I'm just going take a deep breath and start this series. It's one I begin reluctantly because of many reasons.
The first and most important is that marriage is a sacred institution; God alone is it's architect. Please pray for me that I'll approach my articles in all humility and brokenness. I'm going to need His wisdom with every word I type. The last thing I would want is to give you misconceptions of what marriage is, and have you misunderstand God's purposes for the union between a man and his wife.
The second reason is that I've only been married five years. That's a drop in the ocean right? What do I know? Not much at all to be honest, but the trials we have endured together (which you can read about in the first four posts on the blog September-October 2016), gave us quite the crash course in sticking together in the face of grief, uncertainty and mental disease among other issues that I'll be writing about in the series. It's been ridiculously more than we had expected to happen in the first few years together.
The third reason is that I worry about making this about myself. Sounds confusing because, yes, it will be about my husband and I, but let me explain. In the few months I've been writing here at The Orchid Blooms, my life has changes somewhat. A lot of people that I don't know personally, now know my name. I get messages from people thanking me for sharing our story because they completely relate; some gushing about me and my 'perfect' family, and it's like walking a tight rope for me. I'm always fighting within myself. My natural reaction is to feel really good about myself, you know? I feel validated, kinda special; and pride about my husband and two kids starts to lick at my feet like flames. Fame, however inconsequential, is an enemy to the Christian walk. See, you find yourself liking it, and wanting even more people to know who you are; your motives become indiscernible; you're driving in heavy rain without your wipers on. On the one hand, you desire to share your work; you genuinely want to encourage and bolster people's faith in God and glorify the Father in heaven. This is right. But I think it's foolish to deny the pride and self exaltation forever lurking in the shadows; hiding in the wings. Denying it means it continues to bind you in its alluring tentacles, and you see no reason to repent. The verse 'He must increase, but I must decrease' begins to be lived in reverse. This is a problem; a grave one.
In the "about me" section, I have a quote at the bottom by a Christian called John Newton. He says, "I thank the Lord if He makes my writings useful. I hope that they contain some of his truths; and truth like a torch ,may be seen by its own light, without reference to the hand that holds it."
That's my prayer for this series in particular; it's a sensitive one. Hopefully at the end of it, you'll have learnt two things: that the 'perfect Wambui' inadvertently presented in my writing at times is a phantom. And, most importantly I hope you learn about God and why He created marriage; what it really means. For this series I'm going to ask you guys to email me about experiences in your own marriage as we go along. I'm eager to learn from others wiser than myself, and if you allow me, I'll share your stories, changing your names for anonymity. Please share my blog widely; send to all your friends:
-To those considering marriage.
-To those skeptical about it because of the marriages they have been exposed to.
-To those already married, happily so or struggling significantly.
-To those who got burned by it and never want to look back.
I'd like very much to hear from you guys; whichever category above you fit into.
Lastly, you'll be hearing from my husband as well! He's agreed to contribute his side of things with the incredible gusto of a cat being thrown into a tub of water, LOL.
Well then *deep breath* here we go...
I was 26. He was 23.
I was a qualified medical doctor. He was a university student.
I lived in my own apartment. He lived with his parents.
I earned money. He hadn't a penny to his name.
I had dreamed and prayed about marriage for a decade. He had never spared two minutes of thought about getting married.
Bryan fit the bill for the man you do not date, under any circumstances. Yet he somehow managed to make me his wife. This is how it happened.
It was the 15th of April of 2010, a Thursday. Our mutual P.A, had a graduation dinner that night at The Mayfair Spur restaurant...all you can eat pork ribs (YAAAASS.) We had one long table set up, and the party was in full swing when Bryan walked in.
Even now my heart just skipped a beat.
