  but i remember some good times.  i remember that the experience of marriage can be amazing.  and that, in conjunction with same amazing healing from a good god, and the man that shoes is, has lead to some serious hope and possibility.

shoes know this.  he knows this because i've told him.  save nothing else, it's what i want him to know in the midst of all the wedding crazy.  i'm in it because he's in it.  and i'm all in. despite the risk.

it feels right to finally be able to say that.  funny, the places you find yourself getting to seven years later.


  1. Elizabeth on September 18, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    I was invited, but did not attend. I'd like to think I knew something you did not...but I think I was just lazy and didn't want to go. So for me, I'm glad I didn't go because I get to go to your wedding...haha be in your wedding...and experience the true wedding.

    I love you and I'm glad you were able to blog this. Shoes is awesome and I couldn't be happier for you. I am, as always, so sad you had to go through such bad crappy times to find him, but what excitement I have for you in your new life and excitement I have to share these times with you.

  2. Kylee on September 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I was just thinking this same thing in August, when Matt and I would have celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Seriously you wrote everything I did in my journal. Minus the planning a new wedding to an amazing man.
    I am so happy that you have Shoes. Can't wait to celebrate with you.

  3. Lisa on September 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    @Elizabeth: While the first wedding was an experience, the second wedding will be all types of laid back celebratory drink good wine fun. (You had just bought your car for the first.) I'm glad you get to be in it, too! Bridal show soon!

    @Kylee: My dearest heart, I knew you, probably above all, would understand precisely where I'm coming from. And I can't wait to one day share in your excitement, your big love, your amazing day. And I'm all too, too excited to have you at our wedding next year.

  4. Sarah's Blog on September 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Oh Lisa,
    This brought back so MANY memories. I do remember the good times you and X had. I remember the very beginning and the giggling we used to do because of it. I think I even remember a pie??? (hehe) I am honored to be a part of BOTH life changing experiences. I despised watching you go through the pain in the past few years but I ADORE the new light and life (and feisty-ness) that is shining through you now. I can't wait to see what this new chapter will bring for both you and shoes. What an amazing couple you two are!
    I love you!!!

  5. Lisa on September 22, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    @Sarah, you DO remember a pie! You have an AMAZING memory! Do you remember eating grass? CANADIAN grass? ;) We did have some genuinely good times. I'm SO looking forward to the possibility of you guys coming to Pullman next year to party it up with us! And tell Malaika she can shake it on the dance floor all night long!

  6. Katelyn on September 23, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    I very much enjoyed your whistling in this post, very, very much. I love your heart, I love your mind, I love your insightfulness, I love your strength, I just love all of you! I may have shed a tear, but a happy one, and a thankful one, that you, with God, have been able to stand tall through the storms and now have such an amazing man like Shoes to hold your hand.

    P.S. I noticed your choice in going lowercase lately(I know, I know... it must be a writer's eye or something) I like it.

    P.S.S. I will sit on Kylee's lap if need be... I'm sure she won't mind much.

  7. Lisa on September 24, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    @Katelyn, I just love you. You and Boyfriend get your own two seats - a perk for being such a fantastic friend. ;) Just joking. You'd get your own seats anyway. I think when I speak about the more personal things, I tend to go lowercase. I should analyze myself!

  8. Anonymous on September 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Beautifully, well-spoken. I was married for 7 years...very young. A shattering experience with far-reaching consequences I still cope with to some extent today. But I'm pretty much at peace with all it brought and all it taught. And Mark...well...what can I say. Ever heard the song, second time around? Here's the Youtube link I think once you've been broken, and make the effort to heal and learn, and to do things CONSCIOUSLY DIFFERENTLY, you've increased your odds. Mark and I have been together...on our "second time around" for 22 years...with the last 6 of them married. And it's good...really good. And I also learned, that if it wasn't, I'll survive that also. I grew to trust my ability to recover from loss.

  9. Lisa on September 29, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    It is really good. You are both really, really good people and I really, really love you. I'm not the same person I was before ... and it would be wrong if I was.


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