Almost four weeks have passed since our unbelievable wedding day, and it is still extremely surreal to me that I am married. Growing up, I wasn’t the type of girl who dreamed of my future husband or pictured various details of my wedding day. I more often latched onto unattainable guys, such as Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or JTT as he was known to faithful readers of Bop and Tiger Beat), Leonardo DiCaprio (did you see the 90’s version of Romeo + Juliet?!), Davy Jones in a seriously misguided portion of my adolescence when I wished I was living in the 60’s, and then the love of the past 14 years of my life – Taylor Hanson. (Okay, I’m no longer “in love” with Taylor Hanson; we’ve fallen into to a more platonic relationship in which I may or may not think his brothers are hotter than him and I just pay lots of money to hear their band play 1-6 times per year).
I was either very cynical or just a sound realist when, during a 3-year-long dating drought, I claimed that a woman can never be sure that she will get married, and I was just going to plan on being single forever because God might have that plan for me. My girlfriends hated whenever I said anything like that, for reasons I still don’t understand (something about me being “marriage material”, whatever that is. Ask Dayne if I’m “marriage material”). I wasn’t even grumbling about my doom to singlehood most of the time, although I still hoped to find someone who I would want to be with forever. In the meantime, I hated happiness in most couples, doubted the reality of love, and celebrated breakups… basically I was a nasty person. I’ll admit it.
My teen years onward were not just filled with Taylor Hanson-lusting, however – I also went through several dating and serious relationships from eighth grade through February of 2010. Some were better than others, but there was not one that I came out of unscathed. Perhaps this contributed a little bit to my calloused attitude.
Then Dayne and I started hanging out and then dating after the infamous Valentine’s Day of 2010, and he made me happy. Incredibly happy. As a disclaimer, he doesn’t make me happy every single moment of every single day (and I’m sure that’s mutual), but somehow – overall – I am the happiest I’ve ever been.
Very shortly after Dayne & I started dating, I started thinking about marriage. I wanted to marry Dayne, and I was sure of it. I wanted him to buy me a sparkly diamond ring, and I wanted to plan our wedding, and I wanted to come home to Dayne every day and plan our future together. This was not normal for me, since I could usually see men’s flaws coming from a mile away, and I wanted nothing to do with non-perfect men.
We kept dating, and we got engaged, and eventually (after the peculiar trial of wedding planning), we got married. This amazing thing happens once you get married: the bond between the two of you grows much stronger, deeper. Almost instantaneously and imperceptibly (if you aren’t paying attention). Dayne is now my partner for life, my best friend, my family. He is something to me that no one ever has been – my husband, my spouse. There is nothing that we won’t go through together, for better or for worse. Our marriage is a miracle that I couldn’t have envisioned.
And then, 3 and 1/2 weeks into our newlywed life, we experience an earthquake. In Pennsylvania.
I think everyone who felt it was thinking, “what. the. _____(insert your favorite word here). was. that.” I happened to be working in my new job at the 266-year-old inne that I not-so-secretly fear is haunted and turned around in a guest suite to see the dresser banging against the wall, and all the chandeliers swaying from the ceiling. I was alone and was pretty sure a ghost was out to get me, even as I felt the ground trembling under my feet (pretty intense haunting, right?!), because we don’t have earthquakes in Pennsylvania. Lisa Herman doesn’t get married.
Anything can happen, at any moment, and it can catch you totally off-guard. You could meet your future spouse, or the earth could suddenly shake beneath your feet (literally or figuratively). Earthquakes are scary in a different way from dating and marriage, but it’s all a little scary, because life just happens to you in a way that is unstoppable and mostly unpredictable. In a way, it reminds me to have faith that there is Someone operating with a greater force and a bigger plan.
For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully? Without warning, he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble. If he commands it, the sun won’t rise and the stars won’t shine. He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. He made all the stars — the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. – Job 9:4-10 (NLT)
photo credit to Morby Photography