Becoming One: Joanna and Brad

by Andrea Cooley

It’s been awhile since we’ve shared a Becoming One post, but they are my favorite! I love hearing about other people’s marriages and being encouraged by their experiences. Joanna is someone I’ve gotten to know over the last year and she has a sweet faith that I admire in so many ways. You can read more about her over at Honey&Salt.

When did you get married?
May 16, 2009

How long did you date before getting married?
About 15 months. I said I’d be Brad’s girl on Valentine’s Day, 2008, just a month after we were set up by a mutual friend.

What was one of your biggest challenges the first few months of marriage?
Brad has chronic Lyme disease, though at the time we got married we didn’t know that’s what it was. He was in a lot of pain, so together we went from doctor to doctor to try to get a diagnosis. At the same time, we began a pretty strict diet to try to control his symptoms. I remember spending a lot of time with our meal-planning spreadsheet during our first year of marriage. His illness forced me to stare a lot of my fears in the face, things no newlywed girl wants to be thinking about–What if my husband never gets better? What if it’s cancer? What if he’s dying?–and realize that God is good, God is faithful, God loves me, and God holds me (and Brad) in His hand. (And he’s not dying, yay!)

Also, I had to get a regular routine of sheet-washing down. The man loves his clean sheets and I, to my great embarrassment, often blow this chore off.

What was something you wish you’d known before the wedding?
This is so boring, but I wish I had known how mortgages worked. I married into home ownership and I still can’t figure it out, which makes for really unromantic tax preparation.

What have you learned since you’ve been married?
After hours of careful tutelage, I can name the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger on sight.

More seriously, I overreact to just about everything. If I think I’ve offended Brad, I’ll apologize over and over and over again even though he didn’t even notice my supposed error. Along with that, I’m very hard on myself, but I didn’t know it until I got married and Brad began gently telling me to stop criticizing my looks, my attitude, the way I worked, the way I cleaned, how I sat, how I slept, how I folded towels… From Brad, I’m slowly learning to just be.

What’s the best part about being married?
That’s easy–waking up next to the most amazing, kind person in the world and knowing he’s just as excited to see me as I am to see him. And kissing him. Kissing him is my spiritual gift.

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Andrea Cooley

  1. Kissing as a spiritual gift…mmmm..I’m with you on that one! lol :) Very cute insights. Thanks!

  2. Wait wait WAIT there is a romantic form of tax preparation? I have been missing out.

  3. So much of what Joanna wrote parallels my husband’s and my story, and it encourages me so much to read it.

  1. honey&salt » Archive » notes as of late - April 10, 2012

    […] Welcome Ever After Blueprint readers! (And thanks to Andrea for letting me guest post there today.) If you’re new here, may I suggest a little history? My husband has Lyme Disease […]

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