Eden Chen

Dear Carolyn – 6 Year Anniversary

Eden Chen July 13, 2019

Carolyn and I have known each other now for around 16 years, been dating for 10 years, and will be married for 6 years today (July 13th). Time can be a depressing statistic in our culture. I hear many that cite that a majority of startups will not make it to year 2. Or that most marriages that end in divorce only last 7 years (we’re almost there!). I know of older Asian couples that are married but don’t sleep in the same bed anymore as the couple drifted further and further away. We all cherish the older couple that still remains physically intimate but that is sadly the exception. 

Time though, creates some of the deepest and most meaningful things in our lives. My best friends are ones that I’ve known for decades. My family is close because we’ve known each other my whole life. As Talitha grows older and older my affections for her grow. Yet, our culture values travel, spontaneity, what you feel in the moment, and I don’t think I know one person my age that’s been with the same company since graduating (including yours truly). Time, consistency, and loyalty are lost treasures in our culture (thank you Toy Story 4, for reminding us about the value of loyalty). 

I remember first telling one of my best friends Steven back in high school that I thought I had met the woman I would marry in Carolyn. We were 3 years apart so it was kinda shady, and I didn’t bring it up until my senior year in college, but something in me at that time knew she was the one for me. We first started talking because we had an affinity for the same music. But over time as I got to know her unique self – her bombastic laugh, the awkward way she walks, her passion for the poor (yet transparency that she often feels indifferent), her care for the outsider, her beautiful voice, her chubby cheeks, how pumped she gets during a game of codenames, her desire for Godliness (even when she knows she’s not there yet), these are all just some attributes that I love about her. I realized a long time ago though, that there are few women in the world that would be able to put up with me. When we first met, I wanted to be a youth pastor. Then I became an investment banker and was working 100+ hours every week. Then I became an entrepreneur that was constantly on email. Then we moved to South Central. Then I rekindled my love for video games and started down that black hole. Then we started down the path to become foster parents. My personhood has had so many seasons, rhythms, and dreams that should have, with time, rusted and corroded away at our relationship. 

You see, time often creates resentment and woundedness. Our own individual brokenness wears away everything in its way from our relationships to the things we think that have value. Apart from the gospel, the good news that “we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope” (Tim Keller),  we could have never made it to 6 years. Jesus redeems our time and turns it from acid to fertilizer.

Every year, our relationship is richer than the last. There’s not anyone that knows me as well as Carolyn. I usually know as soon as Carolyn walks in the room if she’s had a bad or good day. Carolyn is always challenging me to a better husband and Christian. A good day for me is going somewhere new with her. She loves me and our daughter so well. I’m so thankful God knew exactly what I needed when she gave me my wife. I’m excited to see Jesus redeem two broken people in our 7th year and use our time to grow our love for one another.

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