Okay, so I know I’ve been away from the blogging game recently and Caitlin has been more than compensating with her wonderful writing in my absence, but I’m back with a vengeance and a promise that I’ll be writing more and more in the forseeable future.
As you may or may not know, the primary reason for my absence is that I got married to the most amazing, virtuous, and holy man this summer. June 29, 2013, to be exact. The day was everything I imagined and more, and living my vocation has been such a fulfillment of a lifelong desire I didn’t know I had. Well, more accurately, I didn’t realize how deep that desire went in my heart and in my life in general.
Suffice it to say marriage has been wonderful – crazy – beautiful – and eye-opening in these first few months. As pretty much any newlywed will tell you, marriage is a completely different experience than the single life. Okay, duh, it’s really really different. But it’s amazing, and I want to share with you one of the things that I’ve realized and learned and hopefully will continue to strive towards in our first few months of marriage.
Humility is, for me, the hardest – but most rewarding – virtue to practice in my daily life. I have a terrible personality flaw in that I think I’m always right, and I don’t like to be told when I’m wrong. (Those of you who know me already know this. I’m just learning it for myself in a much deeper, more impactful way now.) Marriage has thrown my self-importance and my pride outttttttt the window and forced me to examine myself every. single. day. Which is so good for my spiritual development, but really hard to live on a day-to-day basis. I have to be humble in both assessing my successes and my failures in our marriage, and that’s really hard. I hate admitting that I’m wrong – but it happens. Marriage has helped me realize that. I hate being corrected – but I need it, a lot, and my husband does a wonderful job of giving me constructive criticism when I need it. (Let’s be honest – he could probably do it a lot more often and I’d deserve it.)
I could go on and on with things in our marriage that are forcing me to practice humility. But I am just now realizing how rewarding it really is to be humble. To be honestly, truly aware of myself and how little I am in the world and how little I should make myself in our marriage. It has given me a new appreciation for so many things – but the most amazing thing is that every time I force myself to focus on humility, I am a marginally better person. I can feel God’s grace working in me when I focus on humility. I’m happier, more available to my husband, more at peace, less stressed, and more flexible – all things I should be anyway, but focusing on humility produces them as byproducts rather than goals to be checked off a list.
But like I said earlier, learning about my own flaws and growing in humility is noooot easy. Let’s be real, who honestly likes learning about all the ways they are a terrible person? It’s hard, and embarrassing, and difficult to want to do. But it is so worth it. Every time I get irrationally upset that David’s trying to help me, I try to step back and say, okay, Hannah, stop being an idiot. You and he both are new at this, and you are both just trying to help each other get to Heaven. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and learn from it. I’ve learned that these steps help me immensely in dealing with the situation at hand and also with reminding myself to focus on humility and on the bigger picture. (Props to Fr. Holdren, our priest for marriage prep, for these life-saving tips.)
Living husband-and-wife is for real amazing, though. I’m not here to scare you off of marriage – Oh my gosh that one girl on 2CG said it sucked so I’m going to die an old maid!!!~!!@**!!! – but I am here to tell you that it is real and it is worth it. I’m only a baby newlywed but I’m learning so much already that I can’t wait to see where the next 10, 20, 50, and 70 years lead us, together.
I’m going to close with a quote on marriage by Fulton J. Sheen – a quote that keeps popping into my head when I reflect on my marriage, humility, and where I’m going.
“It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty, life is unfinished.” – Fulton J. Sheen.
Peace & love,