Old friends

Yep, this entry is late. We got home from the party I write about below around 11:30, plenty of time for me to post before midnight. But, when we got home we found a very sick dog. It was a side effect of her meds, but it took a while to clean her up and get everything settled. So, the post is late. Oh well, life happens.

Tonight Lindsey and I were able to celebrate an engagement with some great friends. After a long week it was a welcome rest.

My friend Meaghan is one of my dearest friends. I’m not exactly sure, but I think we have known each other for about seven years or so. Tonight we went to an engagement party, celebrating her upcoming marriage to Steve, a great guy I have known for almost as long.

I have a great group of friends that Meaghan and Steve are a part of. For many years I spent a lot of time with them, drank a fair amount of beer, and had a couple of great early Thanksgiving dinners with them. Erin, Mike, Melissa, Rich, Blaire, and Meaghan have been a huge influence on me, and I am very grateful. But life, as it often does, took us all in different directions. Most of those folks have moved from Austin, and those of us still here just don’t see each other that much. It’s sad, but it is also a sign of growing older and changing.

However, there is still deep affection between us all, and it was very evident in just the few hours some of that group spent together tonight. They were all at our wedding, but I didn’t get to spend much time hanging out with them, so tonight was a great chance. We told old stories, new stories, and caught up. Driving away I told Lindsey how much I missed them, and how grateful I really am for having all of these folks in my life. The wedding in a few months will be a blast, and I am really excited for Meaghan and Steve.

Congratulations Meaghan! We’re so happy for you!

Getting married doesn’t fix your problems

Time for some tough talk folks. If you are engaged, thinking about marriage, or just dreaming of it listen up. Getting married doesn’t solve your problems. It just doesn’t. I know you think it will, I know it makes sense to you, but trust me your junk just doesn’t go away when you say those vows.

Here is the math: 1 imperfect person + 1 imperfect person = 2 x the junk. Complex right? I know, this is really simple. You’re probably getting a little frustrated with me, talking down to you like this. But seriously, how many times have you thought to yourself, “this would all be better if I was married”? I know you have had this thought, I had it plenty of times in the past.

But it’s just not true. There is no way that two people who make mistakes, have bad habits, and tend to be really selfish (we all are, just admit it) can combine their lives and magically erase all of those faults.

Seeing as this blog is very personal, I’ll share an example that is very, well, personal. It’s a churchy example, but it is honestly the one that matters the most to me and is also the direct impetus for this post. If your not a church person, hang with me, it’s just an illustration, there is a point at the end.

One of Lindsey and I’s foundational beliefs, not just that of our church but one we really believe, is that we need to spend time every day in intentional prayer and reading the Bible. We believe that this is the best way to grow our faith, grow closer together, and build a marriage that will last. Before I was married I had the same belief, and I struggled. It was hard to set aside time everyday for both. I preferred to read the Bible over pray, so I’d leave the prayer out often. Sometimes, I just did not want to do it, so I didn’t.

But the more Lindsey and I prepared for the wedding and started thinking about what married life would be, the more confident I became that marriage was just the slump buster I needed. I was prepared for it, I wanted to do well in this, and I now had a reason to be better. I would do it for her, for us! What better reason could I have?

Well, after about two and a half weeks, I was right back where I was. I had the exact same issues, temptations and failures. What we found out was that we were both motivated, but still failing to fix the problem. Just getting married didn’t do a thing.

That’s the bad news. But here is the point, which is good news. When you are married you have a partner in addressing it. The problem is not solved, but you become better equipped to deal with it. You still have to deal with your junk, but there is someone there to help carry the load.

For our issues, we’re learning to trust God and pray for a stronger desire to do these things, and it works. It’s not solved, but we’re making progress. But whether that is how you go about it or not, the fact remains that you have a partner, a wingman (or wingwoman). And that in itself is a whole lot better than tackling it alone.