Sunday, September 07, 2008

3 months ago from this very moment (around 8:30 pm) Matthew and I were getting settled into our hotel room at the Amway Grand for the first night of our honeymoon! The storm had already begun- the cause of our abrupt departure from our wedding reception after only a little over an hour of what was supposed to be a 3-4 hour party. We surely didn't mind though. It was nice to get out early since we had already eaten and had some of our amazing dessert bar!

Yes, we are now celebrating three wonderful months of newly wedded bliss. We never had a real honeymoon stage- we sort of just felt into perfect sync and everything has followed quite naturally. Since we've spent every school term and holiday together since my freshman year of college, we were pretty used to each other and our quirks. We have had an amazing three months and look forward for the rest of eternity together. Matthew still gets a little upset when we start talking about eternity- he just doesn't understand why he can't stay married to me in heaven! It is a little sad to think that we'll spend forever just being two souls together in heaven, but I suppose when we get there it really won't matter so much anyways. I can honestly say I have no complaints with our marriage and it was by far the best choice I've ever made. A lot of people thought we (read I, Matthew was of proper marrying age but most thought my age of 20 wasn't yet mature and ready) were too young to marry and should wait longer... but I disagree. We became friends in the fall of 2003. By January 2004 we were close friends and by April 2004 we were best friends. After one year of being best friends we decided to make our relationship "official" and began dating in December of 2004, after having dinner with both of our families and receiving their blessings. The next semester of school was spent with 800 miles between us since Matthew was in Virginia at Liberty and I was finishing up my senior year of highschool. This distance helped us get to know each other as we had on average three hour phone conversations every night. We continued dating through our college careers and were engaged in June 2007. We had been dating for 2.5 years before this point- more than enough to get us acquainted with each other. We had our ups and downs during this time. We learned each others faults and learned how to work through our differences. We grew close to each others families (including extended) and had been on several family vacations together. We continued to have the blessings from both families and began planning our wedding and our marriage. A little under a year later, June 7, 2008, we were wedded. During our year of engagement we went through a premarital workshop led by one of Liberty's campus pastors and also had premarital counseling from another of Liberty's campus pastors. Through these meetings and appointments we grew more and more in love with each other and learned to ask the hard questions about our future so we weren't so surprised after our wedding. Thankfully, since we have both moved so far from home to attend college we were a little more attuned to the "real world" and such struggles that we had some experience handling everyday life circumstances and issues (read groceries, bills, insurance, accidents, etc. etc.). We took a psychology class together on Marriage and Family which we both enjoyed and read a few books on Christian marriage recommended by professors and friends. By the time June rolled around, we were as ready as anyone could be for our marriage.

I may be young, but I believe I have lived fully in my 21 years (for those who don't know, my birthday is at the beginning of August so I just recently turned 21). I spent the beginning years of my life being excruciatingly spoiled and stubborn. I regret that now as I became somewhat of a brat, to put it nicely. I think college had an extreme positive effect of me. I grew so much closer to the Lord than I ever was even in my Christian high school and church back home. I was forced to own my personal faith for myself instead of just living like everyone around me and trying to please my parents (which I didn't do as often as I should have). I grew closer to my parents- distance tends to have that effect. I learned more about the world around me and slowly left childhood and entered into adulthood. I worked hard all the way through college and graduated in three years with honors. I had my first "real" job in college and went on to have a few more jobs throughout the years and a very successful internship. I learned the importance of love and patience like never before. I learned how selfish a person I truly am to the very core of my being. And I learned how utterly important forgiveness and asking of forgiveness is for my very existence. I have tried to live my life fully and am so thankful for the opportunities God has provided me, especially with my wonderful husband Matthew.

Three months. That sounds so short but it feels like we've been married forever. When I look through my photo albums from elementary school and junior high I expect to see him there with me. It seems so odd that we weren't friends forever. I can hardly remember what life was like when I had a new crush every other week with the exception of a few choice crushes that lasted for a year or two at a time... including Matt's best man, Jon. It seems like we have always been friends, always been together, and been preparing for this marriage for our whole lives.

Maybe we have. In our safe I hold two letters (only two of many) that are very dear to my heart. One is from my mother the night before I arrived in Detroit to be adopted. She was in a hotel with my dad and sisters and she couldn't sleep she was so excited and nervous. She pulled out a piece of the hotel stationary and wrote me a letter. She said she was so excited to meet me and love me. She also wrote about my future husband and how there was a special little boy out there somewhere and she was already praying for him. I found this letter among a box of my "Korea" stuff when I packed up all my stuff when I moved out after the wedding and in preparation for my parents move out of the house I grew up in and into their new condo. I had never before read it. It is now a treasure. The second letter is from my Dad from a Dads-N-Daughters retreat we went to at Spring Hill when I was in junior high. He wrote me a beautiful letter about how glad he was that I was his daughter and how much he loved me. He also wrote of my future husband and how he was already praying for him, that he would be a godly man and be worthy of me. To think that my parents had been praying for Matt for over 21 years. What an amazing thing. And God surely answered those prayers. You can be sure Matthew's parents have been praying similar prayers for his future wife also. It makes me feel so proud and chosen to be the one they prayed for all those years. I hope I don't disappoint them! I am so thankful to have them and my new sister and brothers as family.

Three months. And I continue to love him more and more each and every day. I have said it several times to my friends the past few months but, I highly recommend marriage. Best decision I ever made.

Happily married,
Rebecca Iveson

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