I hadn't seen him in years. We went to the same church as teenagers, but he was just a kid then. I mean, I was 15, and he was 12...it's ridiculous. So we had next to no interaction, a hello here and there but that was about it. My siblings went to the same school he did, so I sometimes saw him there; but he made no impression really. He allegedly claims that he once tried to greet me after church and I walked right past him. It must be true because I have zero memory of that day, while he continues to claim real heartache each time it comes up! So picture, a boy, much younger than you, shorter than you (oooh, I'm gonna pay for writing that line...hiihii..) whom you haven't seen in six about years, walk into the room, and making your heart stop.
I had a torrent of thoughts break the banks in my mind.
Who is THAT?! Oh my word, is that Bryan Kariuki!!!?
Oh my hat, IT IS! When did he become...become a man?
When did this happen?! Lord hold me, he's coming this way.
Wambui, get a hold of yourself.
I'm so much older than him! Why should that matter, why am I even concerned about age disparity, we're nothing, not even friends.
Man, I've been single for all eternity, see now this behaviour; it's actually just sad. Woii! Keep it together, here he comes.
I swallowed a huge piece of pork too quickly, and felt that esophagus expansion pain, as I pretended to not have seen him.
*slightly tremulous voice* "Bryan, hi."
"You look so beautiful tonight."
*dies a thousand deaths*
*jaw drops* "Umm....wow. Thank you."
There's a sudden silence around us as our friends take in the exchange. My heart is pounding so loud, my body shaking, complete confusion about what just happened. What kind of person begins a conversation with that sentence? Thank God for our friend Wachira, who broke the tension. "Brayoooo!". And the table burst out laughing.
There is a story none of the guys who were there shall corroborate, but apparently a bet was made that night that he couldn't hold my attention for longer than five minutes. He determined to win the cash no one shall admit was on the table. I just found myself constantly trying to get away from him all night. He'd come sit next to me, and I'd panic and somehow wander off to the other end of the table. Then he'd find me again, and I'd run away. After about an hour, he had me hook, line and sinker. We spent the entire evening seated in a corner talking as if we were the only people there.
I can't tell you exactly what is was, but I was unbelievably attracted to him.
Physically. He was unbearably handsome; I had to mentally slap myself as he was speaking, just to focus. I was so distracted by his voice, his eyes, his smile, his skin tone even...he was like a tall glass of caramel! No man had ever had that effect on me and I hated it; I felt completely out of control.
Mentally though, is where he devastated me.
Once he finally cornered me, his first question was, "Tell me about what you're reading now."
I couldn't bear it. I never owned a doll as a child. All I ever wanted bought for me was books. I acquired cartons upon cartons of them in my parents' store room, and to date one of my favourite places in the world is a good bookshop. I had always hoped I'd end up with a husband who liked to read; not as much as I did (I didn't think it was possible for such a perfect match for me to exist), but at least we could have discussions from time to time. Bryan turned out to be a voracious reader, even more than myself. He has read so much about so much. We talked about nothing else, for three hours. It was heaven for nerds.
At the end of the night, he said good bye rather nonchalantly and went home. I lay in bed that night so deflated. He didn't even ask for my number. Did I imagine the connection? Was I so desperate I was sensing chemistry where none existed?
He didn't contact me for two weeks.
Wambui, surely, you're a grandmother, why would someone so young be pursuing you?..is what I was telling myself. Even my close friend Mbithi who initially had told me he was sure Bryan was interested, by the end of the two weeks was honest with me and gave me the 'you're beautiful, one day your guy is going to come' speech. Thank you Mbithi, LOL.
Unbeknownst to me, when Bryan got home that night, he called his best friend and our future best man George and told him, "I met the woman I'm going to marry tonight." When he told him who I was, George laughed at him, and said something to the effect of, "My guy...lanes. Know your lane." A few days later, he told his other close friend Nyamu, who laughed at him even louder and said one word: Umejitolea! (Kiswahili for, boy you're being a bit too ambitious here.)
The whole being three years younger/ still in uni/ living with his folks/flat broke combo as far as they were concerned would disqualify him even before the gates were open.
They were wrong.
Christian, wife, mom, doctor, and an alien on earth, on my way to the city of God.